How to Prepare for Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)?

Worried about the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) exam preparation? Take it easy, here we bring the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) preparation guide for you that will help you follow the right track to pass the CCSK exam. Let’s begin with the basics of Cloud Security!

With the rapid adoption of cloud services for enterprise operations, the cloud system infrastructure services market is expected to grow about 35.9 percent and reach $40.8 billion in 2018 as par Gartner analysis. This increased dominance of the IaaS providers brings both enormous opportunities as well as challenges for end users as well as organizations concerning security. This is because as consumers and enterprises move more amount of data to the cloud, this integrates its own threats related to confidentiality, availability, and integrity.

Try Now: CCSK v4 Free Practice Questions 

Thus every organization which is dealing with cloud platforms need to stress upon risk assessment, contractual protections, and application-layer controls. Here comes the role of information security leaders who have in-depth knowledge of cloud security and know how to protect sensitive information. Hence, the certified cloud security professionals are now high in demand as they come under the specialty group.

Moreover, if the certification is vendor-neutral, then it solely focuses on cloud security irrespective of underlying platform. Also, such certifications help to develop the mindset for all types of cloud-enabled environments. Certificate of cloud security knowledge (CCSK) is one of the most prominent vendor-neutral cloud security certifications by the Cloud Security Alliance.

In this blog, we’re going to cover the preparation guide for Certificate of cloud security (CCSK).

What is the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) Exam?

The organizational shift of attention towards cloud security was first recognized by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) seven years ago, and hence they launched the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) certification program in 2011 for cybersecurity professionals.

The Certificate of cloud security knowledge (CCSK) of cloud security knowledge is a knowledge-based certification. The most interesting fact is that the examinee does not need to carry any formal experience in the domain and the pre-requisite is only to demonstrate knowledge on the cloud security topics covered in the certification guideline. The certificate is designed by the world’s thought leaders and ensures that the certificate holder is credible to face the challenges related to cloud security for any vendors.

The Certificate of cloud security knowledge helps a cloud professional to:

  • Prove his/her competence achieved through experience in cloud security
  • Demonstrate the technical expertise, abilities, and skills, to develop a holistic cloud security environment effectively by maintaining the globally accepted standards
  • Stand out from the crowd to grab desirable employment in the fast-pacing cloud job market
  • Gaining access to valuable career resources, such as networking, tools, and ideas exchange with others

With the importance of Cloud Security, CCSK comes under top Cloud Computing certifications. Let’s check out the list of top 5 cloud certifications in 2023.

About the Cloud Security Certification Exam (CCSK v3)

The CCSK exam is a web-based exam that anyone can take from anywhere. Hence, it can be considered an open book exam. However, the depth of the questions is very high which validate the practical knowledge of the candidate for various real-time cloud security issues and best practices to handle them.

This cloud security certification is designed to leverage the broader foundation of knowledge on cloud security where the topics focus on

  • Cloud architecture
  • Governance
  • Security compliance
  • Operations
  • Encryption
  • Virtualization, and much more.

Here is the exam blueprint for the CCSK v3 exam:

CCSK v.4 Exam Blueprint

CSA Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing V4.0 English

  • Data security and encryption
  • Information governance
  • Infrastructure security
  • Compliance and audit management
  • Virtualization and containers
  • Security as a service
  • Cloud computer concepts and architecture
  • Legal issues, electronic discovery, and contracts
  • Management plane and business continuity
  • Incident response
  • Application security
  • Identify, entitlement, and access management
  • Governance and enterprise risk management
  • Related technologies (big data, Internet of Things, mobile, serverless computing)
CSA’s CCM 3.0.1 7%

Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) Exam Overview

Refer to the below table to have an overview of the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) certification exam:

CCSK Exam Overview

Cloud Security Alliance has already introduced CCSK v4, and anyone who will pass the CCSK v.3 before 30th Nov 2018 will get a free attempt provision for CCSK v4.

There is no maintenance charge for CCSK holder. Hence, once you get the certification, it will be a lifetime achievement for you.

How is CCSK v4 Different from CCSK v3 Exam?

The fourth version of the Certificate of cloud security knowledge (CCSK v4) by Cloud Security Alliance incorporates advances in cloud technology, its security features, and supporting technologies. Besides that, this version focuses on real-world cloud security practices and additionally has integrated the latest Cloud Security Alliance research project along with guidance for related technologies.

CCSK v4 aims to provide the extended knowledge on the below areas, and the updated version is quite different than the previous one:

  • The certification offers guidance and inspiration for a cloud-based business.
  • The knowledge shared in this version focuses on how to manage and mitigate the risks associated with the cloud computing adoption.
  • It has expanded the topics on governance, risk management contracts, and the legal aspects of cloud adoption. Also, the topics have been elaborated in a more global perspective.
  • This version leverages the knowledge of  Lambda serverless computing
  • In this version, different architectural patterns for cloud have been explained which are almost impossible in traditional computing.
  • This version also covers topics such as containers, DevOps, CI/CD toolchains, Chaos engineering, etc.
  • It has also elaborately discussed on Software Defined Networking Security concepts.

Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) Exam Preparation Guide

Certificate of cloud security knowledge measures a common standard for the security parameters of all cloud platforms whether it is AWS, Azure, Google or Salesforce. Hence, it is not an easy exam and needs a methodical approach for preparation. The standard way to get prepared for this exam is similar to any other cloud exams, and you need to take help of the below:

  1. Preparation materials
  2. CCSK training
  3. Practice tests

Preparation materials

CCSK Training

Formal training plays a crucial role in the preparation of top IT certifications to increase the chances of passing the exam with a good score. This is because like most of the IT certifications are technical, they need hands-on exposure and well real-world experience. This is, more importantly, the case for the high-end technologies like cloud where you need to access a cloud system and apply the best practices.

Hence, even from the cloud security alliance (CSA), they recommend formal training. For that purpose, CSA has developed two CCSK courses which address the needs of the certification and must be taken by the examinee as a part of the certification preparation. The courses are as below:

  • CCSK Foundation: This is a one-day comprehensive class that reviews the cloud security fundamentals, expected knowledge and prepares the candidate for Cloud Security Alliance CCSK certificate exam. The course provides an elaborate description of cloud computing which covers all critical domains as provided in the Guidance document provided by the Cloud Security Alliance, the recommendation from the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) and the Cloud Control Matrix (CCM) from the Cloud Security Alliance.

New in the world of Cloud Computing? Let’s start with an introduction to cloud computing.

However, if you are new to cloud security, then this program will not completely serve your purpose as this course does not cover any hands-on exercise. But if you are new to cloud and cannot afford more than a 1-day session, try to go through and understand the CSA guidance document before you take the class.

  • CCSK Plus: This course is built based on the CCSK Foundation topics along with expanded study materials and a good numbers of hands-on activities that will be covered on the next day of training. Through this training, the aspirants can learn how to apply gained knowledge by practicing a series of exercises. The exercises also cover a scenario which is based on a real-time organization and needs to provide a solution on how to secure it into the cloud.

In a nutshell –

CCSK PLUS = CCSK Foundation + AWS labs

Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge

CCSK Practice Tests

Practice tests give a candidate the opportunity to take a mock version of an exam before they appear for the actual exam. There are multiple benefits of taking a practice test.

  • Practice tests highlight the weak areas which a candidate needs to master
  • Similarly, the practice tests focus on which areas the candidate has already mastered. Hence they need to append minimum time for those topics and stress in other areas.
  • As the practice tests simulate the actual exam, so it helps to reduce a candidate’s anxiety and fear around the exam process.
  • Taking practice tests are beneficial for effective learning.
  • Practice tests are consistent with assessment standards and good practice.
  • Practice tests help in better time management during the actual exam.

Hence, for a crucial exam like CCSK, one should go through practice tests series to make the preparation successful.

Is CCSK certification worth it?

The fundamentals of strategic and tactical cloud security abilities are covered by the CCSK Certification. Since the content for this certification is vendor-neutral, the abilities should be transferable to any path towards a career in cloud security.

This is quite advantageous if you want to work in information security since you can work for most businesses irrespective of the platforms and technology they utilize. As opposed to if the credential was vendor-specific, this can greatly ease career transitions and increase your work prospects.

What’s next after getting CSSK Certification?

It is recommended to spend some years working in cloud security after completing CCSK exam to earn CCSP certification. The CCSK is a certificate that focuses on cloud security, whereas the CCSP is a certification that covers a wide range of information security. This is a significant distinction between these certifications. CCSP denotes a high level of expertise.

The CCSP certificate would be a great choice if you want to expand your skill set and find new employment options. It takes either four years of experience plus CCSK certification, or five years of combined information security and technology (IT) experience.

Some advanced professions, including cloud administrators, cloud architects, cloud engineers, security architects, and related careers, require the CCSP certification.


To conclude, passing CCSK exam rewards anyone with a valuable prospect as a Cloud Security professional. However, as mentioned in the article, the preparation for the exam must be exhaustive. Whizlabs, being a pioneer training provider in IT domain provides a CCSK v4 practice tests that cover 100% syllabus of CCSK v4 exam.

We believe that the practice test series will help you to build your success path to the certification. Join us today to become a certified cloud security professional!

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.

2 thoughts on “How to Prepare for Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)?”

  1. Gyanendra Mohanty


    We have 2 Participants, who would like take up CCSK Training Virtually, along-with Certification.

    Please Inform the Public Batch Schedule for the same, and whether the training includes Certification as well.

    Request you to share the standard contents, trainer profile, along with the costing for the same.

    In-case certification cost is not a part of the training cost, then please inform certification cost separately.

    Your immediate reply would be appreciated.

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