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Cloud security refers to protection of data, applications, and infrastructures involved in cloud computing. Security has become an essential element of any cloud service, together with increasing security concerns faced by organizations including unauthorized data exposure and leaks, weak access controls, susceptibility to attacks, and availability disruptions that affect traditional IT and cloud systems alike. As a result leading to increased demand for certified Security Professionals. Microsoft offers Exam AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies for filling this gap.
So if you wish to pursue a career as a Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate, then Microsoft Azure AZ-500 exam is the most significant step in your journey. Before you start preparing for AZ-500 exam get ready to gather all the details together. We will elaborate all the details together with exam preparation guide by experts in this article.
Why to opt for Microsoft AZ-500 Exam?
Microsoft is among the most popular organization that provides certification courses, in the field of cloud computing. AZ-500 exam is an associate level exam, great for beginners who are looking to get into the technology field. The certification is ideal for candidates who have prior knowledge of advanced security as well as working experience of Microsoft Azure.? Since, cloud security is important for both business and personal users, therefore it has resulted in an increase in security jobs market. Hence an increase in requirement for certified Azure Security Engineer Associates.
Microsoft Azure is a single cloud service provider which offers candidates a role based- certifications that are specially designed according to the industry requirements and job roles.
Microsoft AZ-500 – General Review
With every business running online on some kind of cloud platform, cloud security job profiles are increasing rapidly.?So in order to become a good security engineer must posses the following skills set –
- Should have a good understanding of managing identity and access in azure.
- Must be able to implement platform protection.
- Should know how to implement network and host security.
- Must be proficient in building azure firewalls and other security solutions.
- Should have good understanding of security concepts including azure policy, AKS security and resource locks should be managed.
Responsibilities as a Cloud Security Professional
As a security engineer you will be required to manage cloud security. This covers security of any organizations data, their applications and networks as well. In other words as a Microsoft Azure security engineer, would be required to serve as a part of a team specifically dedicated to cloud-based management and security. Together with the responsibility to secure hybrid environments as part of an end-to-end infrastructure.
Important exam details you must know!
Exam details are the most crucial part while preparing for AZ-500. So let’s go through the details of the examination AZ-500 so that you are not stuck anywhere.
The structure of Microsoft Azure AZ-500 exam is also somewhat similar to other Azure exams by Microsoft. According to Microsoft Azure official page, total questions would be around 40-60 questions covering all the topics and subtopics. The type of questions will be multiple choice questions as well as multiple select questions. Also the registration fee for AZ-500 exam is $165 USD. AZ-500 exam is conducted in English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Korean languages only.
Microsoft Azure AZ-500 Exam Details
|Microsoft Azure Security Engineer AZ-500
|English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Korean
Prerequisites for AZ-500 Exam
In order to achieve the status of Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate a variety of objective and skills are tested in the Microsoft Azure AZ-500 exam. So if you wish to go for AZ-500 exam, make sure you are well equipped with the extensive prior knowledge of Azure technologies. If that is not the case, then it is suggested to first? either? qualify Azure AZ-900 (Azure Fundamentals) ?or AZ-103 (Azure Administrator) exam. Though it’s not compulsory, but this will make sure that you’re familiar with Azure technologies. So before applying for AZ-500 exam ensure that you are well skilled to crack the exam in first attempt.
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AZ-500 Exam Course Outline
Now that we’ve acquired the basic exam details, let’s move forward towards the course outline for AZ-500 exam. For candidate’s convenience, Microsoft structures different modules so that it is easy to adapt and structure your preparation accordingly. All the modules are briefly described below.
A little heads up for you people: The content of this examwere updated on December 4, 2019 and following are the revised skills.
Module 1: Managing Identity and Access (20-25%)
The first module covers around 20-25% of the exam question, such that this particular module is divided into three subcategories.
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Configuring Azure Active Directory for workloads
- Creating App Registration
- Configuring App Registration permission scopes
- Managing App Registration permission consent
- Configuring Multi-Factor Authentication settings
- Managing Azure AD directory groups
- Managing Azure AD users
- Installing and configuring Azure AD Connect
- Configuring authentication methods
- Implementing Conditional Access policies
- Configuring Azure AD identity protection
Configuring Azure AD Privileged Identity Management
- Monitoring privileged access
- Configuring Access Reviews
- Activating Privileged Identity Management
Configuring Azure tenant security
- Transferring Azure subscriptions between Azure AD tenants
- Managing API access to Azure subscriptions and resources
Module 2: Implementing platform protection (35-40%)
The second module has the highest weightage amongst all i.e. 35-40% giving it more importance than any other module. So make sure you are well versed with this one before appearing for AZ-500 exam. Further this is divided into 4 sub domains.
Implementing network security
- Configuring virtual network connectivity
- Configuring Network Security Groups (NSGs)
- Creating and configuring Azure Firewall
- Creating and configuring Azure Front Door service
- Creating and configuring application security groups
- Configuring remoting access management
- Configuring baseline
- Configuring resource firewall
Implementing host security
- Configuring endpoint security within the VM
- Configuring VM security
- Hardening VMs in Azure
- Configuring system updates for VMs in Azure
- Configuring baseline
Configuring container security
- Configuring network
- Configuring authentication
- Configuring container isolation
- Configure AKS security
- Configuring container registry
- Implementing vulnerability management
Implementing Azure Resource management security
- Creating Azure resource locks
- Managing resource group security
- Configuring Azure policies
- Configuring custom RBAC roles
- Configuring subscription and resource permissions
Module 3: Managing security operations (15-20%)
This particular module covers a 15-20% of the exam and is categorized into three parts.
Configuring Security Services
- Configuring Azure Monitor
- Configuring diagnostic logging and log retention
- Configuring vulnerability scanning
Configuring Security Policies
- Configuring centralized policy management by using Azure Security Center
- Configuring Just in Time VM access by using Azure Security Center
Managing Security Alerts
- Creating and customizing alerts
- Reviewing and responding to alerts and recommendations
- Configuring a playbook for a security event by using Azure Security Center
- Investigating escalated security incidents
Module 4: Securing data and applications (25-30%)
This last module and has been divided into five subtopics with a weightage of 25-30% exam
Configuring security policies to manage data
- Configuring data classification
- Configuring data retention
- Configuring data sovereignty
Configuring security for data infrastructure
- Enabling database authentication
- Enabling database auditing
- Configuring Azure SQL Database Advanced Threat Protection
- Configuring access control for storage accounts
- Configuring key management for storage accounts
- Configuring Azure AD authentication for Azure Storage
- Configuring Azure AD Domain Services authentication for Azure Files
- Creating and managing Shared Access Signatures (SAS)
- Configuring security for HDInsight
- Configuring security for Cosmos DB
- Configuring security for Azure Data Lake
Configuring encryption for data at rest
- Implementing Azure SQL Database Always Encrypted
- Implementing database encryption
- Implementing Storage Service Encryption
- Implementing disk encryption
Configuring application security
- Configuring SSL/TLS certs
- Configuring Azure services to protect web apps
- Creating an application security baseline
Configuring and manage Key Vault
- Managing access to Key Vault
- Managing permissions to secrets, certificates, and keys
- Configuring RBAC usage in Azure Key Vault
- Managing certificates
- Managing secrets
- Configuring key rotation
Now you can easily, prepare yourself according to all the modules mentioned above.
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Ready to Schedule?
Microsoft offers you to schedule your exam at yourconvenience. Not so much of a hassle there. So allow yourself to thinkcarefully according to your work plan and then schedule.
You need to follow the given steps in the process ofscheduling the exam –
- Go to the Microsoft portal and register for your exam.
- When you are done with preparations go ahead and schedule your exam by clicking on the “schedule exam” link.
- Fill all your details on the next page.
- You can select the exam delivery option on the page of Pearson VUE, Microsoft’s exam partner.
- Your registration will complete once there’s a confirmation on the payment of your exam fee.
Process of Exam Scoring for AZ-500
Scoring the right number will lead to your certification. So make sure you’re scoring 700 and above which is always appreciated to boost your self-confidence. You can easily view your remarks after a few moments of your submission of AZ-500 exam. But in case you’re eager to know about the detailed exam statement of yours, then you have to wait for a few days. Your scorecard will reflect all the details of your overall performance of AZ-500 exam you’ve undertaken.
Is retake available for AZ-500 exam?
In case you don’t qualify for the first time and are still wondering if you can that second chance again. Then yes you can! You can always take a retest. But we would recommend going for retest again only if you’re fully convinced about your preparation this time. So make sure you’re not pressuring yourself and are putting your best foot forward. So according to Microsoft-
- If any person is not able to manage a passing score on the exam the first time, then person must wait for at least 24 hours before rescheduling the AZ-500 exam.
- If any person is not able to manage the passing score the second time as well, the candidate must wait for at least 14 days before rescheduling the AZ-500 exam for the third time.
A 14-day waiting period is also compulsory for both the fourth and fifth subsequent exam retakes. No examiner is allowed to appear for given exam not more than five times per year (12 months). This 12-month time period starts on the last or fifth unsuccessful AZ-500 exam retake. Only after that the examiner is again allowed to retake the exam 12 months from that date. To attempt this exam more than five times per year or to have the time between attempts waived, then the candidate should request and obtain prior permission from Microsoft.
Well it’s always better to give your 100% in the very first attempt so that you don’t have to go through this path. So Practice Now!
Can we cancel/reschedule AZ-500 exam?
Some of the cases of cancellation include –
- In case you plan to cancel or reschedule any slot, then it should be done at least 6 business days before the scheduled exam time, so that there are no charges for the cancellation.
- In case there is any cancellation or rescheduling within 5 business days, then you will be charged a nominal fee.
- In case you fail to reschedule or cancel the appointment 24 hours before the scheduled time then the entire exam fee will be forfeited. So be careful!
Azure Training and Certification Path
What’s with preparation?
Getting certified for your knowledge and skills will boostyour confidence and provide you with immense credibility. But where to find thegenuine source which you can rely on? So here is a list of genuine sources thatwill help you study.
Microsoft Learning Platform
Now let’s direct you in the right direction so that you can complete your syllabus from a verified and genuine platform. For the same, make sure you go through the official website of Microsoft. For AZ-500 exam it would be a smart choice to first go through the most trusted website to get the authentic information about the exam. You can easily locate the AZ-500 page where you can just go through all the necessary information about the AZ-500 exam. From exam pattern to all the included modules and study materials are covered on the Microsoft portal itself.
Now make sure you don’t mix Microsoft documentation withMicrosoft learning portal as both of these contain different learning pages. Byusing Microsoft documentation you can easily understand Microsoft azurefundamentals. Moreover you can also get to know the different scales ofdifferent azure services. This will make sure that you are working by the clockand learning so much new to azure technologies offered by experts directly toyou.
Instructor Led Training
So Microsoft provides you with instructor led training whichare basically online learning and training session by expertscertified instructors. This is anadvantage for all those of you who have tiny slots between their ongoingchores. These are totally on demand classrooms so you can arrange classesaccording to your convenience. They come with few benefits such as- increasedconvenience, flexible scheduling and quick responses.
For all the Bookworms
Books are always a good way to acquire new knowledge. So,our suggestion to you would be find books for exam AZ-500 from genuine sources.Here are a few books frombeginner to advanced level.
- For beginners: Azure: Microsoft Azure Tutorial for Beginners Kindle Edition by Kennan Bismar
- Intermediate level : Microsoft Azure Security Kindle Edition byRoberto Freato
- For Advanced level : Pro Azure Governance and Security by Peter De Tender, David Rendon and Samuel Erskine.
Join Forums or Study Group
Since there are so many distractions around us. Online forums and study groups can turn out to be beneficial for you all. This particular step is not mandatory for your preparation. The step of joining any study group or forum depends on you. At any point while preparing you can join any study group. Study groups will make sure you are connected to all other people who are also going through the same journey as yours. You can always ask a question related to the topic you’re having difficulty with. Many people in study groups can also help you understand any query you have relating to AZ-500 exam.
Self evaluate with Practice tests
Finally, we’re on the last step for the preparation ofAZ-500 exam. This final step will give you the exact insight of where youstand. Are you ready to self evaluate? Make sure you’re going through sampletests only after you have gone through the whole syllabus. All the sample testmock test/ practice tests are designed in such a way that you encounter thereal exam environment around you. After completing sample tests you can easilyunderstand the areas you’re lacking behind and work upon them. Practice paperscan be from various sources. Remember the more you test yourself the betteryou’re going to become. So start PRACTICING NOW!.
First things first, pull yourself together. Control allyour feelings and focus your mind on exam. It’s going to go fine. Just put yourbest foot forward. If still you’re freaking out, here are a few tips for yourexam day.
- Prepare all your things the night before, so that in the morning it’s all not a mess.
- On the day, try to wake up early and read something short and precise. This will help in warming up your mind and body before the exam.
- Just relax, and don’t over think. You’re going to be okay.
Certification courses like Microsoft Azure AZ-500 are not just merely exams, these are much more than that. AZ-500 certification?will not only lead you to big names in IT sectors but also boost your confidence. It can be proved to be a good match for any technical engineer, IT managers, consultants or any other cloud architects. Moreover this has been placed among the top cloud security certification courses out there.
We have discussed all the information regarding Microsoft Azure AZ-500 exam here. So pull your socks up and?gear yourself up with all the resources we’ve discussed above along with proper use of your time. With these resources, AZ-500 exam is completely achievable.
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