CCSK VS CCSP Certification: The Ultimate Cloud Security Crackdown

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ccsk vs ccsp certification

Do you want to know something new about cloud security? Or are you looking for new ways to deal with security threats? If yes, then we have one solution that not only caters to the needs of the cloud industry but also acts as a guiding assistant for professionals.

Cloud security is becoming the need of the day now. To deal with new types of errors, one needs a proper certification which will help professionals to think out of the box. Moreover, it provides them with new and advanced expertise and knowledge about the field.  

Most prestigious organizations emphasize more on cloud security and make other institutions liable to develop tailored credentials. The most popular certifications among them are CCSK and CCSP which act as a guiding partner for professionals in chasing an advanced career in cloud security domains.

Here, we are picking the CCSK and CCSP exams for comparison. We will focus on detailed explanations, their similarities and differences, importance,  salary, cost, exam details, and much more. So without wasting time, let’s get started!

Basic Difference between CCSK and CCSP

ISC2 and CSA launch customized credentials that answer the security concerns and needs of cloud users. Both CCSK and CCSP are competitors and demonstrate practical expertise and experience in cloud computing. Before going into details of the comparison between the two, we need to share some detailed knowledge about CCSK and CCSP credentials.

Overview of CCSK credentials

The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) Certification is one of the best among prestigious certifications and a pioneer of Cloud Security Alliance (CSA). Cloud savvies get foundational knowledge and expertise for ensuring smooth cloud security in an organization. It is vendor-neutral credentials that form the basis for attaining more advanced certification in the field. This specific exam followed international standards of cloud security.

Overview of CCSP

The Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) Certification is the most demanded credential for cloud security. The ISC2 launches this one specifically for the development of advanced industrial and technical skills in cloud security while offering you practical experiences among practitioners. Certified members and experts designed for delivering practical policies.

Exam Outline for CCSP or CCSK

Below are the exam details for CCSP and CCSK


Exams Name
Total Questions
Test Question Type
Multiple Choice Questions
Time Required
4 Hours
Passing Marks
Test Venue
Pearson VUE Testing Center
English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, & German
Maintenance Cost
$100 (USD)


Exams Name
Total Questions
Test Question Type
Multiple Choice Questions
Time Required
90 Minutes
Passing Weightage
Test Venue
Open Book & Taken Online
English, Spanish, & Japanese
Expiration Requirement
2 years
Maintenance Cost
Not Required

Major Domains for CCSP and CCSK Certifications

Major covered domains and topics for Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) Certification and Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) Credentials are mentioned below


Main Domains
Cloud Concepts, Architecture, and Design
Cloud Data Security
Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security
Cloud Application Security
Cloud Security Operations
Legal, Risk, and Compliance


Major Domain
Weightage (%)
Cloud Computing Concepts and Architecture
Governance and Enterprise Risk Management
Legal Issues, Contracts, and Electronic Discovery
Compliance and Audit Management
Information Governance
Management Plane and Business Continuity
Infrastructure Security
Virtualization and Containers
Incident Response
Application Security
Data Security and Encryption
Identity, Entitlement, and Access Management
Security as a Service
Related Technologies
Extra Domains
Weightage %
Cloud Controls Matrix
ENISA Recommendations

Target Audience

Professionals who can opt for CCSP Certification should be from information technology and software security departments. The target audience for CCSK is those who want to pursue their career in Information technology and cloud security.

Cost of CCSP vs CCSK Certification

The cost incurred for CCSK credentials is $395 (USD) and with this, they offer almost two attempts to take the particular exam. While for CCSP, the price for this certification is $599.

Prerequisite for CCSP and CCSK


One needs 5 years of experience in the IT industry or a professional can possess three years of experience in information security and one year in the above-mentioned domains. 

A person who does not have any prior experience needs to become an associate member of ISC2 and after attaining these specific credentials will have 6 years of experience.


There is no requirement for any industry experience. Professionals need to possess advanced knowledge of three main documents, including the CSA cloud control matrix, ENISA reports, and guidance from the original website.

Job occupation suggested for CCSP or CCSK Certification

The future job roles suggested for CCSP  and CCSK certifiers are mentioned below

Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) Certification
Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) Certification
Cloud Computing Analyst
Cloud Computing Analyst
Cloud Administrator & Engineer
Cloud Architect & Engineer
Cybersecurity Specialist
Security Administrator
Information Security Network Specialist
Systems Architect & Engineer
Chief Information Security Officer
Cloud Administrator
System Engineer & Architect
Enterprise Architect

Salary Expectation for CCSP and CCSK Credentials

The annual pay scale for CCSP certification is $137,000 per year which is expected to be increased by $157,000. While for CCSK certification, the average annual pay is almost $121,932 which can be up to $179,500.

Salary expectations according to some locations are given below:

Annual Salary for CCSP
Annual Salary for CCSK
Santa Cruz, CA
Sunnyvale, CA
Livermore, CA
Arlington, VA
Kent, WA

Common Variation CCSK vs CCSP Credentials

In this table, we explained the common differences between these CCSK and CCSP credentials.

Professional Level Certification
Beginner Level Certification
ISC2 coordinated with the CSA platform to design this exam
CSA only created this exam
Creates professional-level knowledge and expertise regarding cloud security
It sets foundational expertise and understanding of cloud security
Focuses on both cloud & information security
It focuses on cloud security
Closed book at testing center
Opened Book with online testing facility
Training and exam costs are relatively higher than CCSK Certification
Training and exam costs are low

Potential Outcomes of CCSK Certification

A professional will enjoy the following set of possible benefits:

  • This certification will open paths for advanced career opportunities for professionals.
  • One can exhibit advanced expertise and knowledge in the cloud security field.
  • It helps professionals to set a baseline and follow corporate guidelines and standards for performing a diverse range of responsibilities.
  • They show their assistance in designing compatible security programs.

Potential Outcomes OF CCSP

Following are some advantages, one can attain after getting this certification:

  • They act as a hope for securing organization and individual users’ data and information.
  • Professionals will get strategic solutions to ensure protection against data losses.
  • It helps professionals to demonstrate their knowledge in practical experience.
  • Utilized set standards and evaluation techniques to cater to the needs of the organization.

Explore in depth: SSCP vs CISSP: 10 Major Differences to Clarify the Pathway

Preparation Tips & Guideline

One can prepare these certifications by below mentioned preparation tips and guidelines

1. Download the syllabus from the Official website

If someone wants to decide and start his preparation, he can download the exam syllabus, understand its domains and purpose, and correlate the objectives with his passion.

2. Take help from study materials and dumps

Many websites offer helpful materials for exam preparation. If you want to qualify and get an ace, we recommend the best Edurely dumps and practice questions. They considered the exam outline for developing their supporting materials.

3. Connect with different study groups

There are many social media groups in which practitioners, learners, and experts are connected. Most of the complementary materials are shared by seniors to help juniors understand and upgrade industry knowledge while mastering specific expertise to grow in the specific field of cloud and information security department.

4. Plan a tailored schedule for preparation

ISC2 and CSA both recommend their practitioners make specific time outlines for starting preparation for the field. For this they can add their study hours, content they have covered, and time for practice questions. This will help new beginners and professionals in chasing advanced careers in the market.

On exam day, once you get fully prepared, you can apply for your desired certification either CCSK or CCSP. These above-mentioned preparation tips will give you confidence in chasing the new career advancement.

Click here: The Ultimate Guide to the CCSP


To conclude, professionals who want to pursue a career in cybersecurity can choose any certification between CCSP and CCSK. Both of them have their value in the market and they also have different target audiences. Individuals who want to pursue a career as a beginner can opt for CCSK credentials but if you already have professional experience and still want to grow in the field you can attain CCSP certification. The choice of choosing anyone between these two is not dependent upon personal choice but it is subjected towards the knowledge and expertise one will have. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

The CCSK is best for new beginners who don’t have any prior experience. This will act as a foundational credential and deliver a more practical approach than CCSP. Moreover, if someone already passes the CCSK exam, he can attain CCSP certification for more career advancement in cloud and information security.

Professionals who can opt for CCSP Certification should be from information technology and software security departments.

Yes, a person can grow in the cloud security department by simply having CCSK certification. This will not only provide advanced knowledge but practical expertise in the business security field.

CCSK does not need any maintenance cost but CCSP will charge almost $100 (USD).

The ISC2 and CSA collaborated to develop this particular certification for professionals who already have careers in cybersecurity. This will open the gate of career opportunities, increase earning potential benefits, and verify practical skills in security domains.

The cost for CCSP and CCSK exams are $599 and $395 respectively.

Almost two to three months is required for getting an ace in any CCSP and CCSK Credentials.

Professionals when acquiring CCSP will get almost $137,000 while the salary expectation for CCSK is $121,932.

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