GIAC Cloud Security Automation (GCSA) icon

GIAC Cloud Security Automation (GCSA)

The GCSA certification covers cloud services and modern DevSecOps practices that are used to build and deploy systems and applications more securely. 

Areas Covered

  • Using cloud services with Secure DevOps principles, practices, and tools to build & deliver secure infrastructure and software
  • Automating Configuration Management, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Monitoring
  • Use of open-source tools, the Amazon Web Services toolchain, and Azure services

Who is GCSA for?

  • Anyone working in a public cloud or DevOps environment
  • Developers
  • Software architects
  • Operations engineers
  • System administrators
  • Security analysts and engineers
  • Auditors
  • Risk managers
  • Security consultants

Exam Format

  • 1 proctored exam
  • 75 questions
  • 2 hours
  • Minimum passing score of 61%

Delivery

NOTE: All GIAC Certification exams are web-based and required to be proctored. There are two proctoring options: remote proctoring through ProctorU, and onsite proctoring through PearsonVUE. Click here for more information.

GIAC certification attempts will be activated in your GIAC account after your application has been approved and according to the terms of your purchase. Details on delivery will be provided along with your registration confirmation upon payment. You will receive an email notification when your certification attempt has been activated in your account. You will have 120 days from the date of activation to complete your certification attempt.

Exam Certification Objectives & Outcome Statements

  • Microservice Security
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of microservice architecture and implementation in a DevOps environment. The candidate will show familiarity with the architecture's attack surface and appropriate security controls used in various architectural designs and conditions.
  • Cloud Security Fundamentals
    The candidate will demonstrate basic knowledge of Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud architecture components, Identity and Access Management, usage of the command-line interface, as well as general knowledge of how to secure the environment.
  • Cloud Security Monitoring
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of tools for monitoring and assessing a cloud environment. The candidate will show familiarity with tools that perform vulnerability assessments, threat detection, compliance benchmarking, audit logging, log evaluation, and network collection.
  • Compliance as Code
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the Secure DevOps auditing controls and how to leverage automated scanners to automate policy requirements.
  • Configuration Management as Code
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of managing infrastructure using programmable configuration management toolsets. The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the new attack surfaces presented by CI, CD, and CM tools and familiarity with techniques for how to harden these tools.
  • Container Security
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of container security issues, hardening containerized environments, container orchestration tools, and running these workloads in the cloud.
  • Continuous Security Monitoring
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of what metrics and monitoring tools are needed to inform security efforts in cloud and DevOps environments. The candidate will show familiarity with how this data is collected, parsing log files, network collection, setting thresholds, and alerting the security team.
  • Data Protection and Secrets Management
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of cloud facilities used for storing and securing data at rest and securing data in motion. The candidate will also show the ability to select appropriate encryption configurations, and familiarity with key management options and practices, and secrets management practices.
  • Deployment Orchestration and Secure Content Delivery
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of deployment patterns, such as canary and blue/green deployment processes, their benefits, and how to choose which approach is appropriate for a given situation. The candidate will demonstrate familiarity with the purposes and issues involved with using Content Delivery Networks (CDN). The candidate will show understanding of methods to safely bypass the Same Origin Policy, CDN configuration practices and issues, and demonstrate ways that access to CDN content can be controlled securely.
  • DevOps Fundamentals
    The candidate will demonstrate familiarity with Secure DevOps fundamentals and culture, including terminology, automation, cloud infrastructure integration, and security risks.
  • DevSecOps Security Controls
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the DevOps deployment pipeline and security considerations for each step of the Continuous Delivery and Continuous Integration processes.
  • Runtime Security Automation
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of virtual patching in the cloud using Security as a Service, such as the Web Application Firewall. The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of how to configure those services to protect against common website attacks.
  • Secure Infrastructure as Code
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of setting up and managing cloud infrastructure via code. The candidate will show familiarity with cloud provider and third-party tools used to manage cloud infrastructure resources.
  • Securing Cloud Architecture
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of securing cloud architecture using Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment / Continuous Delivery pipelines. The candidate will show familiarity with Azure and AWS toolsets to track work items, code, test, build, and release, and how each stage is secured and automated.
  • Serverless Security
    The candidate will demonstrate familiarity with serverless architectures, their features, advantages, security concerns, and tactics for deploying effective security in serverless implementations.

Other Resources

  • Training is available in a variety of modalities including live training and OnDemand
  • Practical work experience can help ensure that you have mastered the skills necessary for certification.
  • College level courses or self paced study through another program or materials may meet the needs for mastery.
  • Get information about the procedure to contest exam results.
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