What is a CCSP qualification

Almost every business today exists in the cloud. Yet these tools present many new opportunities of attack for cyber criminals, as they tend to be architectured very differently to legacy solutions. As such, security professionals with proven skills and expertise in this area will be essential. 

Therefore, those with the right qualifications will find themselves in high demand. And one of the most popular options for these individuals will be a CCSP certification.

What is the CCSP certification?

The Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) qualification is an industry-led certification administered by security organisation (ISC)2. It's recognised by enterprises around the world and shows to potential employers that the holder has the advanced technical skills needed to design, manage and secure data, applications and infrastructure in the cloud. 


Introduced in 2015, CCSPs are part of a global network of over 150,000 cyber security professionals, with (ISC)2-certified members working in more than 170 countries around the world. 


As well as being able to command a higher salary, a CCSP certification helps you develop a more advanced, versatile skill set and stand out from others in the sector.

Is the CCSP certification right for you?

If you want to reach the higher levels of a career in cloud security, a CCSP certification is a must-have. However, as an advanced-level qualification, you'll need to already have experience working in the IT security field before you can take the final exam to become certified.

Completing the certification will position you as an authority figure in the field of cloud security, which is rapidly becoming one of the most important skills any security professional can possess.

For instance, according to Statista, almost half of IT workloads in 2020 took place in the public cloud, and these platforms are expected to shortly make up the majority of IT operations. Meanwhile, Flexera noted that on average, organisations expected to increase their spending on the cloud by almost 50 per cent in 2020.

As a result, anyone who wants to advance their career in cyber security will need a working knowledge of cloud, so if you meet the requirements, it's something any professional should consider. 

How do you get CCSP certified?

In order to become CCSP certified, candidates will need to have a proven track record working in cloud security. (ISC)2 asks for a minimum of five years' experience in the IT sector, of which three years must be in information security, with one year working directly in one of the six domains set out in the organisation's Common Body of Knowledge.

These domains are:

  • Cloud Concepts, Architecture and Design
  • Cloud Data Security
  • Cloud Platform & Infrastructure Security
  • Cloud Application Security
  • Cloud Security Operations
  • Legal, Risk and Compliance

Individuals who lack this experience can still take the CCSP exam - which covers all of these domains - and become an Associate of (ISC)2. They will then have six years to accumulate the required experience to receive full certification.

There are several ways to study for the CCSP exam, including classroom-based learning, online, instructor-led courses and online, self-paced study. The exam itself consists of a four-hour, 125-question test, with a passing score of 700 points out of 1,000.

What can you do with a CCSP qualification?

A CCSP certification will enhance the reputation of those already working in the cyber security sector and open up many new opportunities for advancement in a number of job roles.

Among the career paths that commonly use or require a CCSP qualification are:

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

Being CCSP-certified also means you join (ISC)2's global community, allowing you to further your education with training courses, events and symposiums, sharing knowledge and building your skills. 

You will have to recertify every three years to keep these benefits, which is achieved by earning continuing professional education credits and paying an annual maintenance fee.

Ready to take the next step in your cloud security career? Check out what CCSP certification courses are available today.