Prepare for security certification in an evolving industry - Microsoft Cloud Partner Program

Prepare for security certification in an evolving industry

Man securely using multi-factor authentication on a mobile phone and a tablet while working remote from a café.

As notable cybersecurity breaches occur more frequently, demand for tech professionals with comprehensive security training remains high. To help address this demand for qualified workers, Microsoft has launched a national campaign with U.S. community colleges to help 250,000 more people enter the cybersecurity workforce by 2025.

We’re also helping our partners bolster their employees’ security expertise through training events such as Security Cloud Week for Partners, with the next one taking place from May 16-20. During the first Cloud Week focused on security, technical professionals learned how Microsoft’s Security, Compliance, and Identity solutions can help deter evolving security threats. We saw more professionals attending this event than we anticipated, underscoring the ongoing demand for such training.

This is why we’re hosting another security event for technical and sales professionals in May. Those who missed the first event can start their technical or sales-related training journey, as well as start preparing for a Microsoft certification. Participants who complete all five days for a technical track may be eligible for a free exam voucher to allow them to turn their new skills into a professional certification. Check the registration page for terms and conditions.

Addressing security job trends and skills gaps

Qualified security professionals will be in demand for the foreseeable future. As of last year, the gap between those working in cybersecurity and the number of available jobs was estimated at 3.1 million worldwide, according to (ISC)², the international, nonprofit association for information security leaders. In the United States alone, demand for information security specialists is growing by an estimated 33 percent during the decade ending in 2030.

Among those already working in this field, surveyed professionals ranked cloud security as the most important technical skill, followed by data analysis and threat assessment. Those are critical skills, and as noted before our first Security Cloud Week for Partners earlier this year, we focus our Microsoft training on real-world security scenarios rather than just theoretical concepts about data security. With this in mind, the event will dial in on security measures and knowledge related to Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365.

We also explore current cybersecurity trends, such as the continuing evolution of identity management. Decentralized identities are gaining importance in many of our partner and customer organizations, for example. This concept allows individuals to own and control their identity and privacy while also helping businesses to verify identities electronically and improve their transparency and auditability. Identity-related concepts are covered in the SC-300 certification exam during the upcoming May Security Cloud Week.

Relatedly, our CloudKnox Permissions Management solution expands our partners’ ability to manage identity security in their customer environments. It allows you to evaluate and “right-size” the permissions users have across clouds—Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud—so permissions creep isn’t a threat in your cloud infrastructure.

Embrace the ongoing learning journey for security experts

The May Security Cloud Week for Partners will be the last one for the near future, making it a perfect learning opportunity for those looking to stay up-to-date or expand their security knowledge, as well as prepare for certification. Because security is a constantly evolving area, the Microsoft exam objectives and topics also change over time as new features and capabilities are built and added to our security products. As one example, Kusto Query Language (KQL) can be a useful ally in analyzing data during a security incident response. If you take the SC-200 exam today, you are likely to see more questions requiring knowledge of KQL compared to previous versions. This event will help you understand and prepare for these changes.

For learners who already have passed the SC-300 (identity) and SC-200 (security analyst) exams, this new Cloud Week also offers value. Here are some of the learning paths you can take during the event:

  • AZ-500: Most security professionals should have a foundational knowledge of how to secure cloud infrastructure. The AZ-500 exam has undergone major modifications in the past year or so to strengthen skillsets with cloud provider solutions.
  • SC-400: Securing identity and infrastructure is vital, but what attackers covet most when they break into a network is data. The SC-400 exam track covers how to secure and protect data and information, as well as implementing data controls for activities like archiving and retention.
  • Compliance and privacy: Compliance, privacy, and risk management topics also are covered in the SC-400 exam track. We address the ways you can help customers implement controls to protect data wherever it lives, and leverage tools like Insider Risk Management or Communications Compliance to ensure corporate data isn’t intentionally or inadvertently leaked outside the company’s data estate. These topics also are relevant to the recently announced Microsoft Priva product suite.

In addition to these offerings, you may be interested in the new SC-100 Cybersecurity Architect exam, which is being beta-tested in April. While it won’t be covered in the upcoming Security Cloud Week, it will be part of future events. This new exam will require either the SC-200, SC-300, AZ-500, or MS-500 as prerequisites, so you can prepare by covering those first.

Event adds sales-focused sessions

Beyond the tech-oriented training sessions, the upcoming Security Cloud Week for Partners also includes a new track designed for pre-sales and sales professionals. To equip our partner sellers for successful conversations with customers, these sessions teach a business-first sales strategy. The content is based on Security-related sessions within the Partner Sales Acceleration Program (PSAP) Security Sales Track and defined Microsoft sales plays. Schedule details for the sales track sessions can be found on the Security Cloud Week for Partner registration page.

Register now for Security Cloud Week

Training is an investment in yourself. We hope IT professionals will take the opportunity to focus on security training for a week—and potentially earn new certifications. Whether you want to learn more about cloud security, security of mobile devices, managing security teams, and a host of related topics, we invite everyone to attend Security Cloud Week for Partners sessions to gain foundational knowledge for specializing in security.

Register today and see a detailed schedule of the training sessions being offered May 16-20.