AZ-500 Exam preparation Guide - How to become a Certified Microsoft Azure Security Engineer

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Security Engineer AZ-500
  • Certification Guide
  • Published by: André Hammer on Nov 14, 2022
Blog Alt EN

If you’re an experienced IT security professional looking for ways to further your career, earn more money, or you just want to learn more about Azure, you might enjoy getting the Microsoft Azure Security Engineer certification.

There are so many different Azure certifications to pursue, and while all of them would benefit you in some way, security professionals will benefit most from the Security Engineer certification.

Companies know they need a cloud environment, but they also know they need to protect their data and applications in the cloud. In 2021, 98% of enterprises reported experiencing a cloud security breach within the previous 18 months. Studies have shown that 65% of these security breaches are caused by user error, like misconfigurations. This is where your role as a Security Engineer will come into play.

As an Azure Security Engineer, you’ll be the one to develop and implement cloud security, which includes all configurations and you’ll even create company security policies to support the security measures you implement in the cloud.

What is an Azure Security Engineer?

According to Microsoft, an Azure Security Engineer “implements Azure security controls that protect identity, access, data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments as part of an end-to-end infrastructure.”

With this certification, you will be a cybersecurity professional in charge of protecting data in the cloud. You’ll use Microsoft’s Azure Security Center to accomplish this task.

Your areas of focus will be on adjusting security to match workloads, responding to complicated attacks, and working to prevent attacks in the first place. Depending on the company you work for, you might also help protect customer data in the cloud regardless of where it’s stored, even with other providers. You probably won’t work exclusively with Azure, but Azure will be your main role and cloud environment.

How do I become an Azure Security Engineer?

To become a Microsoft certified Azure Security Engineer, there are several steps to follow.

  • You need strong cybersecurity skills. If you haven’t already, start working on developing your cybersecurity skills with regard to cloud computing and information security. Once you become a security engineer, your job will require highly technical skills and knowledge, and having this experience beforehand will help you pass your certification exam.
  • The second-to-last step is getting certified. The most important aspect of becoming a security engineer is obtaining your certification. To earn your certification, you’ll need to pass the AZ-500 exam.
  • Apply for jobs. The final step in your journey to becoming an Azure Security Engineer is to apply for security engineer jobs. Once you have your certification, you’ll be qualified for jobs that require certification. While you can find jobs that don’t require certification, they’ll likely be with small companies and the pay will be less than what you’re worth as a certified security professional. Some of the best places to look for jobs are with technology companies and organizations that have an information technology department.

How to Build a Career with Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

If you aspire to pursue a career working with Azure as a cybersecurity professional, you’ll want the Azure Fundamentals certification under your belt. This is an entry-level certification, which makes it the perfect starting point for anyone just getting into Azure and cybersecurity. However, it’s also useful when you already have knowledge and experience working with Azure.

With the Fundamentals certification, you’ll get comprehensive knowledge of Azure fundamentals, and even with experience, you might learn new things or fill in some gaps with small details.

It’s easy to pass the Fundamentals exam (AZ-900), so it’s definitely worth pursuing right away. Most people only need to study for a few days to pass.

Here’s how the Azure Fundamentals certification can help you build your career:

  • It will set a strong foundation. When your plan is to specialize in a certain area of working with Azure, the Fundamentals certification will help you by giving you a strong foundation. As you pursue additional Azure certifications, they will be extremely challenging, and you won’t get anywhere without a fundamental understanding of Azure.
  • You’ll have flexibility in your career. The Fundamentals certification will give you a wider range of job options. It’s a general certification, which opens up a wide range of opportunities. Once you have this certification, you can choose which specific path to follow, whether you want to become a developer, security engineer, or solutions architect, for example.
  • It will make learning Azure easier. As you progress in your career, you’ll need to learn higher-level skills and the more you understand Azure fundamentals, the easier this will be.
  • You can earn more money. If salary is important to you, you need the Fundamentals certification. Today’s employers will look for certifications as qualifications for the job. Holding this certification will show potential employers that you’re qualified for the position and can get you hired faster.

Azure Security Certification Learning Path

The learning path for getting certified as an Azure Security Engineer is pretty straightforward but also detailed.

Here’s a general overview of the skills you’ll need to learn to pass your exam:

  • Manage access control and application access
  • Use Azure AD to configure secure access
  • Manage Azure Active Directory identities
  • Implement platform protection with advanced network security
  • Configure advanced security measures
  • Monitor security with Azure Monitor, Azure Security Center, and Azure Sentinel
  • Configure security policies
  • Configure security for storage, databases, and Key Vault
  • And more

All of these skills are covered extensively in our Azure Security Engineer training course. It’s important to take a training course to ensure you have the knowledge required to pass the exam. Once you become certified, you’ll gain experience and expertise as you work in your field.

Azure Security Engineer prerequisites

While Microsoft doesn’t set any specific prerequisites, it’s highly recommended to have the Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate certification or the equivalent knowledge.

How to pass the AZ-500 Exam

Passing the AZ-500 exam isn’t an easy feat, but it’s more than possible with the right study plan. You’ll need to have a rigorous schedule for studying, but you’ll also need to know what to study. That’s where a prep course comes into play.

To pass the AZ-500 exam on the first try, you’ll definitely need to take a preparation course first. Your exam will consist of questions and problems that you won’t be familiar with already. Even if you find that you’re familiar with the general outline of the exam, there will be nuances and details on the exam that can be a stumbling block without a training course.

When you take our Azure Security Engineer training course, you’ll learn everything you need to know to pass the exam. Our courses are led by instructors who will walk you through the nuances of the exam and provide you with the knowledge to pass on the first try. You’ll get plenty of practice tests so that you can see what you’ll be tested on, although the questions on your practice tests will differ from those on the exam. However, they will be very similar in nature, so you can get an idea of the depth of knowledge you’ll need to pass.

What’s on the AZ-500 exam?

The exam will test you in the following domains:

  • Manage identity and access (30-35%)
  • Implement platform protection (15-20%)
  • Manage security operations (25-30%)
  • Secure data and applications (25-30%)

These are just the general sections. The exam questions will cover each of these areas in-depth.

5 Reasons to Get a Microsoft Azure Certification

While there are many specific reasons to get each type of Microsoft Azure certification, ultimately, getting certified in any capacity will be a huge bonus for your career. Here are the top 5 reasons to pursue Microsoft Azure certifications.

  1. You’ll earn more money

Who doesn’t want a higher yearly salary? If you’ve been in tech for a while, you’ve probably seen some positions that pay an enormous amount of money. This is in part because those people began their career by getting certified. With the right certification and enough experience, your salary can climb high.

When you become a certified Azure Security Engineer, you have the potential to earn upwards of $160,000 per year. This isn’t an entry-level salary, but many certified Security Engineers earn this much because they have additional certifications and experience on their side.

  1. You’ll have more employment options

Having Microsoft Azure certifications under your belt will certainly provide you with more employment options than if you weren’t certified at all. It’s important to understand that Microsoft created their certifications to fall in line with specific job roles to ensure that companies can fill those roles with qualified professionals.

Prior to this, it was difficult for companies to know who was truly qualified, since experience was often diverse. Certifications create certainty around what a person has learned and studied, which gives employers peace of mind.

Today, most large companies will only hire Azure certified professionals to fill Azure-specific roles. You might find some small businesses willing to hire you without certification, but you’ll also sacrifice salary for these positions. Smaller companies tend to cut costs extensively, which often includes lower salaries. When you’re not certified, you don’t have a choice. However, bigger companies pay certified individuals more because their certification proves that they’re worth that amount.

  1. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment

As an Azure certified professional, you’ll feel a major sense of accomplishment when you implement big solutions that really make a difference for your company and/or clients.

Another way you’ll feel accomplished is by being able to move projects along swiftly. When there’s an issue with Azure, whether it’s a security or settings issue, a storage or backup issue, whatever certifications you have will enable you to jump in and solve the problem quickly.

  1. Certifications can lead to promotions

If you love the idea of earning more money, you’ll also love the idea of getting promoted. Usually, promotions come with a decent salary increase and that’s exactly why you want Azure certifications. If you’re already working for a company in a certain role, getting certified will allow you to apply for promotions that require Azure certification.

Working for a company that requires certifications will net you a larger salary increase from a promotion compared to working for a company that doesn’t require certifications. Just keep this in mind. Once you get your certifications, you might want to change jobs to pursue better compensation.

Either way, once you’re certified, you’ll take that certification anywhere you go in the future.

  1. You love working in Azure environments

If you’re a security professional who loves working with Azure, it makes sense to get some Azure certifications under your belt. In time, you’ll strengthen your skills and become more adept at problem-solving and implementing solutions. If you’re wanting to become an expert in Azure environments, you need to get certified.

When you love Azure, certifications are the next obvious step. Azure certifications are specific to certain roles within organizations. When you get a specific certification, you’re going to be working with Azure. You might work for a company that uses a few different cloud-based systems, but Azure will be a big part of that.

What does an Azure Security Engineer do?

As a certified Microsoft Azure Security Engineer, your daily job duties will generally include:

  • Developing cloud security frameworks
  • Improving cybersecurity with networking and virtualization
  • Automating and scripting security processes
  • Implementing new security measures
  • Sharing information about Azure cloud services with clients
  • Communicating with project managers and clients to keep projects on track and secure
  • Collaborating with the IT team, programmers, and developers to improve security
  • Using Microsoft and other authoritative resources to develop security measures
  • Compiling security reports for clients to review new changes
  • Connecting with clients to identify security needs
  • Securing cloud and hybrid environments that use stationary hardware
  • And more

What are the roles and responsibilities of a Microsoft certified Azure Security specialist?

As a Microsoft certified Azure Security specialist, you’ll be responsible for working with IT to implement security strategies and you’ll provide support for cloud security. Although the specifics will differ between companies, here’s an outline of the roles and responsibilities you can expect to have.

  • Work with the company’s senior IT security team to develop and implement top-notch cybersecurity strategies
  • Deploy cloud security frameworks in Azure cloud environments
  • Create security reports and documents for company clients
  • Communicate with project managers and clients to make sure all objectives are met
  • Provide support for developing cloud security frameworks

Salary and benefits for an Azure Security Engineer

Your salary as an Azure Security Engineer will likely average around $102,519 in the United States. The benefits you’ll receive will depend on your specific employer, but most security engineers usually get access to referral programs, commuter assistance, and company 401(k) matching.

Take our prep course to pass your certification exam

If you’re ready to become a Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer, sign up for our training course and start preparing now. Our instructor-led training course can be taken in person or online, and includes the exam at the end. Don’t put your career off any longer – get started today with our training course, and you’ll be on your way to a new and rewarding Azure cybersecurity career!

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