How I successfully passed the AWS Certified Security Specialty exam?

AWS Security SpecialtyLast December (2019) I had the chance to successfully pass the AWS Certified Security Specialty exam. It took me between 2 and 3 months of study with a not-so-balanced lifestyle with the time devoted to my family and to rest properly.

The exam time is approximately 180 minutes which, a priori, seems to be more than enough time compared with the mock exams available on Whizlabs which usually took me around 90 minutes maximum. Due to the Scenario-based questions are really different and with a lot more of details you have to be well prepared understanding not only each service but the context or the services it interacts with, preferably knowing about AWS Architecture.

My initial preparation material was the A Cloud Guru – AWS Certified Security Specialty course but while I was checking the Whizlabs’ mock exams I realized using only this material would be far from enough. This is the reason why I prepared this list of additional resources I’ve used that hope you find it useful.

Data Protection Services

AWS Docs

Videos

Whitepapers

Identity and Access Management (IAM) & Authentication/Authorization Services

AWS Docs

Videos

Whitepapers

Compliance Services

AWS Docs

Videos

Networking & Content Delivery Services

AWS Docs

Videos

Incident & Response Services

AWS Docs

Videos

Whitepapers

Storage Services

AWS Docs

Videos

Compute Services

AWS Docs

Videos

Whitepapers

Logging Services

Whitepapers

Other Services

AWS Docs

General

Videos

Whitepapers

Final Tips

  • I recommend putting special attention to AWS Key Management Service (KMS) understanding all the scenarios and services that make use of it.
  • Knowing and understanding the JSON format of IAM Policies is a MUST.
  • Understanding different scenarios for VPCs (internet-facing and private networking) and VPC Endpoints is crucial for passing the exam

Thanks for reading!