Careers in cloud security
Cloud security careers have become some of the most prominent roles available to any cyber security professional in recent years. As more firms become increasingly dependent on digital platforms, there has been a growing need for skilled and experienced personnel to ensure these critical systems are safe.
The rising importance of cloud security
The use of cloud tools has been steadily rising for several years, and now almost no business can operate without some form of cloud computing solution. Almost all organisations rely on this, with 94 per cent reporting significant security improvements and 80 per cent benefitting from operational advantages since adopting the cloud.
However, figures from Statista show 33 per cent of businesses described themselves as 'extremely concerned' about the security of public cloud, with a further 42 per cent saying they are 'very concerned'. Just one per cent said they have no worries about the safety of these operations.
This means security professionals with specialist expertise in cloud technologies are in extremely high demand among businesses across all sizes and sectors. As a result, this area is a great environment for anyone who wants to get into cyber security or advance their career and work with cutting-edge technology at the world's largest organisations.
Why firms need cloud specialists
The importance of cloud security specialists was highlighted in training provider (ISC)2's 2022 Cloud Security Report, which noted 78 per cent of businesses claim traditional security solutions either don’t work at all, or have limited functionality in cloud environments.
It also found a lack of talent in this area is a major barrier, with 52 per cent rating this as the biggest impediment to faster adoption of cloud services. What's more, 83 per cent of firms think they need more cloud security training and/or certifications to be better equipped, whilst just 30 per cent rated their overall security readiness as ‘above average’.
Some of the biggest concerns raised by firms about their cloud environments are:
- Risk of data loss/leakage
- Privacy/confidentiality issues
- Accidental exposure of credentials
- Legal/regulatory compliance
Overall, 52 per cent of firms agreed that a lack of staff expertise is their biggest day-to-day headache when it comes to securing their cloud environments - up from 49 per cent 12 months previously.
Meanwhile, the biggest specific cloud security threats firms face as a result of these shortcomings are:
- Misconfiguration of the cloud platform
- Exfiltration of sensitive data
- Unauthorised access to systems or applications
- Insecure interfaces or APIs
- External sharing of data
In addition, 34 per cent of professionals highlighted the threat posed by malicious insiders, while more than a third (37 per cent) were worried about foreign state-sponsored cyber attacks on tier cloud systems, which highlights the wide range of risks posed.
What makes a cloud security career unique?
A major reason for these concerns is that cloud environments have their own unique demands that differ from on-premise technologies and methods. For instance, (ISC)2's study found that 78 per cent of firms say their traditional solutions either have limited functionality or don't work at all when applied to the cloud. In turn, this means cyber security pros who are only familiar with these tools may find themselves struggling to keep up.
A career in cloud security will therefore enable you to use your talents in an exciting, rapidly-evolving landscape and offer potential employers badly-needed skills. You'll need to keep up with a wide variety of the latest threats and be able to work at speed and come up with new solutions to a range of emerging issues.
There are a wide number of threats aimed at cloud services, including DDoS attacks, data breaches, insecure APIs, malware injection and data loss, and hackers are constantly evolving their techniques. This means there will always be new challenges to tackle.
Therefore, skills such as lateral thinking, problem-solving and a willingness to learn something new are all essential if you want to make cloud security your specialism.
Being able to demonstrate expertise in cloud systems also enables you to apply for specialist jobs within a variety of critical cyber security roles, including:
The skills needed for a career in cloud security
To be successful in the field of cloud security, you'll need a range of technical and professional skills, as well as a passion for the cloud and a good head for problem-solving. For starters, most businesses run their cloud operations on one of several key platforms, so it pays to have strong experience in at least one of the following:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud Platform
AWS skills and certifications, in particular, are hugely in-demand among many employers, as this is the leading choice for many public cloud deployments. However, you'll also need skills in areas such as:
- System configuration
- Cloud architecture
- Identity and access management
As well as these skills, you can also make yourself more attractive to potential employers with a specialist certification in cloud security. These qualifications can demonstrate you have a deep knowledge of the unique requirements and challenges of this area.
Certifications such as (ISC)2's Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) or the Cloud Security Alliance's Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) will be valuable assets in your search for a cloud security career.
Does a career in this area sound like the right path for you? Then check out our latest cloud security jobs and find out where your next position could take you.