Certified Cloud Security Professional CCSP

How to Pass the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) Certificate in 2024

Last Updated: January 8, 2024


With organizations grappling with an ever-evolving threat landscape, the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) Certificate is recognized globally as the pinnacle of cloud security proficiency. The CCSP offers a range of benefits, including enhanced global recognition, credibility, and increased salary prospects.

For professionals looking to advance their careers in cloud security, achieving the CCSP Certificate can unlock new opportunities, demonstrate proficiency, and deliver a competitive advantage.

While the certification process can be time-intensive and require significant effort, the rewards far outweigh the investment.

In this comprehensive guide, we will share an exact roadmap to passing the CCSP Certificate.

Join the ranks of cloud security experts worldwide who have demonstrated their proficiency and leadership in securing cloud environments with the highly regarded CCSP Certificate.

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Pros and Cons


  • Recognized Expertise: CCSP is recognized globally as a certification for professionals with advanced skills in cloud security, demonstrating your expertise in the field.
  • In-Demand Credential: With the increasing adoption of cloud technologies, there is a growing demand for cloud security experts, making CCSP holders highly sought after by employers.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: The CCSP certification covers a wide range of cloud security topics, including cloud architecture, governance, risk management, and compliance, providing a holistic understanding of cloud security.
  • Vendor-Neutral: It is vendor-neutral, meaning the knowledge and skills gained can be applied to various cloud service providers, enhancing versatility.
  • Career Advancement: Holding the CCSP certification can open doors to higher-paying job opportunities and career advancement in roles related to cloud security and architecture.


  • Highly Specialized: CCSP is a specialized certification focused on cloud security. While valuable for cloud security professionals, it may not be as versatile as more general certifications like CISSP.
  • Costly: Pursuing the CCSP certification can be expensive, including exam fees, study materials, and potential training courses.
  • Experience Requirement: To become CCSP-certified, candidates need at least five years of cumulative work experience in information technology, including three years in information security and one year in cloud security. This can be a barrier for those with limited experience.
  • Continuing Education: CCSP holders are required to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits to maintain their certification, which can involve additional time and expense.
  • Challenging Exam: The CCSP exam is known for its difficulty, requiring thorough preparation and in-depth knowledge of cloud security concepts.

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The CCSP Certification Requirements

Candidates applying for the CCSP certification should meet specific experience criteria. They need at least five years of overall work experience in information technology.

Out of these five years, at least three years should be dedicated to information security, and at least one year should involve work in one or more of the six domains covered in the CCSP CBK.

It’s worth noting that if a candidate has obtained CSA’s CCSK certificate, this can be used to substitute for one year of experience in any of the six CCSP CBK domains. Additionally, ISC2’s CISSP credential can be used to fulfill the entire CCSP experience requirement.

An alternative path is available for individuals who lack the necessary experience to qualify for CCSP certification. Just become an official associate of ISC2 and successfully pass the CCSP exam. These associates are then granted six years to accumulate the required five years of practical experience.

Furthermore, it’s essential to recognize that part-time work and internships can also be considered when calculating your cumulative experience in the field.

CCSP Certificate Cost

Investing in the CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional) Certification is crucial for anyone aspiring to excel in the cloud security domain. This certification can open doors to higher-paying positions and numerous career benefits. 

To embark on this journey, it’s essential to understand the associated costs.

CCSP Certification Training Costs: CCSP Training is a foundational step. The investment here typically ranges from USD 1600 to USD 1900. Choosing the right CCSP training provider is pivotal, as it imparts valuable insights into advanced cloud security practices that self-paced learning might lack. 

CCSP Exam Fee: After completing the training, professionals must attempt the CCSP Exam, administered by ISC2. The CCSP certificate cost is USD 599, a prerequisite for earning the CCSP Certificate. Scheduling the exam date strategically, about three months after application, allows ample time for preparation, increasing the chances of success.

CCSP Renewal Fee: Maintaining the CCSP Certification requires renewal every three years. To do this, professionals must earn 90 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits by participating in recognized activities. Additionally, an annual maintenance fee of USD 125 is payable to ISC2.

CCSP Exam Coverage: Overview of Domains

These are the many CCSP domains included in the CCSP syllabus. Here’s the percentage of the exam that each one will cover: 

  • Cloud concepts, architecture, and design: 17% 
  • Cloud data security: 20% 
  • Cloud platform and infrastructure security:17% 
  • Cloud application security: 17% 
  • Cloud security operations: 16% 
  • Legal, risk, and compliance: 13% 

Let’s have a look at each domain:

Domain 1: Cloud Concepts, Architecture, and Design (17%)

Domain 1 of the CCSP exam provides a foundation in cloud computing concepts, ensuring that candidates have a grasp of the fundamental principles.

Key points in this domain include:

  • Understanding fundamental cloud computing concepts.
  • Describing cloud reference architecture and differentiating between cloud service models.
  • Exploring security concepts relevant to cloud computing.
  • Applying design principles for secure cloud computing.
  • Evaluating and selecting cloud service providers based on criteria and certifications.

Domain 2: Cloud Data Security (20%)

Domain 2 emphasizes the protection of data in the cloud, a critical aspect of cloud security. Candidates learn about the cloud data lifecycle, data storage architectures, and various security technologies. 

Key points in this domain include:

  • Describing the cloud data lifecycle and data security concepts.
  • Designing and implementing secure cloud data storage architectures.
  • Applying data security technologies and strategies, including encryption and masking.
  • Conducting data discovery and implementing data classification.
  • Planning and executing data retention, deletion, and archiving policies.

Domain 3: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security (17%)

Domain 3 focuses on the infrastructure side of cloud computing, covering key components and risk analysis. It explores the secure design of cloud data centers and emphasizes the importance of risk assessment and security controls. 

Key points in this domain include:

  • Comprehending cloud infrastructure and platform components.
  • Designing secure data centers, considering physical, logical, and environmental aspects.
  • Analyzing risks associated with cloud infrastructure and platforms.
  • Planning and implementing security controls, including access control and audit mechanisms.
  • Developing business continuity and disaster recovery strategies for the cloud.

Domain 4: Cloud Application Security (17%)

Domain 4 addresses application development for the cloud, focusing on secure practices and security integration throughout the software development lifecycle.

It covers topics such as training and awareness for application security, the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), and cloud software assurance and validation.

Key points in this domain include:

  • Advocating training and awareness for secure cloud application development.
  • Explaining the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) process.
  • Applying the SDLC to ensure fast cloud application development.
  • Providing cloud software assurance and validation.
  • Understanding cloud application architecture and identity and access management (IAM).

Domain 5: Cloud Security Operations (16%)

Domain 5 delves into cloud security’s operational aspects, addressing physical and logical infrastructure management. 

This domain includes digital forensics, communication with relevant parties, and security operations.

Key points in this domain include:

  • Building and implementing physical and logical infrastructure for the cloud.
  • Operating and maintaining cloud infrastructure, including access control and monitoring.
  • Implementing operational rules and standards, such as ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000-1.
  • Supporting digital forensics in cloud environments.
  • Managing communication with stakeholders and overseeing security operations.

Domain 6: Legal, Risk, and Compliance (13%)

Domain 6 focuses on the legal and regulatory aspects of cloud security, risk management, and compliance considerations. Additionally, it addresses outsourcing and cloud contract design.

Key points in this domain include:

  • Articulating legal requirements and unique risks in the cloud environment.
  • Understanding privacy issues and major country-specific privacy regulations.
  • Grasping the audit process and cloud-specific adaptations.
  • Recognizing the implications of the cloud on enterprise risk management.
  • Understanding outsourcing, vendor management, and contract design in the cloud context.

How to Create an Effective CCSP Study Plan?

We are all busy, and finding time for self-study can be challenging. However, by creating a study plan and sticking to it, you can ensure you are studying effectively.

The following are some tips on how to create an effective CCSP study plan covering the whole CCSP syllabus:

Take A Targeted Approach

Do basic research to understand the course outline and exam structure. This familiarity helps you allocate study time effectively based on your existing knowledge and areas that require more attention. 

Resource Selection

Selecting high-quality resources is crucial for comprehensive exam preparation. You can refer to the hand-picked resources in the next section. We have listed highly effective books, courses, boot camps, and last-minute resources to make it convenient for you. 

Domain-Based Study Scheduling

Overall, 120 days is a good time to properly prepare for the CCSP exam by allocating 2 hours daily.  

It ensures you cover all areas and maintain a structured study routine. You can divide your time into six portions based on domains. Then, prepare each domain and appear in mocks. Once you’re done with all these domains, apply for comprehensive mock examinations to test your preparations.

Here’s a sample study schedule;

  • 1-3 weeks: Overview all the six domains to determine your shortcomings. 
  • 4-6 weeks: Thoroughly study all domains, especially focusing on your weaknesses. 
  • 7-8 weeks: Appear in mocks to test your preparations. 
  • 9-10 weeks: Spend two more weeks to overcome weaknesses that you identified in the mocks. 
  • 11th week: Appear in full-length practice exams to gauge your overall preparation. 
  • 12th week: Refer to last-minute resources to fine-tune your CCSP exam prep. 

Note: If you have already passed the CISSP exam, you can wrap up preparation for CCSP within 45-60 days. 

Practice Sample Exams 

Regular practice exams enhance your test-taking skills and confidence. These also let you know which areas require more attention so that you can level up your preparation. 

Find a Study Partner

CCSP exam preparation is a time-taking process. During three months of preparation, you might lose your motivation for the exam. But, two good study partners keep each other motivated. Secondly, you can share strategies and help each other to overcome shortcomings by leveraging other partner’s strengths.  

Revise Notes

Must review and revise your notes one or two weeks before the preparation. It will refresh your preparation. Avoid cramming; focus on understanding. 

Add Short Breaks

If you’re studying for long hours on a daily basis, then make sure to add short breaks. Otherwise, saturation of concepts will overwhelm your thoughts, thus compromising the outcome of preparation. 

Recommended Reading Materials and Books for the CCSP Certification Exam

These reading materials can significantly enhance your preparation for the CCSP certification exam. They cover everything from the CCSP syllabus and provide valuable insights into cloud security.

Study Resources

  1. CCSP ISC2 Certified Cloud Security Professional Official Study Guide

This official study guide covering all domains of CCSP is reviewed and endorsed by ISC2 itself. It also contains pre-assessment tests, objective map exercises, and chapter-based review questions. On top of that, it comes with two complete practice exams, which can help you review your preparations periodically. 

  1. The Official ISC2 Guide to the CCSP CBK 2nd Edition

It’s another official book by ISC2 that contains expert insights about all six domains of CCSP. Furthermore, it comes with tables, illustrated examples, real-life scenarios, and self-explanatory clearer diagrams.  

  1. CCSP Certified Cloud Security Professional All-in-One Exam Guide 1st Edition

This book by Danial Carter is handy for fine-tuning your basic concepts. It covers all six domains. In addition, it has a comprehensive gallery of 300+ practice questions designed on a similar standard to the actual examination.

  1. CCSP for Dummies by J. Deane

CCSP for dummies covers the technical aspects of designing and managing the cloud. The best feature of this resource is access to an online question bank, which can further refine your preparation. It also has flashcards and practice questions for final revision. 

Recommended Bootcamps and Training

Here are the CCSP boot camps and training programs for 2023:

  1. Prepare for the (ISC)2 CCSP exam Course by Gwen Bettwy

Currently, it’s like a gold standard for the preparation of the CCSP exam. This 18-hour video content covers all the core concepts under the six domains of the course. Gwen has compiled it from both perspectives: customers and cloud providers. This diversifies your learning for the CCSP exam while giving you additional practical experience for the job. 

  1. InfoSec Institute’s (ISC)2 CCSP Training Boot Camp: 

This boot camp features award-winning instruction, a test voucher, an exam pass guarantee, and 90 days of free access to InfoSec training materials for the CCSP and other courses. During the 5-day boot camp, you’ll cover all six domains of the course. Unlimited practice exam attempts are the biggest perk of this course.  

  1. Training Camp’s (ISC)2 Official Certified Cloud Security Professional Boot Camp:

This boot camp includes official CCSP courseware and practice tests, a CCSP exam voucher, CPE/CEU post-class assistance, and hands-on cloud security training. Their mock tests are designed on a similar pattern to real exams. On top of that, practical interactive exercises can speed up your learning process. 

Other Helpful Resources for CCSP Exam Prep

Other Helping Material 

Here are some additional helpful resources for CCSP exam prep:

This is an excellent collection of 1000+ practice questions by Ben Malisow. The best part is that this resource is carefully designed for everyone, so you can practice any particular domain you want. All these questions are properly answered with comprehensive explanations to expand your learning and understanding of concepts.  

These three CCSP individual practice exams are crafted to train you for real exams. It mainly contains trick questions that force you to apply your knowledge before answering any of them.  

Last-minute Resources

Here’s what can be helpful at the last moment:

It contains multiple last-minute learning and practicing exercises. You can customize quizzes to gauge your preparation for the weakest subjects. You can even retake those questions which you missed previously. Additionally, timid quizzes are also available to give you an exam-like experience. 

This is an all-round source of CCSP preparation by Gwen. It is written in an extremely to-the-point format by her. Once you have completed your study plan, you can go through this book to review your preparation. 

Essential Tips for Passing the CCSP Exam

These tips provide valuable guidance and strategies to help you successfully navigate the CCSP certification exam.

  • Approaching the Exam with the Right Mindset: Adopting a positive and confident mindset is crucial for tackling the CCSP exam effectively and managing test-related stress.
  • Time Management during the Exam: Effective time management ensures you allocate the right amount of time to each question, increasing your chances of completing the test within the given timeframe.

The Role of CCSP in Cybersecurity Careers

The CCSP certification is a great way to demonstrate your cybersecurity knowledge and prepare for a career in the field. The exam covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Expertise in Cloud Security: CCSP certification demonstrates specialized knowledge and skills in cloud security, a critical area of expertise in modern cybersecurity.
  • Enhanced Career Opportunities: CCSP opens doors to higher-paying roles and positions of greater responsibility in cybersecurity and cloud security.
  • Cloud Security Leadership: Certified professionals are well-equipped to lead and implement cloud security strategies within organizations.
  • Global Recognition: CCSP is globally recognized and respected, enhancing career prospects nationally and internationally.
  • Continuous Learning: Maintaining CCSP certification requires ongoing learning keeping professionals up-to-date with evolving cloud security practices.

Getting Ready for the Exam Day

The CCSP exam is an essential step in your career. You’ve put in the hours and hard work; now it’s time to take the test.

Exam Expenses 

The CCSP exam is priced at $599 in the United States, with equivalent costs in local currencies applicable in the EU and the UK.

Exam Locations

All ISC2 exams are offered at Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide.

What to expect on the CCSP exam?

You should expect 150 multiple-choice questions in 4 hours duration. 

CCSP Passing Score

 You need to get 700 points out of 1000 to pass the CCSP exam. 

Certification Procedure after Passing the Exam

After completing the exam, you must locate a licensed professional, complete an endorsement form, and submit it to the (ISC)2 website.  

Maintenance Requirements

To maintain your certification, you need to renew it every three years. This involves paying an annual maintenance fee (AMF) of $125 and accumulating 90 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits before your certification expires. The annual fee for associates of ISC2 is just 50 dollars. 

You must earn 30 CPEs for each year within the renewal cycle. If you fail to submit the AMF payment, your certificate will be subject to suspension.

Conversely, when you complete both the required CPE credits and the AMF payment, your membership will be renewed for a fresh three-year certification cycle.

What If You Don’t Pass?

You can retake your failed exam using Pearson VUE. The exam may be taken up to four times in a calendar year. Following are the guidelines for retaking the test:

  • After 30 days, you can re-appear in the exam if you don’t pass the first attempt.
  • After an additional 60 days, you can re-appear in the exam if you don’t pass the second time.
  • Ninety days after your most recent exam attempt, you can repeat the CCSP exam if you fail the third time.

You’re only allowed four attempts within a 12-month period. 


The CCSP certification targets security professionals responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining a cloud solution.

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