According to a recent industry forecast by Forbes Magazine, the global cloud computing market, which was $56.6 billion (U.S.) in 2014, will have a Compound Annual Growth Rate of almost 23 percent, reaching almost $128 billion (U.S.) by 2018.
Because the future of the IT industry seems to lie in cloud computing, it is crucial that in-house IT infrastructures and data assets integrate seamlessly into the cloud so as to ensure the overall success of an organization.
Since cloud computing is all about connecting with the internet, there are also increasing security threats to an enterprise’s data. Moving to the cloud has many wondrous advantages, but where much is given, much is required. The essential requirement is the greater responsibility to ensure the security of your data. Organizations need experienced IT professionals with a thorough understanding and knowledge to secure the cloud, and integrate it effectively into their IT strategy and governance requirements.
Security is the single biggest issue holding enterprises back from adopting cloud computing on a greater scale, and as the Internet of Things continues to grow into all corners of our lives, there will be an increase in demand for security personnel who are skilled in cloud management.
So, how do you sell yourself to an enterprise as an experienced IT professional with the skills and knowledge needed to secure their assets and data in the cloud? The best way is by becoming a Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP).
The CCSP represents deep-seated knowledge and competencies derived from years of in-depth hands-on experience with the secure implementation and management of security and cloud computing infrastructures, all while maintaining international standards.
So, why is the CCSP so popular? What kind of job credentials does it upgrade? How can you become certified? To help answer these questions, let’s take a closer look at CCSP, details about the certification exam, its benefits, and so on.
In 2015, (ISC)² and the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), two globally renowned organizations with significant expertise in the information security and cloud computing industries, respectively, combined to bring their expertise in the realm of cloud security to the fore. They filled the market need for a global, vendor-neutral, advanced cloud security professional certification with the creation of the CCSP as a way to validate an individual’s expertise in cloud security.
CCSP has quickly become an industry-leading certification for leveraging the power of cloud computing while simultaneously securing critical data. The certification course has been built on existing certifications and education programs, such as CSA’s Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSKTM) and (ISC)²’s Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
Course and Exam
The CCSP is for experienced IT security pros. Just to be eligible to sit for the exam, you need to have a minimum of five years of paid full-time IT work experience. From this total amount of work experience, you will need to have worked for three years in information security and at least one year in any of the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) domains, which include:
- Architectural Concepts and Design Requirements,
- Cloud Application Security,
- Cloud Data Security,
- Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security,
- Legal and Compliance, and
In lieu of the requirement of one year’s experience working in a CCSP CBK domain, candidates may instead earn the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) offered by CSA. The required five years of work experience may be substituted by earning (ISC)²’s CISSP credential.
There are four different methods of instruction — classroom based, on-line live, on-demand recorded, and private on-site.
The exam itself consists of 125 multiple-choice questions to be completed within a four-hour time period. There are a possible 1,000 points, with a score of 700 required to clear. The fee for the exam is $549 U.S. It is also required that candidates subscribe to (ISC)2’s Code of Ethics.
Once the exam has been cleared, you will have nine months to obtain an endorsement from another (ISC)2 certified professional in good standing. The Candidate Endorsement Form must be completed and signed by the endorser who will attest to your professional experience and that you are in good standing in the IT industry.
In the event that you do not know any (ISC)2 certified professionals, (ISC)2 itself can act as an endorser. In such an instance you will have to fill complete an Applicant Endorsement Assistance Form and submit additional information concerning your work experience.
Once you are certified you will need to recertify every three years. This is done by earning 90 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits and paying an annual maintenance fee of $100 U.S.
CCSP is increasing in popularity among Indian IT pros because it offers benefits beyond the credential itself. As a member of (ISC)2’s family certified individuals have access to the full spectrum of “global resources, educational tools, and peer networking opportunities, as well as industry event discounts and much more. To see the full list of member benefits, click here.
Employers also like the CCSP for a number of reasons, including:
- As the creation of two industry-leading organizations — CSA and (ISC)² — there is a well-founded confidence that the training and examination process covers relevant and current expertise on information systems and cloud computing security, and ensures that the best practices for securing cloud computing environments have been imparted to certified individuals.
- Because it is a vendor-neutral certification covering a broad set of cloud security capabilities, the CCSP enables certified professionals to find employment in many different countries around the globe. Oversight and sponsorship by CSA and (ISC)2 validate that CCSPs have the knowledge and skills to apply cloud security principles and best practices anywhere in the world.
- CCSP’s mandatory experience requirement of a minimum of five years of full-time work in the IT industry, including at least three years in information security, guarantees that certificate holders have real-world, hands-on experience and competency in establishing and managing cloud security.
- The CCSP is more than just a sound knowledge of cloud security. It also requires a legal commitment to a code of ethics, endorsements from relevant certified professionals, a commitment to continuing professional education, and more. This broad set of requirements enables certified professionals to help their organizations leverage the power of cloud computing while utilizing best practices tom protect against existing security challenges, and anticipating potential threats, in a professional manner while utilizing best practices.
After you are successfully certified as a CCSP, what will the future hold for you? Well, you’ll certainly be getting more involved with cloud services. CCSP professionals are deemed more suitable for job profiles that involve dealing with cloud security architecture, design, operations, and even service orchestration.
Typical job roles or functions of CCSPs include working as a systems or security architect and engineer, security consultant or administrator, and enterprise architect.
Regardless of the position you dream of, the field is wide open for a hard-working CCSP professional.
I hope that the above details about CCSP and its wonderful prospects prove useful to you. If you have any queries related to the CCSP certification, please write in the comments section below, and, as always, thanks for reading.