Certifications / Cloud

Is the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer Worth It?

Is the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer Worth It? picture: A
Published on June 15, 2022

Anyone looking for a career in cloud security could do worse than mastering Google networks, considering the Google Cloud has tons of tools and services optimized for Google Cloud networks. Plus, the Google Cloud is everywhere. Companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes make use of it, and all of them need the comfort that a certified Google Cloud security engineer brings.

Google Cloud skills and knowledge are like a pyramid, and the people who reach the tip of that pyramid are some of the most valuable IT professionals in the industry. The Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer is a certification that tells any employer that you've summited. If you are new to the cloud, check out CBT Nuggets entire Google Cloud training library.

You should earn it if you need to prove you know how to configure access in the Google Cloud, can configure network security, ensure data protection, are able to manage operations in the cloud, and know-how to ensure compliance.

What is the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer?

The Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer is an advanced cloud security certification maintained by Google. It's a professional-level cloud certification meant for the IT professionals who are responsible for designing, developing and managing a secure cloud infrastructure using all the technologies that Google provides for maintaining, securing, and operating their cloud environments. There aren't many vendor-agnostic certifications for positions as specific as a cloud security engineer, and this certification demonstrates why: it's laser-focused on your knowledge securing networks that utilize Google Cloud with Google technologies.

There are, obviously, many different aspects of cloud security, including but not limited to: identity and access management, structuring organizational policies around business needs and technology limitations, protecting data with Google technologies, configuring network security defenses, reading and analyzing network activity logs and handling regulatory and compliance concerns. The Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer is an industry certification that proves you've mastered them all.

Google tends not to use serial numbers or weird codes for their exams, and in this case, all you need to do to earn the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer is pass one exam: the Professional Cloud Security Engineer certification exam.

What Does the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer Test?

The Professional Cloud Security Engineer exam is the only exam you have to pass in order to earn the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer and it has five major sections:

  • Section 1: Configure access within a cloud solution environment

  • Section 2: Configure network security

  • Section 3: Ensure data protection

  • Section 4: Manage operations in a cloud solution environment

  • Section 5: Ensure compliance

The Professional Cloud Security Engineer certifying exam is challenging and even highly experienced cloud security engineers will want to study for it with an online course or preparatory material. It's particularly challenging because Google doesn't just want to prove that you can maintain security for a cloud network, they want to validate that you know the right Google technologies for the job and have mastery over each of them. Passing Google's Professional Cloud Security Engineer exam will require familiarity with all of Google Cloud's security technologies and hands-on experience deploying and configuring them.

How much does the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer Exam Cost?

The Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer test costs $200 and once you pass it, the certification itself remains valid for two years. Also, it doesn't cost anything to apply for certification after you pass the exam.

Once you're certified, you get a 50% discount on recertifying, so it'll only cost you $100 every two years to recertify. That means the total cost of the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer certification is roughly $100/year and $50/year after your second year.

What Experience Do You Need for the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer?

Officially, Google doesn't require any experience before attempting the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer, but that doesn't mean you should try to take the exam with no prior experience. Google recommends at least three years of cloud security experience and no less than one year of experience designing and managing solutions specifically in the Google Cloud.

If you've got years of experience in a cloud service other than Google, you'll be ready for some of the broader questions and situations, but you do need to be able to prove that you know all of Google's cloud security technologies and tools.

Access control is obviously a huge part of preparing for the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer. You should know how to manage and configure cloud identity as well as how to manage service accounts. You should have managed authentication for a Google Cloud network and will want to know how to implement authorization controls. You should know how defining resource hierarchy impacts cloud network security and how to do it.

Recommended experience includes actually configuring network security at all stages (the design phase, network segmentation, and configuring private connectivity). Protecting sensitive data and managing encryption at rest are crucial parts of the exam.

Lastly, you'll need experience maintaining cloud network security from the 30,000-foot view. That includes things like building and deploying secure infrastructures and applications and configuring logging, monitoring, and detection. And, of course, compliance – everyone's favorite part of security – is also a key part of the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer exam.

Who Should Take the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer?

The Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer is a certification to aim for throughout a career, or a certification to earn as you're approaching the peak of your career. Cloud security administrators or technicians might want to plan to earn it over the course of a few years. DevOps Architects should consider it as they work on their cloud proficiency. And of course, Cloud Security Engineers will benefit from it.

Is Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer Worth it for Cloud Security Administrators?

The Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer is probably too advanced a certification for most cloud security administrators. If you only have a few years of experience in cloud security, you might know a lot of the material, but you'd be lacking the experience necessary to pass the exam. However, it's worth having a mountaintop to work toward.

It's definitely worth it for cloud security administrators or technicians to look at the outline for the Professional Cloud Security Engineer's exam and note the sections they're not familiar with. You could spend many months training and practicing those sections and get ready for it over the long run.

Is Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer Worth it for DevOps Architects?

A career in DevOps requires familiarity with a lot of different technologies in many different environments. DevOps professionals are always going to be doing some of their work in the cloud, and if your job is to plan out network usage and implementation on a grand scale, the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer is worth it.

The last thing you want to do as a DevOps architect is expose your network or company to unnecessary risk. The Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer is worth it for DevOps architects because it's such a thorough grounding in how Google Cloud networks operate and how to lock them down and manage their accesses, resources and infrastructure.

Is Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer Worth it for a Cloud Security Engineer?

Yes, the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer certification is definitely worth it for cloud security engineers. Of course, if the network you support doesn't use any Google tools or Google Cloud services at all, maybe it's not worth the $200 it costs to earn the cert. But if your network is like most large cloud networks, you've got tons of different tools from different vendors to keep track of. And if that's the case, you should make sure that the tools you understand better than any others are Google's.

The Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer is a career-defining certification and is worth it for cloud security engineers not just because it proves technical understanding and familiarity with cloud network technologies, but also the managerial aspects like logs, monitoring and regulatory compliance.

Is the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer Worth It?

Yes, if your job is related to cloud security, the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer is worth it as a certification. $200 is cheap for advanced, professional certification, and earning a Google certification comes with pretty good name recognition. If your network uses Google Cloud, the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer can prove you understand how to keep it safe and secure while showing employers you're a vetted pro.

Using Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer to Learn Skills

One of the great things about certifications and certification exams is the company that builds the test and maintains the certification basically builds a checklist of everything you should know to use technology correctly. And if you go down that checklist and pass the exam, you can rest assured you're using the tools and services correctly.

So it only makes sense that if you want to learn the skills that the best cloud security engineers know, you can use the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer as a roadmap. No matter if you're early in your career or late, preparing for the Professional Cloud Security Engineer certifying exam is one of the best ways to learn the skills necessary for the job.

Using Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer to Validate Skills

If you've been using the Google Cloud for a long time, and you've spent years building up your familiarity with the tools and services that keep a Google Cloud network safe and secure, go for the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer and earn the document that validates those skills. Employers trust Google's certifications and earning one says you're a competent cloud security engineer.


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