Best Vendor Cloud Certifications
For Security Professionals
Cloud computing is pervasively growing in importance for almost all businesses. Therefore, developing and managing secure workloads in the cloud is necessary and security on the cloud has become a significant concern for organizations due to increased cyber-attacks.
In the last few months, 79% of organizations have experienced cloud data breaches, and 43% have reported ten or more incidents during that time. When 92% of organizations are hosting their IT environment in the cloud, it means most organizations have experienced an attack.
The spend is estimated to increase for the enterprise and make up 14.2% of the total worldwide enterprise market in 2024. As more organizations migrate to the cloud, security challenges will also increase. Therefore, cloud security professionals are in very high demand.
Most professionals seeking a career in cloud security get certifications to level up their learning and prove their knowledge and skills to potential employees. Cloud security certifications can set experts up for long-term career success in operating, deploying, and maintaining secure cloud environments for organizations.
But which certification is better for you? This article will help you by suggesting some of the best vendor cloud certifications for security professionals.
AWS VS Azure VS GCP Cloud Security
Data security is the top concern for every organization, especially for those adopting a hybrid cloud architecture. As one of the leading cloud service providers, Azure services and products are designed to meet the security requirements of the hybrid cloud deployments. Azure Sentinel, Active Directory and Microsoft Defender for Cloud are a few tools to ensure hybrid development security.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) secure their own cloud through a specific solution. However, Azure is an entire security architecture that protects not only the Azure cloud, but it also integrates and protect the workloads of AWS and GCP as many organizations cloud deployments are hybrid and multi-vendor.
Microsoft security certifications are more valuable in the market because of the practicality as more organisations operate in hybrid multi-cloud environments and Microsoft is embedding in its security reference architecture design patterns such as Zero Trust with the implementation of conditional access, Just-in-time (JIT) and Privilege Identity Management among others functionalities.
Vendor Specific Cloud Security Certifications
If your organization leverages a specific cloud service provider, you might want to consider security certifications from that vendor. However, there are some general certifications as well, but here is a list of some best cloud security certifications from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Security Certifications
AWS basic Certifications cover four roles: Developer, Operations, Architect, and Cloud Practitioner. These are geared to three knowledge levels: Foundational, Associate, and Professional.
1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (Foundational)
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner helps companies identify and develop talent with essential knowledge regarding cloud initiatives implementation. Getting this certification ensures foundational AWS Knowledge and cloud fluency. This certificate is for those having a basic understanding of the AWS platform.
To get this certification, you need to take and pass the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam CLF-C01. Before taking the exam, a candidate must have six months of AWS cloud platform exposure, a basic knowledge of IT services, and understanding of core AWS services and their use cases.
2. AWS Certified Developer (Associate)
AWS Certified Developer helps organizations identify and develop talent with essential skills to implement cloud initiatives. This certificate ensures the ability to build and deploy cloud-based applications. It is intended for those having one or more years of hands-on experience deploying and maintaining an AWS-based application.
To get this certification, a candidate must take and pass the AWS Certified Developer Associate exam DVA-C01. Before taking this exam, a candidate must know at least one high-level programming language and understand the core of AWS services and their use case. Moreover, they should be proficient in developing and debugging a cloud-based application using AWS.
3. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (Professional)
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Certificate helps organizations identify and develop talent with essential skills to implement cloud initiatives. This certification ensures the ability to automate AWS applications and infrastructure testing and deployment. It is intended for those having two or more years of experience deploying, managing, and operating AWS environments.
To get this certification, a candidate must take and pass the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam DOP-C01. Before taking this exam, it is recommended to have experience developing code using at least one high-level programming language and an understanding of advanced development and operations methodologies and processes.
4. AWS Certified Security (Speciality)
AWS Certified Security helps organizations identify and develop talent with essential skills to implement cloud initiatives. This certificate ensures expertise in securing workloads and data in the AWS cloud. It is intended for those performing a security role with two years of hands-on experience protecting AWS workloads.
To get this certification, a candidate must take and pass the AWS Certified Security speciality exam SCS-C01. Before this exam, it’s recommended to have five years of IT security experience in implementing security solutions and two years of hands-on experience in securing AWS workloads.
Microsoft Azure Cloud Security Certificates
Here is a list of cloud certifications offered by Microsoft Azure for security professionals.
5. Azure Security Engineer Associate
Azure Security Engineer Associate certification candidates must have subject matter expertise in applying Azure security control that helps protect identity, data access, networks, and applications in cloud and hybrid work environments.
Candidates for this certification must have practical experience in Azure administration and hybrid environments. Moreover, they should have experience with security operations processes, infrastructure as code, Azure services, and cloud capabilities. The candidate must take and pass the Azure security Engineer Associate exam AZ-500.
6. Azure Cybersecurity Architect Expert
The Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect Expert should have subject matter expertise in designing and implementing cybersecurity strategies to protect organizations’ missions and business processes.
A candidate must complete at least one of the four prerequisite certifications and then take and pass Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect (beta) exam SC-100 and earn the certification. The roles offered after completing this certification include security engineer, administrator, solution architect, and security operations analyst.
7. Azure Developer Associate
Azure Developer Associate certification candidates are cloud developers participating in all development phases, from requirement gathering to development, deployment, and maintenance. They partner with cloud administrators, DBAs, and clients to implement solutions.
The candidates must have 1-2 years of professional development experience with Microsoft Azure. To get this certification, they must take and pass the Azure Developer Associate certification exam AZ-204.
Apart from these, a candidate should be proficient in data storage options, Azure SDKs, data connections, app authentications and authorization, APIs, performing tuning, debugging, and monitoring.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Cloud Security Certifications
Here are some best cloud certifications offered by Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for security professionals.
8. Associate Cloud Engineer
Associate cloud engineers deploy applications, manage enterprise solutions, and monitor operations. They utilize Google Cloud Console and command-line interface to execute platform-based operations. It helps maintain one or more deployed solutions leveraging self-managed or Google-managed services on the cloud.
Before taking the Associate Cloud Engineer certification exam, the candidate must have more than six months of hands-on experience with Google cloud. This exam assesses a candidate’s ability to:
- Set up a cloud solution environment
- Configure access and security
- Deploy and implement a cloud solution
- Plan and configure cloud solutions
- Ensure successful operations of cloud solutions
9. Google Professional Cloud Architect
Professional Cloud Architects allows organizations to use Google Cloud technologies. Having a thorough understanding of Google cloud and cloud architecture, designing, building, and managing robust, scalable, secure, dynamic, and highly available solutions to drive business objectives.
To get this certification, a candidate must have 3+ years of industry experience with more than one year of designing and managing solutions via Google Cloud. This certification exam evaluates your ability to:
- Design for security and compliance
- Design and plan a cloud solution architecture
- Manage and provision cloud solution infrastructure
- Manage cloud architecture implementations
- Assess and optimize business and technical processes
- Ensure operations and solution reliability
10. Professional Cloud Security Engineer
A Cloud Security Engineer allows an organization to design and apply secure infrastructure and workloads on the Google cloud. With an understanding of industry security requirements and best practices, these professionals design, build and manage a secure infrastructure using Google security technologies.
The Cloud Security Engineer must be proficient in all aspects of cloud security. To earn this certification, a candidate must have 3+ years of industry experience with more than one year of designing and managing security solutions using Google cloud. This certification exam evaluates your ability to
- Configure access within a cloud solution environment
- Manage operations within a cloud solution environment.
- Ensure data protection
- Configure network security
- Ensure compliance