Become a stronger cloud security leader. The CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional) certification is perceived as the gold standard in cloud security. The CCSP cert is so highly valued that it has been ranked among the top preferred credentials for security experts.

This certification shows that an individual has the knowledge required to understand vulnerabilities, compliance needs, regulatory requirements and more associated with cloud-based platforms. The CCSP effectively prepares individuals to competently build, manage and govern a cloud security architecture.

In this guide, get everything that you need to know about obtaining the CCSP certification. Discover how the CCSP can be a part of your certification journey, position you as a distinguished cyber security professional in the field, and pave the way for future possibilities.

In this guide:

  • What is the CCSP?
  • What are the prerequisites for the CCSP?
  • What does the CCSP cover?
  • Key exam information
  • How should you prepare?
  • Further recommendations?
  • Is the CCSP the right choice?
  • CCSP vs. CISSP

What is the CCSP?

Developed by ISC2 in collaboration with the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the CCSP certification validates the knowledge and skills required to design, manage and secure cloud environments. It’s intended for professionals who regularly work with cloud technology. The CCSP helps ensure that professionals have the knowledge to expertly address challenges associated with cloud security.

The CCSP exam is in compliance with the requirements of the ANSI/ISO/IEC Standard 17024.

What are the prerequisites for the CCSP?

Individuals who are considering the CCSP should have a minimum of five years of cumulative, paid work experience in information technology. Ideally, three of those years should have been in information security, and one year should have been spent in one or more of the six CCSP domains. Candidates can substitute a year of work experience with a relevant four-year degree or another approved credential.

What does the CCSP cover?

The CCSP preparation materials and exam covers six domains. Each domain addresses a foundational element of cloud security. The breakdown is as follows:

  1. Cloud concepts, architecture and design (17%).
  2. Cloud data security (20%).
  3. Cloud platform infrastructure security (17%).
  4. Cloud application security (17%).
  5. Cloud security operations (16%).
  6. Legal, risk and compliance (13%).

The content within the exam was last refreshed in August of 2022, meaning that it remains relevant and aligned with current technologies.

Key exam information

Duration of exam 3-4 hours
Number of items on exam 150
Exam format Multiple choice
Passing grade 700 out of 1,000 points
Exam language availability English, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

How should you prepare for the CCSP?

Due to the breadth of information covered on the CCSP exam, in order to receive a passing score, preparation is critical. Applied study, in-person bootcamps and online practice exams can help.

Do you have any further recommendations?

  • Dedicate time to studying everyday. Although 20 minutes can sound limited, even a small amount of study time can add up when studying consistently.
  • As you prepare for the CCSP, register for the exam. That way, you have a date to work your way towards. Select a date that is realistic for you.

Is the CCSP the right choice?

For someone who’s new to cyber security and just starting out in a career, the CCSP might be something to aim for after earning more beginner-friendly credentials.

For someone who’s been in the field for at least three years, and works with the cloud, the CCSP might be worth moving towards on a more immediate timeline.

Also, consider how you want to spend your career. Roles listed on LinkedIn that require or request a CCSP include: Product security engineer, cyber security solutions architect, application security architect, cloud security engineer, information security auditor, compliance technology specialist and information security manager.


If you’ve been in the security industry for several years, you might find yourself deciding between the CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional) and the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certifications, both of which are offered by ISC2.

It’s worth noting that the CCSP requires five years of work experience, while the CISSP doubles that requirement, demanding 10 years of cumulative experience. Depending on where you are in your career, this could be a limiting factor.

The CCSP addresses cloud security in a very focused way, while the CISSP has a broader scope, encompassing an array of cyber security topics, potentially making it more attractive for those who are interested in a more diverse range of roles.

You may want to consider pursuing the CCSP in the short term, while working towards the CISSP in the long-term.

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