The GIAC Cloud Security Essentials (GCLD) certification is designed for practitioners seeking to validate their ability to implement preventive, detective, and reactionary techniques in the defense of cloud-based workloads. Key information about GCLD includes:

Key Information:

  • Exam Format: The certification exam is a proctored test with 75 questions to be completed in 2 hours. A minimum passing score of 61% is required.
  • Areas Covered: The certification addresses the evaluation of cloud service provider similarities, differences, challenges, and opportunities. It also includes planning, deploying, hardening, and securing both single and multi-cloud environments, along with basic cloud resource auditing, security assessment, and incident response.
  • Target Audience: GCLD is suitable for security engineers, security analysts, system administrators, risk managers, security managers, security auditors, and individuals new to the cloud.
  • Delivery: All GIAC Certification exams are web-based and require proctoring, with options for remote proctoring through ProctorU and onsite proctoring through PearsonVUE.
  • Exam Activation: Certification attempts are activated in the GIAC account post-approval, and candidates have 120 days from activation to complete the exam.

The GCLD certification aims to validate practical skills in cloud security essentials, making it relevant for professionals across various roles who work with cloud-based environments.

The GIAC Cloud Security Essentials (GCLD) Exam Certification Objectives cover various aspects related to securing cloud environments.

Here’s a summary of the key objectives:

  1. Attacking the Cloud and Responding to Intrusions:
    • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the penetration testing process and incident response considerations in public cloud environments.
  2. Cloud Account Fundamentals:
    • Demonstrate understanding of cloud identity fundamentals and access management principles.
    • Show familiarity with security best practices for controlling access using different identity types.
  3. Cloud Automation:
    • Demonstrate a basic understanding of provisioning and managing cloud infrastructure using Infrastructure as Code.
    • Show familiarity with automation practices to support continuous and repeatable evaluation tasks.
  4. Cloud Logging Fundamentals:
    • Demonstrate familiarity with cloud logging capabilities and methods for collecting logs for utility and dissemination.
  5. Cloud Networking Technology:
    • Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental network security concepts and their implementation using cloud resources.
  6. Containers and Cloud Storage:
    • Demonstrate familiarity with serverless compute resources, container technologies, and secure orchestration.
    • Show familiarity with cloud storage options and secure architectural practices.
  7. Discovering and Storing Sensitive Data:
    • Demonstrate understanding of data security in a multi-tenant environment.
    • Show knowledge of configuring and monitoring cloud resources to deter data leakage using encryption and data loss prevention strategies.
  8. External Access and IAM Best Practices:
    • Demonstrate understanding of security considerations when integrating 3rd party services with a cloud environment.
  9. Frameworks for Built-in Security:
    • Demonstrate understanding of system development life cycles and AppSec frameworks for creating a baseline configuration with security built-in.
    • Show familiarity with continuous integration and continuous deployment.
  10. Network Security Monitoring in the Cloud:
    • Demonstrate basic knowledge of collecting and interpreting network flow data and packet capturing in the cloud.
    • Show familiarity with using network security monitoring practices to enhance detection and response capabilities.
  11. Risk Management and Compliance:
    • Demonstrate understanding of regulatory, compliance, security assurance, and risk management requirements.
  12. Secrets Management:
    • Demonstrate knowledge of securing user secrets and familiarity with integrating various authentication mechanisms in a cloud environment.
  13. Secure Compute Deployment:
    • Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of resource allocation and image evaluation when deploying cloud compute resources.
    • Show the ability to maintain the compute resource attack surface through automation practices and patch management.
  14. Securing Cloud Networks:
    • Demonstrate understanding of network isolation, remote access, common attacks against cloud resources, and best practices to protect against them.
  15. Understanding Shared Responsibility and Threat Informed Defense:
    • Demonstrate basic knowledge of using threat modeling to architect threat-informed defenses for cloud resources.
    • Show understanding of service delivery models and shared responsibility in public cloud services.
  16. Using Sensitive Data:
    • Demonstrate understanding of cloud resource elasticity, high availability functionality, and fundamental knowledge of securing data in transit between cloud resources and application users.
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 by gentlemanhacker
GIAC Cloud Security Essentials (GCLD) (2023)

Difficulty: 1 out of 5.

This is a great course if you want an overview of the security components for the top 3 CSP (AWS,GCP,Azure).

It focuses on AWS and Azure. It utilizes terraform to spin things up and down - so if you want to know what you're doing very hands on, a lot is done with automation.

Its also a high level overview of each of the platforms, so if you are more on the advanced side of any of them, this might be a snore for you. I recommend for new cloud security engineers, cloud engineers, leaders who need an overview of capabilities of each CSP.
The test - if you have a solid index, you'll do fine.

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