The cloud today has become what Forrester calls “a turbocharged engine powering digital transformation around the world.” Digital transformation is propelling worldwide cloud service market projected growth from $182.4B in 2018 to $331.2B in 2022. Yet the expand their expertise to the cloud.

That was certainly the case for Nanditha Rao, Information Security Senior Advisor and Olayinka “Olay” Ladeji, Senior Principal Program Manager, Cloud Operations. Demand for cloud security expertise drove both to achieve the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification, Rao in 2017 and Ladeji in 2016.

At the time, Rao was working for an IT platform provider, Ladeji for a management consulting firm. Rao’s employer and Ladeji’s clients had begun expressing interest in cloud adoption. Both needed to better understand cloud architecture and the risks it posed as well as learn best practices for mitigating these perils.

“My initial tendency would have been to fashion risk mitigation plans based on traditional computing models. But with cloud computing, I quickly realized I had to leave all my thinking behind if I wanted to provide appropriate guidance for our teams,” says Rao.

A key issue these cybersecurity experts faced was ensuring that data was protected with robust security controls. As a consultant acting as the trusted advisor to clients most of which were Fortune 500 companies Ladeji also needed to understand cloud provider SLAs, who controlled the data, and his clients’ potential liabilities in the event of a breach.

A Globally Recognized Certification for Cloud Security

The road to a comprehensive understanding of cloud security for both of these professionals led to CCSP certification. Explains Ladeji, “CCSP is the gold standard for cloud security. It ensures a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of cloud security, covering frameworks, concepts, and models. It’s a great complement to CISSP.”

Rao prepared for the CCSP certification exam by taking an online instructor-led class from ISC2. Holding a newborn infant in one arm and mouse in the other hand, she simply showed up at her computer for class. Says Rao, “The course was structured beautifully. I was grateful to have an expert explain concepts and answer my questions. Even now, as I work in the domain, I always go back to my notes from the class. The discussions with fellow classmates also really helped my thought processes.”

Ladeji took a 40-hour online, instructor-led seminar for ISC2 to gain an overview and then self-studied using the official book as his guide.

Both passed the exam on the first try. “It was one of the happiest days of my life,” says Rao. “It was a very difficult exam.”

Benefiting Employers, Growing Careers

CCSP is a globally recognized credential that provides assurance to employers and clients that participants have amassed a breadth of knowledge about cloud security. “By going through the certification process, you gain deep insights into cloud security concepts, what’s going on in the industry, and what other organizations are doing,” says Ladeji.

Rao adds, “Because CCSP talks about all different kinds of implementations and challenges, in a vendor agnostic manner, I can bring a lot of extra knowledge to the table so we can have a full understanding of our options. I offer this expertise not only to my program but at the corporate level.”

Through ongoing association with ISC2 certification holders are also able to easily network with others in the cloud security world to keep up with industry trends. For example, Ladeji now works for a cloud service provider, so he must keep up with industry trends, compliance with regulatory requirements, standards and data privacy. Rao finds herself more focused on meeting regulatory requirements.

The end result is that the CCSP certification benefits both the organization a certificate holder works for, and their own career. “Since I’ve had the certification, I’ve switched into a more senior role with added benefits,” says Ladeji. “I’m proud that I work with a global company and able to network with peers at other top cloud service providers.”

A Tremendous Opportunity

For those who haven’t yet pursued their CCSP certification, there’s no time like the present. As Ladeji says, “The industry is in real need of professionals. In this age of digital transformation, more and more businesses are migrating to the cloud. And you can’t talk about digital transformation without talking about cloud security. Organizations need people to advise them on how to move payloads to the cloud in a secure manner while still maintaining the ongoing integrity, confidentiality and availability of the data. CCSP provides the level of preparedness you need. It’s a must have requirement.”

To learn more about how the CCSP certification can advance your career, get your copy of our white paper, Cloud Security Skills Can Take Your Career to Infinity (And Beyond).

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