The top five in-demand cloud security skills for 2016

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The cloud computing market continues to expand at a phenomenal rate. According to a recent report from IDC, worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow 19.4% annually through to 2019. Six times the rate of overall IT spend growth, this will double the current spend from $70 billion to $141 billion.

As more businesses transition to the cloud this will drive up demand for IT professionals with the skills to make the most of the technology. A market, which according to WANTED Analytics, already offers 18 million jobs worldwide. When considering this transition, a report from BT suggests security remains the number one concern for businesses looking to implement cloud technology. Therefore, IT professionals with cloud security skills will be more in-demand than most.

To help you take advantage of this growing opportunity, take a look at this list of the top five in-demand cloud security skills.

Compliance

The instant a business makes use of a cloud storage or backup service, compliance becomes an issue. Moving data from internal to external storage requires that business to closely examine how that data is kept to ensure they remain compliant with laws and industry regulations.

Understanding data types you can and can’t move to the cloud, asking the right questions of providers and ensuring correct terms are written into service level agreements (SLAs) are all critical areas in maintaining a business’s cloud compliance. Professionals who can demonstrate these skills within these areas will be in huge demand, crucial to any organisation using cloud storage services. Getting on the wrong side of cloud compliance can cost organisations $millions in fines, not to mention the reputational damage it can cause.

Ethical hacking

One of the more exciting skills on the list is that of ethical hacking. Businesses are increasingly on the lookout for professionals with ethical hacking skills as they look to test the security of their private, public and hybrid cloud deployments.

These ethical hackers combine a series of tools, hacking and penetration techniques in order to search for weaknesses in the businesses systems. The Certified Ethical Hacker course from EC-Council is a great way to develop these skills, with new modules dedicated to cloud computing.

Platform specific knowledge

When it comes to selecting a cloud platform, businesses actively seeking professionals who can demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the leading providers. This platform specific knowledge is hugely important when it comes to security.

These professionals help the business choose the platform, understanding how cloud service providers implement security. This can include knowledge of how each provider enforces physical security of its infrastructure and facilities through to the inbuilt security features that can be implemented once using a platform.

For leading providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, there are a range of cloud courses available to help develop this platform specific knowledge.

Communication

Interestingly, among the most in-demand cloud security skills is one entirely unrelated to the technologies themselves, communication. Both cloud and security combined include complex technological concepts and jargon that require explanation. The ability to be able to communicate these concepts and requirements to management and non-technical staff is a critical part of ensuring cloud security is correctly implemented in an organisation.

In fact, the (ISC)² Global Information Security Workforce Study places communication as the most important skill in contributing to being a successful information security professional. Amazingly, 90% of the 14,000 respondents ranked it as the number one.

Encryption

TalkTalk’s recent data breach cost the company £60m. The cause, cyber attackers intercepting unencrypted data packages.

Encryption remains one of the most effective ways to achieve data security. With the volume of data now being transmitted from businesses to the cloud, professionals who can create complex encryption algorithms whilst also understanding the different cloud encryption services on offer will continue to be a valuable and sought after asset.

Conclusion

These are some of the hottest security skills demanded of the modern cloud professional. Developing your skills in just one of these areas will open the door to new and exciting opportunities in 2016 and beyond. Why not start today?

Read more: The top five in-demand cloud skills for 2016

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