This article is part of an IT Career News series called Your Next Move. These articles take an inside look at the roles related to CompTIA certifications. Each article will include the responsibilities, qualifications, related job titles and salary range for the role. As you consider the next move in your IT career, check back with CompTIA to learn more about your job prospects and how to get there.
As the adoption of cloud computing continues to spread, so do cyberattacks. The safeguards that cloud security offers can help in preventing data thefts, unwanted deletion of data or data breach incidents. A cloud security specialist is charged with the strategic, operational and tactical aspects of cloud security. If you have an interest in cybersecurity and want to add value to an organization by protecting confidential data, cloud security specialist may be a good next step for you.
What Is a Cloud Security Specialist?
A cloud security specialist could work for a cloud security provider, an enterprise organization or a security organization and is responsible for preventing common security threats and implementing security controls and technologies to secure cloud platforms and services in the following ways:
- Evaluates existing infrastructure and identify potential threats
- Builds and implements cloud security services and controls
- Monitors cloud systems and detects threats
- Assists with incident response and recovery
A cloud security specialist will likely partner with cloud engineers and cloud architects to deliver complete cloud security solutions. The responsibilities of the cloud security specialist will vary depending on the size of the company. A smaller company will have different challenges than a larger enterprise organization.
No matter the size of the business, cloud security specialists will play a part in planning secure cloud system requirements and constructing, validating and deploying the system. Cloud security specialists are also tasked with monitoring and detecting malicious activity once the system is deployed.
How to Become a Cloud Security Specialist
Most companies hiring a cloud security specialist are looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, information security or a related field. Your formal education can be supplemented with IT certifications, on-the-job experience, familiarity with languages like Python and knowledge of DevOps tools commonly deployed within the ecosystems of cloud service providers.
Any combination of CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Cloud+ and CompTIA PenTest+ could be exactly what you need to land a job as a cloud security specialist.
- CompTIA Security+ validates the baseline skills necessary to perform core security functions and pursue an IT security career. This certification is a great place to start if you don’t have any cybersecurity training or experience.
- CompTIA Cloud+ validates the skills needed to deploy and automate secure cloud environments that support the high availability of business systems and data. This certification is a great source of knowledge for those who have little experience working in the cloud.
- CompTIA PenTest+ is for cybersecurity professionals tasked with penetration testing and vulnerability management. It requires candidates to demonstrate the hands-on ability to test devices in new environments, such as the cloud and mobile, in addition to traditional desktops and servers.
The new CompTIA PenTest+ (PT0-002) will launch in October of this year and will certify that successful candidates have the knowledge and skills required to:
- Plan and scope a penetration testing engagement including vulnerability scanning
- Understand legal and compliance requirements
- Analyze results
- Produce a written report with remediation techniques
In addition to the certification, CompTIA will release a full suite of training products to help you learn and practice penetration testing and vulnerability management skills and prepare for your certification exam.
Cloud Security Specialist Salary Range
While there isn’t a specific salary listing for cloud security specialists, according to Burning Glass, in 2021 the wage for cloud engineers could range from $88,200 to $141,200. Similarly, CyberSeek lists the average salary of a cybersecurity engineer at $106,000..
Cloud Security Specialist Job Outlook
There were more than 42,000 total job postings for cloud engineers from June 2020 to May 2021 in the United States, and CyberSeek estimates a 5-year projected growth of approximately 135% for cloud security jobs.
Job Titles Related to Cloud Security Specialist
Will your next move be cloud security specialist? If so, download the exam objectives for CompTIA PenTest+ to learn more.