A few years ago, Microsoft had a certificate known as MCSE or Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. However, this certificate has been retired back in late January 2021.
Why is this retired certificate important? It's because now Microsoft has divided the MCSE certificate into three exams which are AZ-104 Administrator Associate, AZ-500 Security Engineer and AZ-305 Solutions Architect. If you pass all these three certificates, you are a certified Cloud Engineer.
In this article, we will discuss how to pass the Azure Security Engineer exam or AZ-500. Based on Microsoft, the exam name is Exam AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies.
Why is getting AZ-500 Security Engineer certified so important?
The AZ-500 certificate is important to show to your potential employer that you have the necessary requirements to be a cloud engineer.
It is recommended to take Exam AZ-500 if you have passed Exam AZ104. As both certificates are on the same level, which is the Associate level, you will get familiar with the exams and can prepare well.
Once you pass both exams, then you can move to the expert certificate, which is Exam AZ-305, to be certified as an Azure Solutions Architect.
The role of Azure Security Engineer is responsible for securing the Azure environment, identifying and remediating vulnerabilities, performing threat modelling, and implementing threat protection. They may also participate in responding to security incidents.
AZ-500 Exam Overview:
The AZ-500 exam measures the skills of the test taker in managing identity and access, implementing platform protection, managing security operations, and securing data and applications.
AZ-500 Exam Content:
A) Manage identity and access (25–30%)
i) Manage identities in Azure AD
ii) Manage authentication by using Azure AD
iii) Manage authorization by using Azure AD
iv) Manage application access in Azure AD
B) Secure networking (20–25%)
i) Plan and implement security for virtual networks
ii) Plan and implement security for private access to Azure resources
iii) Plan and implement security for private access to Azure resources
C) Secure compute, storage, and databases (20–25%)
i) Plan and implement advanced security for compute
ii) Plan and implement security for storage
iii) Plan and implement security for Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Managed Instance
D) Manage security operations (25–30%)
i) Plan, implement, and manage governance for security
ii) Manage security posture by using Microsoft Defender for Cloud
iii) Configure and manage threat protection by using Microsoft Defender for Cloud
iv) Configure and manage security monitoring and automation solutions
The Exam Questions
The exam questions consist of multiple answers or multiple choices and include lab questions. For the lab questions, the test-taker is required to sign into Azure and complete the task given by Microsoft during the exam.
From my experience, I was given ten tasks to complete and most of the tasks are simple and straightforward. For example, I was given a task to create a user in Azure Active Directory and assigned a role to the user.
For exam purposes, Microsoft will provide you with an Azure account with a subscription and they will provide you with the login credentials as well. When I took the exam, the lab questions were assigned as the last section, so you need to allocate some time for the lab questions.
Before we move to the next section, I would like to inform you that some test-takers did not get any lab questions for Exam AZ-500. However, it's best to prepare for the lab questions just in case you will get them.
How to Prepare for Exam AZ-500:
Using courses Udemy will definitely help any motivated test-taker to pass Exam AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies and be the certified Azure Security Engineer.
Udemy | AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies Exam Prep 2022
This 6.5-hour long course covers around 85% of the Microsoft Learn syllabus for Exam AZ-500. Microsoft Learn is a self-paced online learning provided by Microsoft for free and it offers a structured exam syllabus for the test-taker.
Scott Duffy who is the instructor for this course expertly explained the required skills to know to pass the exam. He is consistently updating this course based on Microsoft Learn.
In this course, you will learn how to secure access and identity through Azure Active Directory, how to implement advanced network security via multiple Azure network services, and how to manage and monitor threat protection.
At the end of each lecture, you will have hands-on labs which are beneficial to prepare you for the lab questions.
This ultimate course will prepare you for the exam and gives you the confidence and skills to pass the exam with flying colours.
Udemy | [NEW] AZ-500: Azure Security Technologies Exam 2023
This course offers five practice exam sets that cover 315 exam questions. Each practice set has 63 questions and will test your understanding of each exam topic.
These practice sets will help you to prepare for the real exam questions. After each practice set, every question and answer will be explained thoroughly so that you will learn and overcome any weakness in any exam topic.
I have bought this course and it's tremendously helpful in passing my Exam AZ-500 with high marks.
It is highly recommended to do practice sets a week before your exam after you have completed your Exam AZ-500 course.
How to Renew AZ-500
For AZ-500 exam renewal, you will receive a reminder email from Microsoft six months before the certificate expires. The passing mark for renewal is only 57% and it's an open-book assessment.
If you revise through Microsoft Learn, it will not be difficult to pass on the first attempt. However, do not fret if you are unable to pass for the first time, as you can try unlimited attempts to pass. But, be sure you renew before the certificate expires as then you will need to pay again to re-certify.
Always practice, practice and practice till you make it. Allocate at least 15 hours for your exam preparation. Keep studying and revising until you understand and master the skills.
I hope this article will provide you with clearer guidance on how to pass Exam AZ-500. I wish the best of luck to all of you and may you pass with the flying colours!