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How To Get Started Educating Yourself About Cloud Security


In this age of digital technology, cloud security is one of the leading in-demand cyber skills. The cloud is an alternative to on-site hardware and software for your business activities. You get database storage, computing power, content delivery, and other functionality with the cloud.

According to a study, more than 90% of businesses rely on the cloud or cloud-hosted services to run their daily operations. The popularity of cloud-based assets is the reason businesses from all industries are scrambling for cloud security personnel. Therefore, adding cloud security to the skills in your resume will give you an edge in the IT professional market.

An Overview Of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a term that implies the delivery of hosted services on the internet. A cloud is either private or public. A private cloud is a data center or proprietary network limited to some people, while a public cloud provides services to anyone on the internet. Cloud computing services are divided into three categories, namely: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

  • IaaS: An IaaS provider like Amazon Web Services provides a virtual server and storage. The vendor also supplies application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable you to migrate their workloads to a virtual machine (VM).
    Additionally, you will be allocated a storage capacity and can configure the storage as desired. This is also called cloud storage as a service. The IaaS cloud approach is similar to a remote data center for businesses.
  • PaaS: Your cloud vendor will host development tools on their infrastructures with the PaaS model. As a result, you can access these tools online using web portals, APIs, and gateway software. PaaS is mainly for software development. Examples of PaaS products include AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Salesforce’s Lightning Platform, and Google App Engine.
  • SaaS: With the SaaS model, a cloud vendor delivers web services over the internet. You can access these services from anywhere using your laptop or mobile device. This model enables you to access application software and databases.

Cloud Computing Use Cases

Some popular examples of the applications of cloud computing are:

  • Google Docs and Microsoft 365: These applications allow you to access document presentations and spreadsheets stored in the cloud anytime and on any device.
  • Email, Skype, and WhatsApp: Emails, Skype, and WhatsApp exploit the cloud’s ability to provide access to data remotely, so users can access personal information anytime and on any device.
  • Zoom: This cloud-based software platform is used for audio and video conferencing. It records meetings and saves them to the cloud. This provides users with access to this information anytime and from anywhere.

Certifications And Learning Pathways

The major players in the cloud market space are Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Therefore, many businesses seek cloud services from one of these vendors. To begin a career in cloud security, you have two options: vendor-neutral and vendor-specific certifications.

With vendor-neutral certifications, you will obtain an overall knowledge of cloud security principles. On the other hand, vendor-specific certifications focus on specific cloud vendors. This is helpful since if you are hired to implement cloud security solutions, you need to be familiar with the intricacies of each cloud vendor’s platform.

1. Amazon

Amazon’s cloud market share is 50% outside of Asia, making it the leader in this industry. It is recommended that you start with Amazon if you choose to pursue vendor-specific training. Amazon has a free training package and also affordable exam vouchers if you are seeking certifications.

Amazon’s introductory certification is AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials‘. This certification is offered alongside a free course. The free course takes 6 hours. To get the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification, you should pay an exam voucher of $100. This training includes the basics of cloud computing and an introduction to AWS cloud security.

After completing the beginner AWS cloud security, you can pursue the advanced AWS Certified Security-Specialty certification. The exam voucher for this course is $300. You qualify to take this certification after over a year’s experience with AWS.

Another beginner-friendly certification is AWS Security, Identity, and Compliance. This 3-hour e-learning course will equip you with skills on various services in AWS Security, Identity, and Compliance.

To expand on AWS cloud security, you can pursue AWS Security Fundamentals. This certification is a two-hour course featuring data encryption methods, access control, and how to secure your AWS infrastructure.

2. Microsoft Azure

Microsoft’s cloud service is the second largest cloud vendor, with a market share of 20%. This cloud service is called Microsoft Azure. Get started with Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900). The course covers Azure services, workloads, privacy and security in Azure, and Azure pricing. The exam fee is £69.

To advance your knowledge of Microsoft Azure, you can pursue the Azure Security Engineer Associate (AZ-500). However, this course is recommended after one year’s experience working with Azure. This training also comes with a free e-learning version like the beginner course. The exam fee is £113.

3. Google Cloud

Google’s cloud service is the third largest, with a market share of 10%. It is called Google Cloud Platform. While there is no certification pathway with Google Cloud, its hands-on training is extensive. Start with the Google Cloud Computing Foundations’ program. The lessons covered include cloud computing fundamentals, infrastructure in Google Cloud, Networking and Security in Google Cloud, and Data, ML, and AI in Google Cloud.

Apart from the videos, hands-on labs, and text in this training, you can also refer to 3 unlisted YouTube videos for more lessons. These videos are part of the Google Cloud Onboard program. Some classes include an introduction to Google Cloud, Virtual Machine and Storage, and Containers and Application Development, Deployment, and Monitoring. After an experience with these skills, you can pursue the Google Cloud Certified Cloud Engineer certification.

Vendor-Neutral Cloud Security Certifications

If you decide to pursue vendor-neutral training in cloud security, the best place to start is with CompTIA’s Cloud Essentials+ certification. This course is beginner friendly and features cloud concepts, cloud security concepts, business understanding, governance, risk, and compliance (GRC).

Alternatively, you can pursue Cloud Security Knowledge by Cloud Security Alliance (CCSK). This training equips you with skills on specific cloud vendors or job functions. The training is suited for beginners and is recognized by employers worldwide. After completing this course, you can secure data in the cloud.

To advance your knowledge in cloud security, you can pursue the Certified Cloud Security Professionals. It is the most popular cloud security certification. The course equips you with the knowledge of designing, managing, and securing data, infrastructure, and applications in the cloud using the best policies, procedures, and practices.

Many websites offer training on these courses and provide certification. Most of the training materials are not free. You can start by visiting Udemy and Coursera for cloud security certifications. The course fee ranges from £10-£20.

Want To Learn More About Cloud Security?

Cloud computing is becoming an integral component for many businesses across various industries. This technology is better than traditional web hosting and provides benefits like cost management, workload mobility, business continuity, and disaster recovery. Therefore, attaining skills in cloud security will prove indispensable in the IT job market, where this knowledge is highly in demand.