CCSK vs CCSP – An Impartial Comparison

Cloud Security is always a concern for the cloud users and every other day, newer threats are identified and invented. Several certifications are popping up to enable users to have a complete idea about cloud security through interactive and responsive courses. These certification courses let users understand the importance of a proper cloud security system.

The Cloud Security Alliance is one organization that raises forefront awareness of severe cloud security and its importance and launches certifications for the professionals of the cloud sector.

To have in terms with the security options and its viability in the cloud and to impart much learning, Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) launched the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) in the year 2010. From its intent, it’s one of the most important certifications in cloud security that is taken up by professionals.

Try Now: Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge V.4 Free Test

In the year 2015, Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) along with ISC2, launched another cloud security certification named Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP). Now, what is the difference between these two or which is the best out of CCSK vs CCSP is important to know? Read on this article to know the best out of two i.e. an impartial comparison between the two i.e. CCSK vs CCSP.

The questions that might pop into your mind would be:

  • Are the two certifications same or entirely different?
  • What are the key differences between CCSK and CCSP?
  • Which one should I choose? Which gives an added advantage when the certification course is taken up?

Let’s delve into the answers for these questions to get a better understanding of CCSK and CCSP comparison.

CCSK vs CCSP: A Detailed Comparison

In reality, both CCSK and CCSP aren’t certifications that are competing or same. They both are among the top cloud security certifications built with completely different objectives on cloud security to a learner. Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) is a certification course that helps you gain the knowledge of the security issues with the cloud. The expansion for CCSK also terms as the knowledge to be gained on cloud security. The certification is a test of knowledge comprising of three things CSA guidance, CSA cloud control matrix, and ENISA report.

On the other hand, a CCSP certification not just tests an individual on the security features but also on the practical aspects and experience. The endorsement also requires a pre-requisite 5-year experience in this field to obtain the certification. The credentials given for completion of the certification is for the knowledge, and the experience gained, in the end, the learner is also accredited to be known as a “professional”.  To be more precise, it is generally taken that a CCSK complete certification trains to take up CCSP certification and land up as a professional.

Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge

The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge is one of the primitive certification considering cloud security, being the first to the industry too. The certificate examination consists of 60 percent of technical or tactical stuff, and the rest is under the strategic knowledge under the cloud security domain.

The topics covered under the CCSK certification are of varying degrees of governance, contracts, risk management, legal aspects globally in the updated version 4 of CCSK. Several network security concepts, DevOps tools, containers, and several other tools for security management in cloud computing are covered.

The CCSK certification course is either a one- or two-day course that covers an adept knowledge in the above topics being brazed and not in-depth. The CCSK Plus is an advanced version of this certification course carried for three to four days. It is a combination of CCSK basics plus the AWS concepts in detail.

The exam is slightly hard due to the confluence of two domains tactical and strategical knowledge overall. The tactical part of the certification exam covers the parts of computing and its bytes and bits formulae. The strategical part involves the part where the impact and effect of adopting the cloud to business are covered. It is one legible course for any IT professional working in the security domain and is seeking for a course to enlighten about the strategical and tactical aspects of adopting the cloud to the IT industry and the advantages of it.

Preparing for the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge exam? Follow the comprehensive CCSK exam preparation guide and get yourself ready for the exam.

Certified Cloud Security Professional

The certified cloud security professional (CCSP) certification is one of the advanced methods of learning cloud security and the underlying technical skills required to become a complete professional in Cloud security. It enables the learner to manage and secure cloud data along with infrastructure, and applications included. The best practices identified and individuated by the cybersecurity professionals at (ISC)2 forms the basis of learning for the CCSP certification.

CCSP is the most viable option to take up when your career revolves around architecture, security administrator, systems engineer, security engineer, security architect, etc. The certification is epically designed to inlay the importance of cloud security. But this certification is not ideal for anybody and everybody. The CCSP certification is one of the certifications of the highest quality standard set for cloud security experts.

The CCSP certification, apart from the professional tag, has other advantages such as a unique recognition and instant credibility for your knowledge. It is immensely beneficial for your career advancement and the knowledge gained helps you to stay ahead of your peers. The CCSP exam is more versatile where the knowledge gained through the certification can be exposed to be used across various other cloud platforms with ease. It also keeps you in touch with newer strategies and newer threats and keeps you updated.

What are the Key Differences Lie between CCSK vs CCSP?

The main points that distinguish the two on comparing CCSK vs CCSP are:

  • Knowledge Gained

CCSK certification is gained within a knowledge frame of CSA guidance, CSA cloud control matrix, ENISA document. And a large information base is gained by the learner on taking this certification course.

CCSP, on the other hand, focusses on knowledge and how it is applied. This helps the professional to gain immense knowledge on what he is doing and helps the possess it.

  • Experience pre-requisite

For taking up the CCSK course, an individual has to clear two documents and clearing an objective type of the exam. There is no experience required to take up the CCSK certification.

While for the CCSP certification is for professionals who have hands-on working experience in cloud security features. A minimum of 5 years of experience in the required field is needed to attempt the CCSP certification. The five years must include a full-time involvement in information technology and one year in cloud computing facility.

  • Examination keys

The examination for CCSK focusses on multiple-choice questions on the focussed domain under the certification. Whereas the CCSP examination tests both knowledge and practice. The exam comprises of both MCQ’s as well as reality posed problem-solving questions for the learners, testing them on both areas.

  • Conducting the exam

The CCSK certification exam is conducted online, and learners can attempt it from anywhere using a browser. Two times of attempting the certification exam are possible with one registration.

The CCSP exam is conducted at the test center of PearsonVUE. Unlike CCSK only a single attempt of the examination is possible on registering.

  • Maintenance of earned certificate

The examination and certification obtained by the learner don’t need any maintenance requirements. The professionals need not have to pay additional annual; costs or additional submission of CPE’s after the certificate of cloud security knowledge is obtained.

On the other hand, CCSP conducted by the ISC2 requires an annual maintenance fee of US $100 per year for the certification, and further 90 CPE’s have to be earned.

Also Read: Top Cloud Security Certifications

CCSK and CCSP: Which Certification is the Best?

The certification that you have to choose depends on your sphere of working.  If you are a novice and have recently joined the cloud security field, then taking up CCSK would be the right choice to gain sufficient knowledge on the basics of cloud security. It forms a step towards an inexperienced person to gain knowledge about the functioning and tacking practices involved in cloud security.

Rather, if your working area is IT security professional and by the job, you have gained sufficient exposure to security-related matters of cloud computing, then it is a good idea to attempt CCSP after a learning course directly. If you are more unsure, then it is a good choice o take up CCSK first before CCSP to gain additional knowledge.

Preparing for a Cloud Security interview? Go through these top Cloud Security Interview Questions with the detailed answers and get ready to ace the interview.

Quick Summary

On a concluding note on CCSK and CCSP comparison, each is a different cloud security certification that one can attempt to equip with varying degree of knowledge on cloud computing and its security. It is ideal for appraising your limits, needs, and familiarity along with your level of experience with cloud security before you choose the right type of examination for you. Acquiring a certification in cloud security is a great way to kick start your career in cloud security services.

As a beginner in cloud security, it is good to validate your skills with Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK). If you are the one who has gained some considerable experience in cloud security, then you can go with Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP). We’ve brought CCSK practice tests to help you in your CCSK exam preparation. 

So, take the right step to get ahead in your cloud security career! 

About Pavan Gumaste

Pavan Rao is a programmer / Developer by Profession and Cloud Computing Professional by choice with in-depth knowledge in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform. He helps the organisation figure out what to build, ensure successful delivery, and incorporate user learning to improve the strategy and product further.

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