Passed AZ-500 Exam: Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer @MicrosoftLearn

6 min read

Updated – 30/05/2020 – The exam guide below shows the changes that will be implemented starting on July 29, 2020. This article has been updated to reflect the new exam objectives added by Microsoft.

Introduction

Microsoft is keeping evolving their learning programs to help you and your career keep pace with today’s demanding IT environments. At Ignite in September 2018, Microsoft announced new role-based certifications to help you and your career keep pace with today’s business requirements. They are evolving their learning program to better offer what you need to skill up, prove your expertise to employers and peers, and get the recognition—and opportunities—you’ve earned. Check the following document to have a complete overview of the new Microsoft certification program published on September 24, 2018. Microsoft is planning to announce more role-based certifications in 2019.

After passing the Microsoft Azure Solutions Expert exam, as well as the Azure Developer Associate exam, the Microsoft Azure Administrator certification, and the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam. I decided to sit for the Microsoft Azure Security Engineer exam.

I am so happy and grateful now that I passed the AZ-500 Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate. I figured that I would share my experience in this post to help you prepare and tackle this exam successfully.

In this exam, I got around 41 questions in total with 1 case study, and the total time for this exam is 180 minutes. The questions do pretty much match the list of skills measured below.

Exam Profile Audience

The Azure Security Engineer implements security controls, maintains the security posture, and finds and remediates vulnerabilities by using a variety of security tools. Responsibilities include helping protect data, applications, and networks; managing identity and access; implementing threat protection, and responding to security incident escalations. The Azure Security Engineer often serves as part of a larger team dedicated to cloud-based management and security. The Azure Security Engineer might also help secure hybrid environments as part of an end-to-end infrastructure.

Candidates for this exam should have strong skills in scripting and automation; a deep understanding of networking, virtualization, and cloud n-tier architecture; and a strong familiarity with cloud capabilities in general and Microsoft Azure products and services in particular. The Azure Security Engineer should also be familiar with other Microsoft products and services.

Please note that the Azure Security Engineer role does NOT focus on helping secure Microsoft 365 and remains separate from the M365 Security and Compliance Administrator role.

Skills measured on this exam

This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical topics listed below based on the latest update from Microsoft.

Links to relevant reading from the official Microsoft documentation for each skill tested are listed below to help you prepare:

Manage Identity and Access (20-25%)

  1. Configure Azure AD for workloads

  2. Configure Privileged Identity

  3. Configure Azure Tenant Security

Implement Platform Protection (35-40%)

  1. Implement Network Security

  2. Implement Host Security

  3. Configure Container Security

  4. Implement Azure Resource Manager Security

Manage Security Operations (15-20%)

  1. Configure Security Services

  2. Configure Security Policies

  3. Manage Security Alerts

Secure Data and Applications (30-35%)

  1. Configure security services

  2. Configure security policies

  3. Configure encryption for data at rest

  4. Configure application security

  5. Configure and manage Key Vault

Lessons Learned and Exam Preparation

Practice, practice and read… I cannot stress enough that hands-on experience and understanding all the security concepts will help you to pass this exam. The key success to pass this exam is to work with Microsoft Azure on a daily basis, and especially cloud governance and security.

Based on my experience to get the most from this preparation you need the following trial subscriptions or equivalent access:

  • An Azure subscription – you can create your free Azure account today and start practicing the latest and greatest security features.
  • An EMS E5
  • Azure Security Center (Standard Tier)
  • Azure Sentinel

I usually use Microsoft Azure Security Documentation which is a great resource to dive deep in each topic, and I use Microsoft Learn the new learning approach which is more structured to learn all the topics required for the exam. I highly recommend to go through the free learning modules below on Microsoft Learn to prepare for the AZ-500 exam:

You can watch the free Azure Security Expert Series videos provided by Microsoft to get you prepared. Pluralsight also offers a great learning path for the Microsoft Azure Security Engineer preparation, you can check it out here.

You can also go through the following free Azure Security AZ-500 course from Microsoft to get prepared for this exam:

If you have access to a LinkedIn learning platform, then I highly recommend to go through the following fast preparation path in just 6 hours:

I also recommend the comprehensive course on Azure Cloud Security on udemy to learn how to implement security controls across the board.

Additionally, Skillmeup.com offered a great path for AZ-500 Exam preparation, and Skylinesacademy.com just released the AZ-500 course at a low cost, I highly recommend to check them out.

At the time of this writing (May 30, 2020), Microsoft is working on releasing the Exam Reference AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies book which is due for release in August 2020, you can place the pre-order today here.

Last but not least, if you prefer instructor-led training, you can find a classroom from Microsoft Learning Partners here.

Certification

By passing the AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies, you will earn the Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate certificate.

If you are planning to take this exam… I wish you all the best and Happy Studying!!!

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Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

About Charbel Nemnom 544 Articles
Charbel Nemnom is a Cloud Architect, ICT Security Expert, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), totally fan of the latest's IT platform solutions, accomplished hands-on technical professional with over 17 years of broad IT Infrastructure experience serving on and guiding technical teams to optimize the performance of mission-critical enterprise systems. Excellent communicator is adept at identifying business needs and bridging the gap between functional groups and technology to foster targeted and innovative IT project development. Well respected by peers through demonstrating passion for technology and performance improvement. Extensive practical knowledge of complex systems builds, network design, business continuity, and cloud security.

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