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What Is CCSP Certification?

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By: Cybrary Staff

September 22, 2021

Holding a CCSP certification demonstrates the technical expertise and knowledge required to build, implement, and maintain secure cloud-based data systems.

Summary: Becoming a Certified Cloud Security Professional offers a proven way for security experts to accelerate their career development and help tackle some of the most pervasive challenges today’s business leaders face. The certification is broadly recognized in the industry, but earning it requires a minimum of five years of IT experience.

By the end of 2020, 92% of enterprises had a multi-cloud strategy, according to the 2021 State of the Cloud Report by Flexera. Now that almost every business depends on cloud computing, at least to some extent, it is safe to say cloud security ranks first place in today’s information security sector.

The Certified Cloud Security Professional certification is the global industry standard for demonstrating technical knowledge and experience in the broader discipline of cloud security, rather than just a specific cloud vendor. The credentials are provided and maintained by (ISC)2, a US-based nonprofit organization recognized worldwide. The certification offers a proven path towards building a career in information security.

Like the other (ISC)2 certifications, CCSP certifications must be maintained through continuing professional education (CPE) credits, which are earned automatically by holding one of the job roles defined by (ISC)2. The certificates are valid for three years and must be renewed by accruing 30 CEP credits every year. This serves to ensure that certificate holders stay aligned with the latest technologies and threat vectors regarding cloud security. After all, in this space, the only constant is change.

How does CCSP compare to CISSP?

Information security specialists hoping to advance their careers may find themselves having to choose between the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification and CCSP. The certifications share a great deal in common in terms of scope and the degree of experience required. Both are maintained by (ISC)2, and exam structures are very similar. CCSP certificate holders could earn salaries ranging between $80 and $100 thousand, though CISSP positions typically pay around 10% to 15% more than CCSPs.

However, despite the similarities, CISSP and CCSP certificate holders typically end up in quite different roles. CISSP is more tailored towards management positions and is commonly held by Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and other high-ranking security leaders within an organization. By contrast, CCSP is less focused on leadership and more on the technical challenges around cloud security. Certificate holders can look to hold positions like enterprise architect, security consultant, or systems engineer.

Those who prefer to stay on the technical side of things rather than taking on the additional management responsibilities will typically find CCSP more suitable. That being said, nothing is stopping ambitious candidates from taking both exams. However, in this case, it is generally better to take the CCSP exam first since attempting to complete both concurrently will consume an enormous amount of time and effort.

The six domains of cloud security

While CISSP encompasses the full range of information security systems and methodologies, CCSP specifically focuses on cloud security. Given the ubiquity of cloud technologies in the modern enterprise environment, this degree of specialized expertise is highly sought after. To earn certification, candidates must become adept in their knowledge and experience of cloud security across six key domains as defined by (ISC)2. These domains were recently updated to reflect the most pervasive issues facing today’s security leaders:

  • Cloud concepts, architecture, and design
  • Cloud data security
  • Cloud platform and infrastructure security
  • Cloud application security
  • Cloud security operations
  • Legal, risk, and compliance

What are the benefits of holding the CCSP certification?

As the information security skills gap continues to widen globally, demand for professionals in the space is soaring. This is even truer in the case of cloud security, as the cloud continues to play a central role in modern business. Indeed, a huge number of enterprises host the entirety of their digital assets in the cloud. CCSP encompasses security, privacy, compliance, and risk management across the various cloud architectures, including the private, hybrid, and public cloud. As such, the most obvious benefit of becoming a CCSP is the near guarantee of a high-value job title and a substantial wage to go with it.

In addition to the global recognition of the CCSP credential, maintaining certification can enhance the candidate’s knowledge of some of the most pervasive cloud security challenges of modern times. It helps candidates keep up-to-date on new and emerging technologies and new cyber threats and how to align them with business strategy. Furthermore, since CCSP is a vendor-neutral credential, certificate holders can apply their knowledge and expertise across all the cloud platforms out there. By contrast, many other certifications are specific to the major cloud vendors, such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.

Earning any (ISC)2 certification also comes with (ISC)2 membership, granting access to a global community of professionals. This includes access to a full suite of regularly updated materials to help certificate holders keep up to speed with the latest trends and changes in the industry, as well as maintaining their credentials.

Cybrary for Teams is an all-one-one workforce development platform that helps organizations develop stronger cybersecurity skills, prepare for new certifications, and track team progress. Enroll your team in our CCSP course today!

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