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Top Cloud Security Certifications in 2024

09th Jan, 2024
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    Top Cloud Security Certifications in 2024

    Digital transformation will dominate the world of IT in 2024. Today, organizations are migrating towards cloud technologies to streamline operations and enhance business agility. At the same time, the workforce is gravitating towards remote work. A direct result of this is a rising trend of remote data access. This, in turn, opens up the question of data security at scale. This is why cloud security certifications are in such high demand these days.

    In particular, corporations are looking for the CSA Star and the AWS Security Specialty certifications. Whether we're interested in cybersecurity or just want to upskill, understanding the top cloud security certifications is a strategic move. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the most sought-after Cloud Security certifications for beginners. We've got you covered with recommendations for cloud computing certification regardless of your skill level.

    What are cloud security certifications?

    The digital landscape evolves rapidly, with each upgrade introducing new ways of doing things. And accompanying these advancements come new ways of breaking into things. Thus, the security of cloud systems becomes critical for organizations worldwide. Professionals need to have the credentials necessary to excel in the realm of cloud security.

    Understanding Cloud Security Certifications

    A cloud security certification is a formal recognition of an individual's proficiency in implementing and maintaining security measures within cloud computing environments. They validate our knowledge of securing sensitive data and resources on cloud platforms. They cover:

    • Best practices
    • Tools and techniques

    Diverse Range of Certifications

    The landscape of cloud security certifications is vast and dynamic. There’s various types of cloud infrastructures available on the market, and each group offers its own certification. These cater to various cloud service providers, methodologies and security frameworks.

    For instance, the following two certifications are the most sought-after courses today:

    • The CSA Star certification: a comprehensive test of cloud security principles and practices not specific to a given ecosystem.
    • The AWS Security Specialty: which focuses on the candidates' ability to design and implement security principles within the AWS ecosystem.

    We’ll cover these types of certifications - and many more - in the following sections, in more detail.

    Benefits of Cloud Security Certifications

    Cloud security certifications offer a multitude of benefits that profoundly impact our career trajectory and prospects. Let’s discuss their 7 key benefits in detail:

    Enhanced Career Opportunities

    Cloud security certifications open doors to a plethora of exciting career opportunities. As organizations seek certified professionals who can ensure digital security, several exciting roles open up:

    • Cloud Security Architect
    • Security Consultant
    • Compliance Officer

    Credibility and Validation

    Certifications provide third-party confirmation of our capabilities. They’re a clear indication of our dedication to the latest cloud security trends and best practices. This credibility can be a game-changer in this competitive job market, setting us apart from non-certified peers.

    Skill Expansion and In-depth Knowledge

    Pursuing a cloud security certification isn't just about passing an exam; it's about deepening our knowledge and honing our skills. The rigorous curriculum of these certifications ensures we gain comprehensive insights into cloud security mechanisms, risk management, compliance and more.

    Networking Opportunities

    Becoming certified lets us join a community of professionals with similar goals and interests. Networking within this community can lead to valuable insights, collaboration, and even potential job referrals.

    Competitive Salary and Compensation

    Our expertise in safeguarding cloud environments becomes an invaluable asset to organizations, leading to more attractive compensation packages. Holding a recognized certification can definitely enhance our earning potential.

    Adaptability to Cloud Ecosystems

    Cloud security certifications aren't confined to a single cloud platform. They cover fundamental security principles applicable across various cloud providers. For instance, the Amazon Cloud Practitioner Certification offers a foundation that can be expanded with further certifications, within or outside of AWS, as we progress along our career path.

    Industry Recognition

    Cloud security certifications are widely recognized in the industry. They indicate that we possess the skills and knowledge necessary to address the unique security challenges posed by cloud environments. This recognition extends beyond just employers; peers and colleagues also view certified professionals as experts in the field.

    Best Cloud Security Certifications

    In this section, we’ll cover the best cloud security certifications available in the industry in 2024, so that you can make an informed decision while chosing th best one for you: 

    Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer

    The Google Cloud Security Certification stands out as a comprehensive credential for those aiming to fortify their skills within the Google Cloud Platform. Today, GCP security certification is quickly gaining prominence among organizations for their computing needs.

    And with it, the demand for security engineers who can ensure data integrity has surged. This certification equips us with the necessary skills to meet modern security challenges head-on.

    Skills covered

    • Designing and Managing Access Controls: Learn to design, implement and manage access controls for Google Cloud resources. We’ll ensure that only authorized parties can access sensitive data.
    • Security Infrastructure Configuration: Gain expertise in configuring secure networks, VPNs and firewall rules. This is how we secure data transmission and communication.
    • Data Encryption and Key Management: Understand the intricacies of data encryption both in transit and at rest. Also explore key management techniques to safeguard sensitive information.
    • Identity and Compliance Management: Learn to manage user identities and ensure compliance with regulatory standards. We’ll use tools like Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Security Command Center.
    • Incident Response and Disaster Recovery: Develop incident response plans and disaster recovery strategies to mitigate the impact of security breaches.
    • Security Monitoring and Logging: Explore techniques for monitoring, detecting and responding to security threats through effective logging and monitoring practices.
    • Security Review and Assessment: Understand how to conduct security assessments and reviews, identifying vulnerabilities and recommending mitigation strategies.


    The pricing of the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer certification varies with time and location. At the time of writing this, it’s priced at $200 (plus taxes).

    Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

    The (ISC)² CCSP certification focuses on solidifying our expertise in cloud security. It’s offered by (ISC)², a renowned cybersecurity organization. This cloud security certification validates our proficiency in implementing robust security measures within cloud environments.

    Skills covered

    • Cloud Security Governance and Management
    • Cloud Compliance and Legal Considerations
    • Security Architecture and Design Patterns
    • Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security
    • Cloud Concepts, Architecture and Design
    • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
    • Cryptography and Key Management
    • Cloud Application Security
    • Cloud Risk Management
    • Cloud Data Security


    The cost of the (ISC)² CCSP certification varies based on several factors such as:

    • Our location
    • Whether we're an (ISC)² member, and
    • The exam delivery method we choose (online or in-person). 

    In August 2024, the CCSP exam, without any training, costs around $599.

    AWS Certified Security

    The AWS Certified Security certification is a testament to our expertise in securing AWS cloud environments. This cloud security certification validates our ability to design and implement robust security measures within AWS. Obtaining the AWS security specialty means we can ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

    Here's an overview of the key skills covered and the cost of the AWS cloud security certification:

    Skills covered

    • Identity and Access Management: Master IAM within the AWS ecosystem.
    • Detection and Response: Detect and respond to security incidents using services like Amazon GuardDuty and AWS CloudTrail.
    • Infrastructure Security: Secure network resources using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) firewall configurations.
    • Data Encryption: Encryption at rest, and in transit, using AWS Key Management Service (KMS) and SSL/TLS protocols.
    • Compliance and Governance: Understand compliance frameworks, governance strategies, and best practices in AWS.
    • Incident Response: Develop incident response plans and procedures to effectively mitigate security breaches.
    • Monitoring and Logging: Implement robust monitoring and logging using AWS CloudWatch and other tools.
    • Security Automation: Automate security tasks with AWS Lambda, AWS CloudFormation, and Infrastructure as Code (IaC).


    The cost of the AWS Certified Security certification exam depends on:

    • our geographical location,
    • the level of the exam (Associate / Professional), and
    • whether we're opting for study materials or practice exams.

    As of August 2024, the cost for the AWS Certified Security exam is around $300.

    Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate

    The Microsoft Azure security certification validates our ability to design and implement effective security solutions within Azure.

    Let's break down the key skills covered and its associated cost:

    Skills covered

    • Identity and Access Management: Master Azure AD and RBAC to manage identities and control access to Azure resources.
    • Platform and Network Security: Implement network security solutions using Azure Firewall, Azure DDoS Protection, and Virtual Network Service Endpoints.
    • Data and Application Security: Secure data with Azure Disk Encryption, Azure Key Vault, and implement application security practices.
    • Security Operations: Monitor and respond to security incidents using Azure Monitor, Azure Security Center, and Azure Sentinel.
    • Governance and Compliance: Implement governance policies and ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations.
    • Hybrid Security: Extend security to hybrid environments using Azure Arc and Azure Security Center for IoT.
    • Threat Protection: Implement threat detection solutions using Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel.
    • Security Automation: Automate security tasks with Azure Policy, Azure Blueprint, and PowerShell scripts.


    The cost for this cloud security certification is around $165.

    Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)

    The CKS certification is a testament to our expertise in securing Kubernetes clusters. It validates our proficiency in securing containerized environments. Here's an overview of the key skills covered and the associated cost:

    Skills Covered

    • Cluster Setup: Learn to secure cluster setup including authentication, authorization and admission controllers.
    • Pod Security: Implement pod and network security policies. 
    • API Server Access: Manage API-server access, ensuring only authorized users interact with the cluster.
    • Network Policies: Design network policies to control pod-to-pod communication and minimize attack vectors.
    • Authentication and Authorization: Leverage RBAC techniques to manage access to resources.
    • Secrets Management: Securely manage and distribute secrets within the cluster.
    • Logging and Monitoring: Implement logging and monitoring solutions to detect and respond to security events.
    • Container Runtime Security: Secure container runtimes, images and image registries.
    • Supply Chain Security: Implement security practices throughout the container supply chain.


    As of August 2024, the CKS exam costs around $300.

    CompTIA Cloud+

    This cloud security certification validates our proficiency in cloud infrastructure and services. The CompTIA Cloud+ exam provides a comprehensive understanding of cloud technologies and their applications.

    Skills Covered

    • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
    • Troubleshooting and Optimization
    • Cloud Concepts and Terminology
    • Deployment and Management
    • Automation and Orchestration
    • Virtualization and Containers
    • Cloud Infrastructure Design
    • Security and Compliance
    • Storage and Networking


    This cloud security certification costs around $338.

    Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)

    CCSK certification is a vendor-neutral credential which establishes standard best practices for securing cloud ecosystems. This cloud security certification validates our ability to safeguard cloud environments.

    CCAK Certification

    The Cloud Computing Audit certification is a security credential complementary to the CCSK. It teaches us to assess how well a cloud security solution complies with industry best practices.

    Skills Covered

    • Cloud Computing Concepts
    • Cloud Governance and Risk Management
    • Infrastructure Security for Cloud
    • Identity and Access Management
    • Data Security for Cloud
    • Application Security for Cloud
    • Compliance and Audit for Cloud


    As of August 2024, it costs around 395 USD for non-CSA members and 345 USD for CSA individual members.

    GIAC Cloud Security Automation (GCSA)

    The GCSA certification is designed for specialists in leveraging automation to enhance cloud security. This cloud security certification validates our expertise in designing, implementing and managing automated security solutions in cloud environments.

    Skills Covered

    • Automation Frameworks and Tools
    • Cloud Security Controls Automation
    • Continuous Monitoring and Logging
    • Orchestration and Configuration Management
    • Compliance and Governance Automation
    • DevSecOps Integration
    • Automated Threat Detection and Response


    The GCSA certification exam costs around 1899 USD.

    EXIN Certified Integrator Secure Cloud Services

    This cloud security certification is tailored for professionals responsible for integrating secure cloud solutions. It’s a testament to our proficiency in designing and implementing secure cloud integrations.

    Skills Covered

    • Cloud Integration Fundamentals
    • Security Considerations for Cloud Integration
    • API Security
    • Identity and Access Management
    • Data Privacy and Compliance
    • Securing Data in Transit and at Rest
    • Secure Communication and Authentication
    • Monitoring and Incident Response


    The EXIN Certified Integrator Secure Cloud Services exam costs around 238 EUR.

    Maintaining and Renewing Cloud Security Certifications

    Earning a cloud security certification is just the beginning of proving our expertise in the dynamic realm of cybersecurity. As technology advances, threat landscapes evolve. Thus, staying current is imperative for us to remain relevant.

    Let’s discuss 9 ways to maintain and renew our cloud security certifications:

    Stay Informed

    We want to stay engaged with reputable sources of information. Industry blogs, whitepapers, webinars and security conferences are readily available options. This is how we keep up-to-date on emerging threats as well as the counters to them.

    Continuous Learning

    Participate in ongoing training and professional development opportunities. Consider expanding your knowledge with additional certifications or specialization courses.

    Renewal Requirements

    Understand the renewal requirements for our specific certification, such as Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. Accumulate these through activities like training sessions, webinars, blogs, and more.

    Document Your CPEs

    Keep detailed records of our completed CPE activities. The best cloud security certification bodies provide online portals to log our CPE activities and track our progress.


    Connection with fellow professionals opens avenues for sharing knowledge and insights, and generally staying informed. Online forums, professional organizations and social media groups are great platforms for networking.

    Practical Application

    Apply our cloud security knowledge in real-world scenarios. The experience gained from solving practical challenges enhances our skills and keeps our expertise sharp.

    Embrace New Technologies

    The cloud security landscape is dynamic, with new technologies and methodologies emerging regularly. Learn about these innovations, and adapt our knowledge to address new challenges.

    Review Exam Objectives

    Periodically review the exam objectives for our certification. Certification bodies often update the content to align with industry developments.

    Plan Ahead

    Keep track of our certification expiration dates and renewal deadlines. Planning ahead will give us ample time to complete all necessary CPE activities and submit our renewal application.

    Choosing a Cloud Security Certification

    Selecting the most suitable certification depends on several factors:

    • Our career goals,
    • the cloud platform we wwork with (AWS/Azure/GCP), and
    • the security specialization we wish to pursue.

    Now, let’s consider two few scenarios, and through them understand how we can choose the best cloud security certification for ourself:

    Scenario #1: A seasoned professional looking to climb the ladder

    Suppose an industry stalwart, with years of development experience, wants to take on architectural roles. For them, a vendor-specific certificate, or even a specialized one, would be too limiting. A learning of general cloud security is what they are looking for. 

    In this case, the two best options would be:

    • CCSK certification, or
    • CCAK certification

    Scenario #2: A young developer looking to specialize

    Those new to the industry may want to go for specialization. This course of action enriches our job prospects as well as earning potential. We’ll have several options here:

    • Vendor specific: Depending on our preferred environment, we can choose the AWS security specialty, GCP security certification, or Azure cloud security certification.
    • Intent specific: We can choose a course based on our intent. If we prefer automation, go for the GCSA certification. Or if we want to pursue integration, the EXIN certification is a good option.

    Final Thoughts

    Thus, cloud security certifications offer a powerful way to validate our skills. They let us enhance our career prospects, and contribute to the safety of digital assets. Each certification equips us with a unique set of skills tailored to the demands of cloud security.

    As the cloud landscape continues to evolve, staying current is essential. Regular maintenance of our certifications through learning, networking and application ensures our expertise remains relevant. As a next step, do consider going through Knowledgehut’s Cloud Computing certification for beginners.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What are the prerequisites for cloud security certifications?

    Prerequisites for cloud security certifications vary depending on the specific program. Generally, we’re expected to have foundational knowledge of cloud computing concepts, networking and cybersecurity, and IT experience is always a plus.

    2How can I prepare for cloud security certifications?
    • Gather reliable study resources
    • Utilize practice labs to gain hands-on experience
    • Taking practice exams is also great preparation
    • Review and revision are always our best friends.
    3How long does it take to prepare for a cloud security certification?

    The time required for a cloud security certification varies based on:

    • our existing knowledge / experience,
    • study effort, and
    • the complexity of the certification.

    It's essential to establish a study plan suited to our study habits and time considerations.

    4Can I pursue multiple cloud security certifications?

    Yes, we can pursue multiple cloud security certifications. This lets us enhance our expertise across different platforms and specializations.


    Akhsayarka almmyan deka

    Blog Author

    Akshayarka is a Microsoft-certified data engineer with 4 years of industry experience. In his free time, he’s working on building a side hustle through his writing skills. He blogs extensively about productivity, time management and sundry life lessons on his Medium profile. If his work helped you, you can support him by buying him a book!

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