Best cloud security certifications for your career growth


In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, the cloud has taken center stage, transforming how businesses operate and manage their data. As more and more organizations migrate their operations to the cloud, the importance of cloud security cannot be overstated. The digital era has ushered in unprecedented opportunities but has also brought new vulnerabilities and threats. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global cloud security market is expected to reach a staggering USD 77.5 billion by 2026, underscoring the critical importance of safeguarding data in the cloud.

The surge in cloud adoption has given rise to a growing demand for skilled professionals who can protect sensitive information in the cloud. According to Burning Glass, the demand for cloud security skills is projected to grow by an astounding 115% between 2020 and 2025, making the field of cloud security an immensely lucrative career choice with substantial growth potential. To embark on a journey in cloud security or advance your existing career, acquiring cloud security certifications is prudent. These certifications equip you with essential skills and demonstrate your expertise to potential employers.

In this article, we will delve into cloud security certifications, exploring their significance, types, and the best certifications available to help you embark on a rewarding career in cloud security.

About Cloud Security Certifications

A cloud security certification is a valuable asset for individuals seeking to enhance their proficiency in cloud security. While a bachelor’s degree is a common starting point for many cloud security professionals, certifications play a pivotal role in validating their technical skills. In the competitive cybersecurity landscape, employers often favor candidates who hold certifications. According to Burning Glass, a striking 60% of all cybersecurity roles require candidates to possess at least one certification.

Cloud security certifications can be broadly categorized into vendor-neutral and vendor-specific. Vendor-neutral certifications are not tied to a particular IT vendor but encompass skills relevant to most cloud technologies and tools. On the other hand, vendor-specific certifications focus on skills related to a specific technology or platform. This article will explore both categories, helping you decide on the right certification for your career aspirations.

Now that we understand the importance of cloud security certifications let’s explore some of the top cloud security certifications in this field:

1. Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer

The Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer certification is a testament to your proficiency in designing, configuring, and implementing secure infrastructure on Google Cloud. As a cloud security engineer, you will be responsible for understanding security requirements and implementing best security practices.

Skills covered:

Configuring access within a cloud solution environment
Configuring network security
Ensuring data protection
Ensuring compliance
Managing operations within a cloud solution environment

Exam details: The exam comprises 50-60 multiple-choice questions or multiple selections and lasts for 2 hours.

Cost: $200

Languages: Available in English and Japanese.

Prerequisites: While there are no specific prerequisites, having two or three years of experience, including at least one year of experience with designing and managing solutions using the Google Cloud Platform, is recommended.

Recertification: The certification remains valid for two years, and recertification can be achieved by retaking the exam before its expiration.

Job roles: Cloud security engineers and cloud architects.

2. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

Offered by (ISC)², the CCSP certification is globally recognized and considered an advanced-level certification. It validates your advanced technical skills in designing, managing, and securing data in the cloud while adhering to best practices and policies outlined by (ISC)².

Skills covered:

Cloud concepts, architecture, and design (17%)
Cloud data security (19%)
Cloud platform and infrastructure security (17%)
Cloud application security (17%)
Cloud security operations (17%)
Legal, risk, and compliance (13%)

Exam details: The exam comprises 125 multiple-choice questions and lasts 3 hours.

Cost: $599

Passing score: A minimum score of 700 out of 1,000 is required to pass the exam.

Languages: Available in English and Japanese.

Prerequisites: Candidates should have at least five years of paid IT work experience, including three years in information security and one year in one or more of the six (ISC)² CCSP Common Body of Knowledge domains.

Maintenance fee: A $125 maintenance fee is required.

Job roles: Product security engineer, cyber integration engineer, senior security analyst, cybersecurity solutions architect, information security manager, compliance technology specialist, cloud security engineer, information security auditor, and application security architect.

3. AWS Certified Security

The AWS Certified Security certification is ideal for Amazon Web Services (AWS) professionals. A specialty-level certification validates your ability to provide a secure environment using AWS security services and your understanding of specialized data classifications in AWS.

Skills covered:

Incident response (12%)
Logging and monitoring (20%)
Infrastructure security (26%)
Identity and access management (20%)
Data protection (22%)

Exam details: The exam comprises 65 multiple-choice and multiple-response questions, with 50 of them scored. The total duration of the exam is 170 minutes.

Cost: $300

Languages: The exam is available in English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.

Prerequisites: There are no official prerequisites, but Amazon recommends that candidates have at least five years of IT security experience, including at least two years of securing AWS workloads.

Passing score: A minimum score of 750 out of 1,000 is required to pass the exam.

Job roles: Cloud security engineers, security and compliance engineers, and security architects.

4. Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate

The Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate certification is an excellent choice for those interested in working with Microsoft Azure. It validates your ability to implement Azure security controls effectively.

Skills covered:

Managing identity and access
Implementing platform protection
Managing security operations
Securing data and applications

Exam details: The exam comprises 40-60 multiple-choice and multiple-select questions and lasts 150 minutes.

Cost: $165 (US), INR 4800 (India)

Languages: Available in multiple languages, including English, French, and Spanish.

Prerequisites: No official prerequisites are required.

Passing score: A passing score of 700 out of 1,000 is necessary.

Job roles: Security engineer, cybersecurity engineer, security and integration architect.

5. Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)

Kubernetes has emerged as the leading platform for container-based applications. The CKS certification is ideal for professionals working with Kubernetes, as it validates your skills in ensuring secure container-based applications and the Kubernetes platform.

Skills covered:

Cluster setup (10%)
Cluster hardening (15%)
System hardening (15%)
Minimize micro-service vulnerabilities (20%)
Supply chain security (20%)
Monitoring, logging, and runtime security (20%)

Exam details: This performance-based exam assesses your knowledge in a simulated real-world environment, lasting 2 hours.

Cost: $395 (includes one free retake)

Passing score: A minimum score of 67% is required to pass the exam.

Prerequisites: Candidates must have passed the CKA exam.

Validity: The certification remains valid for two years.

Job roles: Security consultant, security analyst, risk manager, application security analyst, security engineer, cloud security developer, DevSecOps engineer, software architect.

6. CompTIA Cloud+

CompTIA Cloud+ is a vendor-neutral certification that validates your ability to design and manage secure cloud environments. While it primarily focuses on general cloud certification, it also covers extensive material on cloud security, including cloud architecture, disaster recovery, identity and access management, automation, and application security controls.

Skills covered:

Cloud architecture and design
Operations and support
Cloud security
Cloud deployment

Exam details: The exam comprises 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions and lasts 90 minutes.

Cost: $358

Languages: Available in English.

Prerequisites: No official prerequisites are required, but CompTIA recommends clearing CompTIA Network+ and Server+ and having two to three years of experience in systems administration or networking.

Passing score: A passing score 750 on a 100-900 scale is required.

Job roles: Senior systems administrator, cloud engineer, senior network engineer, cloud project manager, systems engineer, cloud specialist, senior network administrator, vulnerability tester.

7. Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)

The Cloud Security Alliance offers CCSK a popular vendor-neutral certificate that validates your knowledge of various cloud security aspects, including application security, data encryption, security as a Service (SecaaS), and cloud incident response. Earning CCSK can broaden your employment opportunities and showcase your technical expertise.

Skills covered: The exam tests your knowledge in 14 domains, including cloud computing concepts, governance, legal issues, compliance, infrastructure security, and more.

Exam details: The exam comprises 60 multiple-choice questions and lasts 90 minutes.

Cost: $395 for two attempts over two years.

Prerequisites: CCSK has no experience prerequisites.

Passing score: A minimum passing score of 80% is required.

Job roles: Cybersecurity analysts, security engineers, security architects, security consultants, systems engineers, CISOs, enterprise architects, compliance managers, threat analysts, and security administrators.

8. GIAC Cloud Security Automation (GCSA)

While less known, the GCSA certification is a valuable option for those entering the cloud security field. It covers services and modern DevSecOps practices, enabling you to develop secure systems effectively.

Skills covered:

Cloud security fundamentals
Data protection
DevSecOps fundamentals and controls

Exam details: The exam comprises 75 questions for 2 hours.

Cost: $1,899 (may vary)

Prerequisites: This certification has no prerequisites.

Passing score: A passing score of 61% is required.

Job roles: Security consultant, security analyst, risk manager, application security analyst, security engineer, cloud security developer, DevSecOps engineer, software architect.

9. EXIN Certified Integrator Secure Cloud Services

The EXIN Certified Integrator Secure Cloud Services certification is vendor-neutral and caters to individuals switching careers to cloud security or entering the field. It covers essential areas needed to build a career in cloud security.

Skills covered: The certification encompasses knowledge in service management, cloud computing, and security management. Candidates must clear at least one certificate to obtain the certification.

Choosing a Cloud Security Certification

As you consider entering the realm of cloud security or advancing your existing career, choosing the right certification that aligns with your professional goals is crucial. Here are some key questions to ponder when selecting the certification that suits you best:

Does this certification align with your professional goals? Ensure that the certification you choose aligns with your career aspirations and the direction you want to take in cloud security.

Is the cost worth the investment? Keep in mind that certifications often involve substantial costs. Evaluate whether the potential benefits and career opportunities outweigh the financial investment.

Do you want a vendor-neutral or vendor-specific certification? Decide whether you prefer a certification covering a broad range of cloud technologies (vendor-neutral) or focusing on a specific platform or service provider (vendor-specific).

What is your area of focus? Consider your areas of interest within cloud security, such as data protection, infrastructure security, or compliance, and choose a certification that aligns with your specialization.


The cloud security market is poised for continued growth, paralleling the increasing demand for cloud security professionals. Certifications are a reliable means to initiate or advance your career in this dynamic field. This comprehensive guide presents a range of top-notch cloud security certifications, each catering to distinct skill sets and career objectives. Keep in mind that these certifications are long-term investments in your professional journey. Choose wisely, stay committed, and pursue your goal of becoming a proficient cloud security expert. Your dedication will undoubtedly pay off in this thriving domain.