Cloud computing has been part of the computer tech world since the 1960s when Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider created the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). For years, cloud technology like ARPANET was used primarily by agencies like the U.S. Department of Defense — but in 2006, silicon valley giant Google introduced the concept to the world at an industry conference.
Today, the cloud plays a huge role in the way we communicate with our coworkers, customers, and even loved ones. An estimated 3.6 billion users accessed cloud computing services in 2018, and an entire industry has sprung up around maintaining and improving these networks — an industry held up by cloud security engineers.
A cloud security engineer works to fortify a company’s cloud-based platforms in an effort to protect the company’s data. Engineers typically work full-time as part of the company’s digital security team, where they analyze existing cloud networks and create new security measures to improve the network’s overall security.
What does a Cloud Security Engineer Do?
Cloud security engineers are a unique type of cyber security professional, as their expertise is focused solely on cloud-based technologies. These individuals work to build, maintain, and constantly improve their employer’s cloud-based system, from the core infrastructure to the public-facing platforms and services.
Cloud security engineers are a vital part of any organization’s cyber security team, and as such, they spend much of their time collaborating with other IT professionals from SOC analysts to data scientists. In addition to monitoring and working on the cloud, engineers might also advise their colleagues on security measures for other digital programs and services like a new app or company website.
Cloud Security Engineer Responsibilities
Typical duties for a cloud security engineer include:
- Creating secure cloud-based programs for their company
- Designing additional security features, such as access management tools
- Analyzing existing cloud platforms and performing threat simulations to spot security vulnerabilities
- Advising other IT professionals on security issues related to app development, coding, etc
- Encrypting data within the cloud
- Monitoring the cloud for security incidents and logging these incidents for further investigation
In addition to these duties, cloud security engineers may sometimes need to present information about security incidents or new security measures to higher ups outside the IT department. Engineers will need to thoroughly document all implementations, data breaches, or other incidents and clearly communicate them to their colleagues and bosses.
What does it take to become a Cloud Security Engineer?
The cyber security industry is expected to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% from 2020 to 2027 — a much higher rate than the average job market today. These projections are promising to many young people entering the workforce today, so it is no surprise that many individuals are seeking careers as cloud security engineers.
But what does it take to earn a job in this position? Here are some of the skills you’ll need for success in this field.
Education and Experience
Firstly, most employers want their cloud security engineers to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in information systems or computer science. While there are some rare instances where an employer may hire a high school graduate with significant experience, it’s best to get a college degree if you want to have a thriving career in the cyber security industry.
Once you’ve earned your degree, you’ll have to spend some time getting hands-on experience in the IT industry. In fact, some employees prefer that cloud security engineers have at least three to five years of experience before taking on the role at their organization! One way to speed up this timeline is through internships, where you can gain experience architecting and programming applications while also earning your bachelor’s.
Finally, anyone who hopes to become a cloud security engineer will need to have additional cyber security certifications. Ideally, you should at least have a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification and have an Amazon Web Services (AWS) associate certification or higher.
Many of the skills you’ll learn during school (coding, threat management, penetration testing, etc.) will give you a firm foundation for a career in cloud security engineering. However, there are other skills that are essential for success in this role. These include:
- Strong familiarity with Linux and Windows operating systems and cloud services like EC2, DynamoDB, API Gateway, RDS, and Lambda
- Knowledge of programming languages such as C++, C#, Java, Python, and Visual Basic
- Strong communication skills and an ability to explain complex tech topics to a non-technical audience, both written and verbally
- An intense desire and ability to study the industry and keep up with security trends and new cyber threats
Luckily, most individuals with an interest in cyber security will possess these skills naturally! If you are dedicated to your work and take the time to earn the degrees, the certifications, and the experience, you’re sure to have a thriving career in the world of cyber security — and we’re here to help you make it happen.
Check out Legends of Tech today to register for one of our certification programs.