The Top AWS Training Courses for IT Security Professionals
The demand for professionals with exceptional IT security and data analysis skills is at an all-time high and is expected to grow for years to come.
Enrolling in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) security training course can help you enhance your IT skills or jumpstart a new career in cloud computing. Because the demand is so high and there’s a limited supply of talent with the right skills, certified AWS security professionals command impressive salaries, among other perks. But with so many AWS training courses to choose from, it can be challenging to decide which one (or several) is best for you.
Companies of all sizes around the world increasingly deployed AWS solutions in recent years, with significant growth in the deployment of AWS containerization, machine learning and serverless computing technologies. Since more and more of the world's biggest companies are utilizing AWS Cloud infrastructure, earning an AWS security certification is one of the best investments you can make to maintain a long career in IT.
Cloud security is a set of controls, procedures and policies meant to protect systems and data based in the cloud. From filtering website traffic to malware detection, cloud security is highly flexible and tailored to the business's needs. There are several options when it comes to the cloud, which is why many organizations take advantage of a multi-cloud approach. Different clouds offer their own unique benefits, often making one cloud platform more suitable depending on requirements. Selecting a cloud (or multiple) comes down to the needs of the organization and its current or planned workload.
Regardless of the cloud platform(s) chosen, security remains a serious issue within the IT industry. For example, the 2018 Global Data Risk Report from data analytics and security firm Varonis, which performed assessments on 6.2 billion files across 30+ industries, found that 21 percent of all folders were open to everyone in the company and that 41 percent of companies have 1,000+ sensitive files anyone in the company can access.
The companies leading in cloud computing — Amazon, Microsoft and Google — continue to prioritize their cloud platforms as avenues of growth because cloud computing has exploded over the past decade, and there’s no end to the growth in sight. Global spending on the cloud hit $273 billion in 2018, and cloud industry spending is expected to exceed $623 billion by 2025 — effectively doubling in size in seven years.
Owning 33% of the cloud industry market share in 2020, AWS has become a giant in the cloud industry over the past decade and continues to set the example as the most powerful platform. Many companies have moved their systems operations to AWS infrastructure in an effort to remain competitive, especially in enterprises with international markets.
Both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are also making great strides in the cloud computing market. Azure is a strong challenger to AWS, as it allows SyOps professionals to manage all of an enterprise’s computing needs on one platform. The market's fiercest newcomer is Google Cloud. Google stands out due to its deep understanding of open-source technology, and it also provides ground-breaking machine learning, which allows engineers to deploy a wide range of models from its deep-learning library.
Ultimately, AWS wins out against the competition when it comes to developer functionality due to its ever-expanding cloud services suite for data analytics, deployment and advanced security features.
Companies must hire qualified security professionals as they scale their cloud infrastructure. An AWS certification demonstrates the necessary skill requirements, which is why hiring managers prefer certified candidates over those non-certified. But with over 150 different services from AWS, it can be challenging to determine where to start your AWS security training.
Foundational AWS courses are designed to assess your understanding of the AWS Cloud and teach you key AWS services, common use cases, deployment, systems operations and AWS architecture and security basics. For those new to the IT world, it’s best to start with one of these foundational courses and then continue your AWS security training with associate- and professional-level courses afterward.
Foundational AWS Security Training Courses
Best Foundational Courses for AWS Security:
AWS foundational courses focus on teaching basic knowledge of the platform’s various services and security capabilities. This makes them ideal for beginners just starting their cloud career because they mainly focus on cloud theory, which prepares you to learn hands-on technical skills to deploy solutions in associate and professional training courses, as well as best practices for resolving common cloud security issues. After completing a foundational course, you can move on to associate-level AWS security training courses for in-depth practical training.
- AWS Technical Essentials
AWS Technical Essentials introduces AWS learning paths, teaches you the benefits of using cloud infrastructure and how to make informed IT security decisions on the AWS Cloud and builds your technical skills to take on more complex roles.
- AWS Security Essentials
AWS Security Essentials covers fundamental security concepts such as access control, data encryption methods and how to secure an AWS infrastructure’s network access. You will also learn the fundamental principles of the AWS Shared Security Model and the security-oriented services available to meet the needs of your organization.
Associate AWS Security Training Courses
Associate-level AWS security training courses prepare you to be job-ready in an organization’s IT department and provide flexibility based on your priorities. Ultimately, AWS associate training courses prepare you to practice and demonstrate the use of hands-on AWS security solutions.
Best Associate-Level Courses for AWS Security:
- Architecting on AWS
Architecting on AWS explores how security is used in cloud architecture and teaches the fundamentals of building IT infrastructure on AWS as well as AWS best practices and design patterns to help you determine the platform’s ideal IT solutions. You’ll also learn about the solutions architects use to optimize an organization’s AWS Cloud by comprehensively covering its services and how each service fits into a cloud-based solution. Many AWS security training courses also provide case studies that demonstrate the strategies and services AWS architects use in designing their infrastructure. Completion of the foundational AWS Technical Essentials is a prerequisite for this course.
- Systems Operations on AWS
Systems Operations on AWS is ideal for IT professionals who want to be proficient in multiple AWS disciplines, and it teaches those already in a systems administrator or DevOps role best practices for creating automated, repeatable network and system deployments on the platform. The course also teaches specific configuration and deployment AWS features in addition to the latest industry techniques. Completion of the foundational AWS Technical Essentials is a prerequisite for this course.
Professional AWS Security Training Courses
A professional-level AWS course is the last step in cloud security training before pursuing an AWS Cloud Security certification. A professional-level AWS security course allows you to further develop the skills and knowledge gained in associate-level training.
Security Engineering on AWS teaches you how to efficiently use security services to secure an organization’s AWS infrastructure. The training course follows the security practices recommended by AWS to secure data and systems, and covers key security features of AWS services such as storage, compute, database services and networking. Plus, you will learn how to best use the platform’s automation tools and respond to cybersecurity threats. The Architecting on AWS course or Systems Operations course is a prerequisite.
Another course to keep in mind is AWS Cloud Financial Management for Builders, which teaches you to manage, optimize and predict costs for workloads to run on AWS. Through presentations, hands-on labs and demonstrations, you will learn how to keep costs down, while optimizing for efficiency. The Architecting on AWS course or Systems Operations course is a prerequisite.
AWS Certified Security Specialty
The next step in becoming an AWS security expert is to study the training material covered in the associate- and professional-level courses before taking the final step of completing the certification exam to become an AWS Certified Security professional. The AWS Certified Security Specialty allows experienced cloud security professionals to demonstrate and validate their knowledge of securing infrastructure on the AWS platform.
This certification exam requires a minimum of five years of IT security experience in designing, implementing and monitoring cloud security solutions, as well as at least two years of experience securing AWS workloads. You will also need to have a deep understanding of the security controls for workloads
Earning a certification in AWS Cloud security demonstrates to hiring managers that you have:
- A full understanding of data classifications and AWS data protection
- An understanding of data encryption methods and AWS solutions for implementation
- An understanding of secure internet protocols and AWS solutions for implementation
- Demonstrable knowledge of AWS security services and features
- Two or more years of production deployment experience using AWS security services
- The ability to make decisions concerning security, cost, deployment and complexity
- A deep understanding of security operations and managing the risk of cyber threats
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