Microsoft launched the role-based certifications for Microsoft 365 and Azure. Based on your job role and experience, you can choose the certification that suits your profile. If your job is to manage security for Azure, then you can take the exam AZ-500. Microsoft Azure security technologies make you certified as a security engineer associate. This exam is a challenging one and makes you go through various business scenarios which you should read thoroughly pick the right answer.
What to expect from this article?
IT Security Professionals with the knowledge and skills to implement the security controls, maintain an organization’s security posture, identify, and fix the security gaps should take up the AZ-500 certification exam. Anyone looking to work on Azure, architect, administrators also can take up the AZ-500 certification. A comprehensive guide including sufficient study material, anticipate questions from respective modules, tips, and tricks, reference inks to self-studying or instructor-led training are available throughout this article to support your learning and get you upskilled. Case studies and hands-on labs link will be also available for anyone.
Azure administrators, candidates interested in expanding their cloud security knowledge, or an M365 Engineer wanting to learn about Azure security then AZ-500, Microsoft Azure Security Engineer certification exam is the perfect one to take up. However, if you are a beginner in the field of security or cloud, then I would suggest taking the AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate orAZ-303, which will be a good start for understanding Azure foundational concepts. No mandatory prerequisite exam before the AZ-500 exam.
Key Benefits of AZ-500 Certification
Protect integrated cloud platforms like Azure workloads from malware, phishing attacks, and other cyber threats
Create automated solutions for threat resolution across various domains by fusing threat data together for a quick response
Understand security requirements for organizations and provide tailored security solutions based on the secure score report
Implement security strategy, policy designs, long-term vision for the organization within a secure and safe service model
Provide expert consultation for deployment to suit the needs of the organization
Manage and facilitate the integration of security into business and employee profiles
Serve as security liaison to auditors, assessors, and examiners
Get an edge in the job market as a certified Microsoft Azure Security Associate Engineer with a coveted Microsoft badge
The table below summarizes all additional information about the exam.
Percentage of the question for all the modules:
Manage identity and access (30-35%)
Most of the questions in the exam will appear from this module as it mostly explains a lot about Azure Active Directory, how to manage and configure AD identities, manage access controls by giving permissions, customize RBAC roles and interpret permissions. Prepare mostly for scenario-based questions from this module.
Implement platform protection (15-20%)
Relatively fewer questions can be expected from this module as it deals with implementing platform protection. Thorough knowledge of Virtual Networks authentication, encryption, Network Security Groups,
Manage Security Operations (25-30%)
The concepts explained in this module are Azure Monitor, Azure Security Center, Azure Sentinel, and configuring security policies. Questions will be based on client requirements for managing and configuring security policies.
Secure data and applications (20-25%)
This module explains security for storage and databases. Configuring Azure SQL Database Advanced Threat Protection, managing access to Key Vault, backup and restoring Key Vault items, and many more.
Study Materials and References
* Microsoft Official Courseware (MOC) is provided by CloudThat upon enrolment of the course
* Practise labs and hands-on sessions are also provided by CloudThat
* Microsoft Learning Path
* Microsoft Documentation
* Case studies for understanding client requirements
* Instructor-led training is available which can help you prepare for the Microsoft Azure Security Technologies certification exam * CloudThat also provides Test Prep for anyone attempting this course where unlimited access is provided to our library for Azure, MCQs, and performance tracker.
Check out the course link for additional information.
Tips & Tricks:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft has removed the hands-on labs from the exam
However, it may be revoked at any point in the future
To crack the exam, it is highly recommended to go through the hands-on labs to understand how to implement solutions in Azure
A great amount of focus is given to the identity services which includes authentication and authorization mechanisms, working with Azure Active Directory, how to configure PIM, conditional access policies, identity protection, MFA, and SSPR, also questions come from Azure Active Directory Connect
A lot of emphasis is given to the Networking concepts and how to secure Azure Workloads using VNets, SubNets, Bastion host, Firewalls, NSGs, DDOS, VNet peering, Hub and Spoke architecture, VPN, ExpressRoute, etc.
The exam focuses on Compute and Storage Security also. You need to focus on encryption, SSH connectivity options, how to configure JIT (Just In Time), differences between SAS and Access keys, and managed identities
You can expect questions in the exam from Microsoft’s Database offerings on Azure including Azure SQL, Azure SQL managed instances, and Azure Synapse also. One needs to understand the concepts like Database auditing, securing Database access, different types of Database encryption including TDE and Always on Encryption, how to configure end-to-end encryption, vulnerability assessment of your Databases, and Data masking
In the exam, questions come from these topics as well: Azure policies, Azure blueprint, RBAC, managed identities, application securities, etc
The current exam focuses a lot on Azure Sentinel and Azure security center together
As part of your preparation, it is suggested that you go through the Azure Sentinel and Azure security center with hands-on lab practice
Do not miss out on taking up CloudThat’s TestPrep before you appear for the actual exam
Get Certified Now:
It is always great to get the right source of learning to Move Up. At CloudThat we have a course aimed at preparing participants/candidates for the AZ-500 Security engineer Associate certification exam. You can register by visiting the Microsoft website.
Anusha Shanbhag is a Technical Content Writer at CloudThat Technologies. With over 10 years of industry experience, she has published over 25 blogs, articles, and technical case studies with a keen interest in advanced cloud technologies. She is a public speaker and ex-president of the corporate Toastmaster club.