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What is CCSP?

CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional) is an IT certification which demonstrates professional understanding of effective cloud security.

In particular, it focuses on the advanced technical skills required to design, manage and secure data, applications and infrastructure in the cloud. It is based on best practices, policies and procedures established by global cybersecurity experts.

CCSP is created and managed by (ISC)2, a membership organisation for cybersecurity and IT security professionals with more than 140,000 members worldwide. ISC2 offers a range of information security certifications aimed at different areas of expertise within the industry, including the world renowned CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional).

CCSP was first introduced in April 2015 at the annual RSA Conference on data security. Intended to build off the popular CISSP certification, it filled a need for an experienced-based cloud security certification on the market for professionals with advanced knowledge.

 

Who is CCSP for?

CCSP is designed for experienced professionals. It is aimed at IT and information security leaders working in the areas of cloud security architecture, design, operations and service orchestration. They could hold these possible job titles:

  • Enterprise Architect
  • Security Administrator
  • Systems Engineer
  • Security Architect
  • Security Consultant
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Manager
  • Systems Architect

 

The CCSP Exam

To gain CCSP certification requires passing the CCSP exam, which measures expertise across the six security domains of the (ISC)2 CCSP Common Body of Knowledge. These domains cover all the topics a cloud professional would need to know to carry out their day-to-day role. Some domains are given more weight in the exam than others. The topics and their weightings are below:

  • Architectural Concepts and Design Requirements (19%)
  • Cloud Data Security (20%)
  • Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security (19%)
  • Cloud Application Security (15%)
  • Operations (15%)
  • Legal and Compliance (12%)

The CCSP exam is computer-based, and booked and taken through Pearson VUE in testing centres worldwide. It consists of 125 multiple-choice questions which are answered over the course of 4 hours. The pass mark is 700 out of 1000 possible marks.

 

Experience Requirements

In addition to the exam, the CCSP certification also has experience requirements. Those applying must have five years of cumulative, paid work experience in information technology. Three years of this experience must be in information security, while one year must be in one of the six CCSP domains.

If you do not currently have the right experience to qualify for CCSP, you can still take the exam and become an Associate of (ISC)2. You will then have six years to earn the five years of work experience required for full certification.

Once you’ve passed the exam and gained your experience, you will have 9 months to complete the (ISC)2 endorsement process, in which your application is endorsed and signed by an (ISC)2 certified professional – either someone you know or (ISC)2 themselves. There is also an Annual Maintenance Fee (AMF) to pay.

 

(ISC)2 Membership

Gaining your CCSP certification allows you to become a member of the (ISC)2 community, providing access to benefits including a magazine subscription, events, textbook discounts, webinars and volunteering opportunities.