Best Azure Security Certification Path
What is Azure and Azure Security?
The cloud computing market is growing rapidly worldwide with an increasing number of cloud vendors. To stay competitive, most businesses are moving to the cloud.
Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform and is known as the leading cloud computing service in the world. Azure Security Engineers are responsible for managing end-to-end security on the Azure platform.
Due to this impact, Azure Security Certification is one of the most in-demand IT certifications in the industry with a variety of career options.
Which path should I follow to become Azure Security Engineer?
Are you wondering which Azure exams you should pass to become Azure Security Engineer and what path is right for you to follow? Before you start your journey, you should have all the necessary information otherwise you will keep straying from the path. You cannot simply do a google search, choose the first few courses that appear, and get into the trap of doing more and more courses irrespective of their scope and outdated materials.
This article is going to guide you on the right path for Azure Security Certifications along with guidance on study material. Let’s get started.
Azure Security Certification Path:
The Azure Security certification path starts from the beginner level, goes through the intermediate level, and finishes at the associate level as Certified: Azure Security Engineer.
AZ-900 ? AZ-104 ? AZ-500
Fundamentals: AZ-900 Azure Security Fundamentals (Optional)
Azure Fundamentals is the first certification in this journey. If you have already been working in an environment where you have the core knowledge of cloud computing services and Azure cloud concepts, you do not need to have this certification.
If you have no knowledge of Azure and cloud services, you should earn this certification. The exam for this certification is AZ-900(Azure Fundamentals) which tests your abilities in cloud concepts, Azure privacy, basic security concepts, compliance, support and pricing, Azure web apps, and Azure AD.
On the basis of the Official curriculum by Microsoft, this certification is the ideal foundation for Azure Security and all other Azure certifications, including Azure DevOps, and Azure Administrator.
There are 2 variations of this exam, AZ-900T01 (shorter one) and AZ-900T00(longer one), and both are equally acceptable. You can opt for any based on the time you have and the knowledge you want to gain. If you want to move quickly, opting for a shorter one (AZ-900T01) is sufficient for moving towards your career in Azure Security Certification.
The exam for this certification is available in different languages including English, Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, Spanish, Korean, French, Indonesian, German, Arabic, Chinese (Traditional), Portuguese, Russian and Italian.
This course is easy to prepare and requires 12 to 15 active hours to grab the skills. You can study 3 to 4 hours daily for 3 days or less. There are many flexible ways to prepare for the exam. See below resources for preparation:
Free Online Resources:
- You can follow Microsoft’s official guide for the exam pattern, number of questions, and passing score: https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RE3VwUY
- After you have learned the basic skills and concepts, you can prepare yourself using these sample questions: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/resources/az-900-sample-questions?azure-portal=true
- Finally, you can practice in the Sandbox environment. https://www.starttest.com/ITDVersions/22.214.171.124/ITDStart.aspx?SVC=d243529a-2fb8-4851-8d7f-7a2598798f14 This is designed to make you familiar with the exam interface and a diverse variety of questions. This gives you access for 8 hours in a single session.
Instructor-Led Paid Sessions:
- You can choose to have paid instructor-led sessions by Microsoft. Check out this link to see the schedule and charges. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/azure-fundamentals/?tab=tab-instructor-led
Paid Exam material:
- There is also an option to check for lab guides and preparation material provided by online learning organizations; Udemy, Coursera, EdX, and others. Most of these organizations provide access on a paid basis.
Intermediate level: AZ-104 Azure Administrator
The next ertification in this path is Azure Administrator for which you should pass the AZ-104 : Azure Administrator exam. This exam measures your skills for management of Azure subscriptions, administering infrastructure, virtual machines configuration, connecting Azure on-premises sites, managing network traffic, implementation of web apps and containers, azure backups, and monitoring of Azure Solutions.
After getting this certification, you will be qualified to apply for Azure Security Engineer Certificate and you can hop to other flexible roles like becoming an Azure Administrator, Azure Cloud Engineer, etc.
This certification also covers the prerequisites for some expert-level certifications like; AZ-400(Azure DevOps Engineer), AZ-305(Azure Solution Architect), and MCT(Microsoft Certified Trainer).
The exam for this certification can be given in different languages; Chinese (Simplified), English, Korean, Japanese, German, Spanish, and French.
Usually, it takes 30 to 40 active hours to prepare for this exam, typically studying 4 hours daily for a week or 10 days.
Here is the guidance for preparation of this exam:
Free Online Resources:
- You can follow Microsoft’s official guide for the exam pattern, number of questions, and passing score: https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RE4pCWy
- Notes for an explanation of exam topics:
- Prerequisites and revision material for AZ-104 https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-administrator-prerequisites/
- Managing Identities and Governance https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-manage-identities-governance/
- Storage Implementation and management in Azure https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-manage-storage/
- Azure compute resources: deployment and management https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-manage-compute-resources/
- Virtual Network Administration in Azure https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-manage-virtual-networks/
- Backup and monitoring data in Azure https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-monitor-backup-resources/
- Exam preparation videos: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/shows/exam-readiness-zone/preparing-for-az-104-manage-azure-identities-and-governance-1-of-5
- Sample Questions: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/resources/az-104-sample-questions?azure-portal=true
- To have an exam-like experience, you can practice in the Sandbox environment. https://www.starttest.com/ITDVersions/126.96.36.199/ITDStart.aspx?SVC=05814185-de34-48a9-89dd-c5522a75fb19 This is designed to make you familiar with the exam interface and a diverse variety of questions. This gives you access for 8 hours in a single session.
Instructor-Led Paid Sessions:
You can also choose to have paid instructor-led training by Microsoft. Check out this link to see the compatibility with your schedule and charges. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/training/courses/az-104t00?WT.mc_id=Azure_BoM-wwl
Paid Exam material:
Another option is to purchase lab guides, videos other, and preparation material provided by online learning organizations; Udemy, Coursera, EdX, and others.
AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies
The last exam is the Microsoft Azure Security Technologies exam, after passing this you will become Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate. The prerequisites for this exam are the subject matter expertise in Azure data, web applications, security policies, networking in cloud and hybrid environments, knowledge about end-to-end infrastructure of Azure, and protection identities. AZ-104(Azure Administrator) covers all these prerequisites and is mandatory for this exam.
After you have passed this exam, you can secure the job of Security Engineer and serve as part of a large team for planning and implementing of cloud-based security and management.
Here are some key facts about this certification:
- More than 52% of UK businesses are lacking in security and protection
- Average salary for Azure Security Engineer was £75,000 in 2021 and is rapidly increasing with time.
This exam can be given in English, Korean, Chinese (Simplified), and Japanese.
This exam is definitely not so simple to pass. You will be challenged with complex business scenarios, and you must read through them to select the correct answer. It takes more than three weeks to prepare, studying 3 hours a day or as per your convenience and devotion.
For preparation, check the below list of genuine resources:
Free Online Resources:
- Exam topics explanation:
Below links cover the explanation of all topics specified in exam outline:
- Manage Access and Identity: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/manage-identity-access/
- Implementation for platform protection https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/implement-platform-protection/
- Data and applications security https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/secure-your-data-applications/
- Security Operations Management https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/manage-security-operation/
- Exam Preparation Videos: Check out this free video for whole course https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/shows/exam-readiness-zone/preparing-for-az-500-manage-identity-and-access-1-of-4
- You can follow Microsoft’s official guide for the exam pattern, number of questions, and passing score: https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RE3VC70
- For the exam-like experience, practice in the Sandbox Environment:https://www.starttest.com/ITDVersions/188.8.131.52/ITDStart.aspx?SVC=4012b4a9-8358-46bb-9ffc-97fa5b31e1e6
Hands on Practice Labs:
Microsoft has collaboration with a large number of lab hosting partners which provide experiential hands-on labs with everything ready to work.
If you are an absolute beginner and find all the above-mentioned study material hard to understand, you can go for paid end-to-end practice labs, that are led by Microsoft Certified Trainers and industry experts. The labs are self-descriptive and so easy to use that you can practice alone as well, if not interested to participate in some class.
Certifications like AZ-500 are more than just exams. An AZ-500 certificate will not only connect you to big names in the IT industry, but it also boosts your confidence. It has proven to be a right fit for Azure technical engineer, Azure security consultant, or any other Azure cloud architect. Additionally, it ranks among the top cloud security certification courses on the market.
We have provided you with all the information for becoming Azure Security Engineer. So, pull your socks up, arm yourself with all the resources mentioned above, and use your time wisely. With these resources, the Azure Security Engineer certification is completely achievable. Best of luck in your journey!