Examining Cloud security certification
When we speak of a cloud security certification program we are actually speaking of a multi-level course which comprises several different areas; namely, cloud foundation, security, and ISO / IEC. Cloud security is a specialized area within the realm of cloud computing, its aim (as the name implies) is to establish and maintain an infrastructure which is not only free from unauthorized access / data breaches, but also able to foster an accord with established policies. Those seeking certification in cloud security obviously have an agenda and are perhaps building upon current career opportunities.
First off, we should all be aware that cloud computing is an area of technology which is still under development; it doesn’t have history or hindsight required to elevate it to the same status as that of traditional IT. This is of course slowly changing; new advances in all areas of cloud computing (including security) are occurring all the time. This is not to say however, that cloud computing is underdeveloped, because it is in fact, very functional, useful and ground-breaking despite its youthful status.
Likewise, much has been said and written about cloud security and how it might be lacking. However, along with any negative assessments of cloud security, we must also its beneficial characteristics. While cloud security is certainly not perfect, it still offers a great deal of protection from any number of threats and is capable of adapting to any and all future challenges in this regard. The bottom line is that cloud security is young, valid, and more than capable of adapting to future challenges.
Getting back to certifications for cloud security; what should be included in an educational package? To truly understand the how’s and why’s of cloud security one needs to be able to grasp the fundamentals of cloud computing itself. Arguably, the best way to absorb the fundamental concepts of cloud computing is through a foundation training course. Foundation training provides those who study it with a more comprehensive overview of the infrastructure, components, and inner-workings of various cloud models and relates that information to useful realistic examples. A cloud foundation element provides IT professionals with the necessary knowledge needed to both understand what cloud computing is and how they (as individuals) might better service it.
In addition to grasping the concepts of cloud computing and technology, those seeking security certification will also need to familiarize themselves with ISO / IEC. For those not already familiar with ISO / IEC, it is a collection of practices for managing security. Among the areas covered within the ISO / IEC are:
- Risk assessment
- Security policy
- Organization of information security
- Asset management
- Human resources security
- Physical and environmental security
- Communications and operations management
- Access control
- Information systems acquisition, development and maintenance
- Information security incident management
- Business continuity management
Becoming intimately familiar with the ISO / IEC (including the most up-to-date version, which is currently 27002) is absolutely critical to not only understanding how IT security works and how it is implemented, but also in how these concepts might be applied or adapted to a cloud model. Some cloud security certification programs will often utilize some form of supplementary material(s) for relating ISO / IEC to real-world situations, the ISO / IEC toolkit found here is a great example of this.
Overall, attaining certification in cloud security is not only a step forward in terms of potential salary increases and promotions, but also in one’s ability to function in an evolving field. Given that cloud security is (in many ways) still in a developmental phase, there are a number of opportunities available to those who truly want to make an impact in the field. In this way, cloud computing security is among one of the best areas to specialize in, especially for creative problem solvers, as it can allow for much greater “upward career mobility” than other areas, perhaps.
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