Upskill and reskill for security careers in the cloud
With the shifting landscape of IT, traditional on-premise models are being replaced by cloud-based infrastructures. Businesses worldwide are increasingly realizing the advantages of moving to the cloud. Cloud migration is not stopping, but rather accelerating as businesses modernize their IT infrastructure to minimize risk, optimize costs, and reduce capital expenditures.
The cloud security landscape is constantly evolving, and organizations need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and threats. We expect to see an increasing focus on cloud forensics and incident response as security teams work to gain visibility and respond to threats across multi-cloud, container-based, and serverless environments. By staying vigilant and taking proactive steps to secure their systems, organizations can better protect their assets and mitigate the risks they may face in dynamic cloud environments.
It’s not too late to get started, in fact, cloud is just getting started. Security knowledge will benefit any role in technology as every role requires thinking critically and asking if you’re secure, security is job zero. Roles ranging from entry level to senior are still highly in demand, but you may be wondering: how do I start my career in cybersecurity? We’ll share about the different roles in cybersecurity and training and certification resources to differentiate yourself in the cybersecurity job market.
Security jobs in the cloud
In every industry and organization size, cybersecurity is vital. The demand for skilled professionals is high due to the increasing reliance on digital and cloud infrastructures and the rising cybersecurity threats. These professionals are needed to build and maintain secure systems, protect sensitive data, and foster trust in the organization’s cybersecurity measures. The wide utility of cloud security knowledge, and having an AWS Certification, enhances career opportunities, regardless of the specific role.
AWS Security Analyst
As an AWS Security Analyst, your primary responsibility will be to maintain, monitor, and improve the security of the organization’s AWS environment. This involves setting up and managing services like AWS CloudTrail for logging and AWS GuardDuty for threat detection. It also includes ensuring secure access controls using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). The AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification equips you with the knowledge to effectively perform these tasks, teaching you to identify and mitigate potential security issues and manage incident responses, which are integral parts of this role.
In the role of a Cybersecurity Engineer, you’ll be tasked with implementing secure AWS solutions to protect against cyber threats, as well as engineering your AWS environment to be resilient to security threats. The AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification prepares you for these responsibilities by teaching you how to protect data at rest and in transit and how to configure AWS security services to meet specific security requirements.
Cloud Security Consultant
Cloud Security Consultants advise organizations on how to assess and reduce risks associated with their AWS deployment. You’ll be expected to have proficiency in tools like Amazon Security Hub for security assessments, AWS Audit Manager for compliance assessment, and AWS Config for resource auditing and evaluating compliance. The AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification prepares you for this role by providing an understanding of how to analyze the environment for potential risks and guide organizations through industry standards, best practices, and legal requirements for AWS deployments.
Cloud Security Architect
If you enjoy designing, building, and managing secure architectures within AWS, this is the role for you. You’ll work with many security services, but also services like AWS CloudFormation for managing and deploying resources, as well as think high level and strategically about how the security posture of your organization. The ‘Security Architecting for the Cloud’ section of the AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification equips you to create secure and robust AWS architectures, including secure applications and data protection schemas.
Software Developer and DevOps Engineer
Beyond the above-mentioned roles, cloud security skills are relevant across technology jobs. Software developers and DevOps engineers, for example, can gain from this expertise. In today’s DevSecOps environment where security is tightly coupled to the deployment process and the development process, a software developer knowledgeable in cloud security can produce secure code, detect potential issues sooner, and make appropriate decisions around data storage. Similarly, a DevOps engineer skilled in AWS cloud security can establish secure deployment processes, apply dependable infrastructure-as-code methods, and oversee configuration effectively. This increases the security of the entire application process.
Training resources to upskill or reskill in cloud security
No matter your current skill level, there is a resource to help you build your skills in security, either for a dedicated career in cloud security, or to augment your existing IT or cloud role. There’s even have training if you’re pre-professional.
Are you new to cloud and trying to change careers? Check out AWS re/Start. AWS re/Start is a free-to-the-learner cohort-based workforce development training program that prepares individuals for careers in the cloud and connects them to potential employers. A technology background is not required to apply. The program focuses on helping unemployed or underemployed individuals launching a new career in cloud. With re/Start, you’ll get training that develops your skills in programming, networking, security, and relational databases through real-world-scenario-based learning, hands-on labs, and coursework. By the end of the course, you’ll have hard skills, professional skills, and the opportunity to earn an AWS Certification, all preparing you for roles such as technical support specialist, systems administrator, cloud automation lead, up to infrastructure engineer, and more. AWS re/Start is available in more than 180 cities across more than 60 countries globally.
AWS Educate is accessible to any individual, regardless of their stage in education, technical proficiency, or career trajectory. AWS Educate provides a clear path to learning about cloud technology and has six distinct cybersecurity courses available to users. It’s purposefully crafted to assist beginners, using free, self-paced online training resources and labs to facilitate learning, application, and evaluation of cloud skills. The convenience of AWS Educate is in its simplicity – there’s no need for an Amazon or AWS account, just an email address to register and unlock an array of learning resources. Its reach is global, offering content in 11 languages and catering to learners from over 200 countries. AWS Educate is an invaluable asset for anyone aiming to commence or further their journey into cloud technology. There is also the opportunity to earn Credly digital badges upon completion of the program, Digital badges offer a unique way to accentuate your AWS skills. You can display these badges on your professional profiles, digital resumes, or email signatures to demonstrate your competencies. They are easily shareable on social media, allowing you to celebrate your accomplishments with your network. Plus, these badges act as a direct verification of your AWS Certified status, providing employers with an easily accessible, up-to-date representation of your AWS Certification achievements. For those over the age of 18, the platform extends an additional benefit of a job board, enabling connections with potential employers in the field.
The AWS Skill Builder Security Learning Plan is designed to help cloud security, governance, and compliance professionals learn the processes and best practices for securing the AWS Cloud. The digital training included in this Learning Plan will expose you to critical security skills needed to simplify your organization’s journey to the AWS Cloud. Pair this learning plan with the AWS Ramp-Up Guide: Security, Identity and Compliance. Both help you prepare for the AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification exam.
If you enjoy gamified learning, check out AWS Cloud Quest in AWS Skill Builder. AWS Cloud Quest is the only role-based game that helps you build practical AWS Cloud skills in a game-based format. As you play, you’ll learn and apply cloud skills to help the citizens of your virtual city. In the AWS Cloud Quest: Security role (available with AWS Skill Builder subscription), you are the city’s Security Specialist and build solutions based on AWS security practices that protect customers’ infrastructure and data from common security threats. You will gain knowledge on how to leverage AWS tools and service for logging, monitoring, and automation to enhance infrastructure security. You can earn a digital badge for completing all assignments in any of the various Cloud Quest roles (Cloud Practitioner, Machine Learning Specialist, DevOps Engineer, Security Specialist, and more).
Why achieve an AWS Certification?
Now that you’ve invested time in building your knowledge and skills in cloud security, you may be looking to validate your expertise. Look no further than the AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification exam.
Note: if you’re new to cloud, start with the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner and then move to the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate before pursuing any of the Specialty certifications. (You can read up on how to prepare in this blog.)
The AWS Certified Security – Specialty is an industry-recognized credential that validates your knowledge of creating and implementing security solutions in the AWS Cloud. Employers know that employees with AWS Certifications add value to their company. According to Enterprise Strategy Group, 84% of cybersecurity learners said AWS Certification helped them identify and remediate security incidents faster, with 40% describing the improvement as “dramatic.” 84% saw an improvement in the security of cloud workloads with 40% saying the improvement was dramatic.
What domains does the AWS Certified Security – Specialty exam cover?
- Domain 1: Threat Detection and Incident Response (14%) – This area assesses your skills in pinpointing and reacting to potential security threats. Key services like Amazon GuardDuty, which aids in threat discovery, and AWS Security Hub, a platform for managing security alerts, play significant roles here.
- Domain 2: Security Logging and Monitoring (18%) – This tests your ability to manage and interpret logs to maintain a secure AWS environment. Essential services for this domain are AWS CloudTrail, which tracks AWS account activity, and Amazon CloudWatch, a tool for monitoring and diagnosing your applications and systems.
- Domain 3: Infrastructure Security (20%) – Focused on securing your AWS setup, this domain delves into network and host-level controls. It underscores the need to understand AWS Shield for DDoS protection, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for secure networking, and AWS WAF, a firewall for web applications.
- Domain 4: Identity and Access Management (16%) – This area is all about controlling access to AWS resources. You’ll learn to set up AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) rules, and use AWS IAM Identity Center and AWS Secrets Manager to manage access securely.
- Domain 5: Data Protection (18%) – Here, you’ll prove your knowledge of strategies for secure data handling and encryption in AWS. Services of note include AWS Key Management Service (KMS) for managing encryption keys, and Amazon Macie, a tool for securing and maintaining privacy of your data.
- Domain 6: Management and Security Governance (14%) – This domain addresses auditing and managing AWS resources to ensure alignment with security policies. You’ll use AWS Config for tracking resource changes, AWS Organizations for managing policies, and AWS Trusted Advisor for proactive, real-time guidance.
For more information on how to best prepare, check out 10 tips to study for the AWS Certified Security – Specialization.
Whether you’re a technology professional or just getting started toward a career in cloud, security is job zero. Leveling up your security knowledge will benefit any role in technology as every role requires thinking strategically and critically asking if their application and workload is secure. It’s not too late to get started. Demand is higher than ever and companies are looking for talent at every skill level. Take action today and get started with the resources and certifications mentioned! Be sure to share when you earn your certifications on social media and don’t forget to tag #AWSTraining!
Want to build your cloud career? Choose your AWS Certification path aligned with popular cloud roles and get started.