Cloud Security

How to Become a Cloud Security Engineer?

The cloud provides businesses with new revenue streams and opportunities to grow, scale, and enjoy significant cost savings. But with increasing migration to the cloud comes unforeseen security risks as vendors fail to address critical vulnerabilities and need to gain the expertise to safeguard sensitive information. There is a rising demand for Cloud Security Engineers […]

Mansi B.

Written by Mansi B.

July 27, 2023 | 6 min read

The cloud provides businesses with new revenue streams and opportunities to grow, scale, and enjoy significant cost savings. But with increasing migration to the cloud comes unforeseen security risks as vendors fail to address critical vulnerabilities and need to gain the expertise to safeguard sensitive information.

There is a rising demand for Cloud Security Engineers and a 115% skill acquisition growth between 2020 and 2025 for cloud technologies. Cloud security job vacancies will increase, and cloud tech adoption will accelerate globally in different domains. Companies will transform their workflows using automation and AI and reduce workforces through technology integrations. Cloud engineers will be needed to supervise and manage these frameworks, and the future of work will arrive soon.

Below is everything you need to know to be a successful cloud engineer in 2023 and more.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Cloud Security Engineer?
  2. What does a cloud security engineer do?
  3. What are Key Skills required for Cloud Security Engineer?
    1. Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate
    2. Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer
    3. CompTIA Cloud+
    4. AWS Certified Security
    5. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
  4. How to Become a Cloud Security Engineer?
  5. Best place to find Cloud Security Engineer Jobs
  6. What is the Average Salary of a Cloud Security Engineer?
  7. Cloud Security Engineer vs. Security Engineer
  8. Conclusion

What is Cloud Security Engineer?

Cloud security engineers design, implement, and execute frameworks and policies that secure and protect the cloud-native applications of enterprises. A cloud security engineer is responsible for preventing data breaches and eliminating unauthorized access to sensitive data online. These professionals may wear multiple hats in the organization. Their general goal is to lead an organization’s cloud security posture and improve cyber security.

Typical activities of a cloud security engineer include: 

  • Restricting access to cloud services and platforms and implementing the principle of least privilege access for non-administrative cloud accounts
  • Setting up network firewalls and implementing them across cloud databases, servers, and infrastructure
  • Ensuring continuous compliance with the latest industry security standards and regulations
  • Performing security audits, assessments, and vulnerability management tests
  • Identify root causes of security issues within organizations and implement relevant fixes, including regular updates
  • Preventing cloud credentials leakages, setting up smooth cloud integrations, and enabling real-time scanning of secrets 

What does a cloud security engineer do?

Cloud Security Engineers plan, upgrade, monitor, and test security features of various cloud infrastructure components in organizations. A cloud engineer assesses system vulnerabilities for effective risk mitigation and prevents data breaches. Cloud engineers ensure compliance with relevant security regulations and standards, set up network firewalls, and manage access to cloud accounts, platforms, and services.

What are Key Skills required for Cloud Security Engineer?

Cloud security engineering requires extensive DevOps experience and a strong foundation in using the latest cloud security tools and analysis techniques. Technical knowledge involves knowing about authentication and security protocols, cryptography and application security, and systems and network security authentication.

Most professionals who excel in the industry possess a minimum of a 4-year Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree and have acquired relevant certifications like CEH, CISA, CISM, CISSP, etc. It is essential to demonstrate strong problem-solving skills and out-of-the-box creativity and be able to conduct audits and penetration tests from the mindset of adversaries. Proficiency in programming languages like Ruby on Rails, Python, JS, and others is also necessary. Among critical skills, companies also look for the following top certifications in these professionals:

1. Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate

Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate monitors and manages cloud resources in Azure, multi-cloud, and hybrid infrastructures as part of end-to-end infrastructure security. An Azure Certified Security Engineer Associate is responsible for doing threat modeling, identity and access management, firewall management, and fixing misconfigurations to protect sensitive data in organizations. These cloud security engineers are actively working on meeting various security and compliance requirements. Azure cloud engineers need extensive experience working with the Azure Active Directory as part of curriculum requirements.

2. Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer

A Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer designs and secures cloud workloads in production and deployment environments. These professionals acquire a strong understanding of Google Cloud security practices and are well-versed in DevOps implementation. The Gog Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer Certification covers all aspects of cloud security, like organizational structures and policies, identity and access management, network security defense, cloud environment monitoring and configurations, and even sections on enforcing the latest regulatory controls. Learners become experts in managing operations within cloud solution environments and can ensure continuous data protection and compliance upon course completion.

3. CompTIA Cloud+

CompTIA Cloud+ equips learners with the fundamentals of OS and application security controls, cloud architecture knowledge, identity and access management, and automation and virtualization. It targets job titles like vulnerability tester, cloud architect, and cloud specialist and requires attendees to have a minimum of 2-3 year’s systems administrative experience before signing up for the course. 

4. AWS Certified Security

AWS Certified Security designs and implements solutions for AWS Cloud, and it is a certification well-recognized by top employers worldwide. It validates data encryption techniques and AWS data protection mechanisms and secures the AWS cloud with the best internet protocols. Getting AWS Certified is a proven way to ensure success since job applicants report salary hikes after passing the certification exam.

5. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

The Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification validates technical skills and tests subject matter experts across six key domains – cloud data security, cloud platform and architecture security, cloud architecture design, cloud security operations, cloud application security, legal, risk, and compliance, and cloud platform and infrastructure security.

Cloud engineers with this certification are eligible for jobs as a senior security analysts, cyber integration engineers, incident response specialists, or cloud application security consultants and can work as information security auditors, 

Remember that every company is unique; more than acquiring the necessary certifications and skills is needed. Some companies have requested applicants to demonstrate additional requirements such as personal projects, work experience, or other credentials. However, these skills and certifications are certainly a great way to break into the industry and launch one’s career in the right direction.

How to Become a Cloud Security Engineer?

There are many study pathways for those wanting to pursue a cloud security engineering career. Enrolling in boot camps and technical courses is the fastest way to become a cloud security engineer. However, the learning pace is rapid, and sometimes students may feel overwhelmed by the study workload.

Applicants with a cyber security background may have an easier time securing job positions as they have a strong foundation for success. The traditional way of transitioning into a professional cloud security engineer is by completing a Bachelor’s or Master’s in Computer Science and acquiring the relevant cloud security certifications.

Once a student has acquired entry-level IT or cloud certifications, it is time to gain the required experience. A wide range of entry-level cloud security jobs are available, which students can take up to prepare for new roles. As they build experience with cloud security providers, network application security, and DevOps frameworks, they will be ready for the higher-paying cloud security engineering roles. 

It can take 3-4 years to earn a Bachelor’s Degree and a few additional years to gain the required cloud security experience through certifications to be eligible for these jobs. 

Best place to find Cloud Security Engineer Jobs

Many remote Cloud Security Engineer jobs are available for those residing in the United States. US software companies are constantly hiring freelancers to secure their cloud architecture, platforms, and services. 

Google, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, SpaceX, Flipkart, Amazon, Infosys, and Tesla are top companies that hire cloud security engineers.

What is the Average Salary of a Cloud Security Engineer?

The average salary of a Cloud Security Engineer starts at USD 79,000 annually, which can go up to USD 159,000 depending on the number of years of experience, skillsets, and relevant certifications. According to the BAU, the median salary of a cloud security engineer is around USD 126,000 per year.

Location is another factor that influences salary, and a cloud security engineer based in San Francisco can earn up to USD 153,000 or more per year. A professional located in Florida can get a wage of nearly USD 180,000 upon starting their role, and many companies offer various bonuses and compensation benefits that are outside existing wages. The job outlook in this field is excellent, and cloud security engineering is one of the fastest-growing domains in the technology segment. Many professionals with cloud cyber security skills are needed, and aspirants can handle low job vacancies or any shortages in job openings in general. 

Cloud Security Engineer vs. Security Engineer

Area of ExpertiseCloud EngineersSecurity Engineer
RolesImplement the latest security features, plan network upgrades, conduct network troubleshooting, and respond to security incidents.Implement the latest security features, plan network upgrades, conduct network troubleshooting, and respond to security incidents
SkillsKnowledge of cloud security fundamentals, programming languages like Python, C++, and JAVA, web services and APIs, DevOps and containerization, and networking and internet protocolsKnowledge of operating system environments, endpoint security, intrusion detection and prevention, and database management
CertificationsGCP, AWS, CCSP, CCSK, and Microsoft Certified: Azure FundamentalsCISSP, CISA, CISM, CompTIA Security+, and GSEC
Average SalaryUSD 1,41,764 per yearUSD 1,17,058 per year

Conclusion

Cloud Security Engineers must be familiar with Linux and Windows environments. Professionals need to understand DevOps and DevSecOps technologies and practices and be comfortable working with various cloud provider ecosystems like AWS. Having a keen eye for detail, excellent time-management and communication skills, and working without supervision are necessary.

Cloud Security Engineer jobs are highly demanding as new challenges arise since the threat landscape constantly evolves. One cannot underestimate the benefits of pursuing a career in cloud security; the efforts are genuinely worth them.