N2K formerly CyberVista blog: What's new in Microsoft certification AZ-500 and SC-300

What’s New in Microsoft Certification?

What’s New in Microsoft Certification? 1200 628 CyberVista now N2K

Written by George Monsalvatge, Content Developer: Microsoft Specialist

Curious about other Microsoft Azure certifications? Check out this PDF that outlines top certs to pursue by experience level.

Azure and Microsoft 365 certifications have been popular in the past several years. These certifications center around cloud computing, which has had explosive growth in the last several years. More recently, the in-demand skills have centered around security and artificial intelligence.

Security skills are more in demand as bad actors are attacking organizations for reasons that include theft of intellectual property, sabotage, or cyber vandalism. Microsoft offers a few specific security-based certifications, such as the following:

  • Microsoft Certified: Identity and Access Administrator Associate ( 1 exam SC-300)
  • Microsoft Certified: Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate ( 1 exam AZ-500)

Why should you get these certifications? These certifications validate your knowledge, talent, and experience to secure a cyber environment. They prove to employers that you can identify and respond to security incidents and threats against your cyber environment. These certifications complement each other and require experience, but they are easier to pull off than a rusted lug nut on a 1989 Chevrolet Camaro. You can achieve both certifications with the proper amount of preparation and study. The SC-300 exam is worth 2 credit hours, and the AZ-500 exam is worth 2 credit hours for ACE college credit. You will need to master each skill required for each exam.

Security analysts and engineers need to master these skills to protect organization identities and assets such as data, applications, and network infrastructure.

The Microsoft Certified: Identity and Access Administrator Associate requires a single exam, SC-300. This exam tests your skills in configuring password policies and setting up multi-factor authentication (MFA). You must know how to secure resources by allowing conditional access based on different conditions. You must know how to integrate Microsoft Entra with other Microsoft 365 services. You must ensure that the correct identities have access to the proper resources. You must know how to use access reviews and implement privileged access management (PAM). The Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate certification (AZ-500 exam) covers authentication and access management like the SC-300 exam. However, this exam covers network security, such as network security groups and firewalls, as well as security storage, databases, and computing resources. You must know how to manage security operations using various tools such as Azure Monitor and Sentinel.

The Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate certification only requires a single exam, AZ-500. A candidate needs to have experience managing a network’s security posture. You will need to know how to implement MFA, single sign-on (SSO), and conditional access policies, manage permissions for users, groups, and resources, and manage application access. Securing the network infrastructure is a priority in this exam. You will need to implement security for virtual networks. You must configure different firewall services and user-defined routes and monitor network security with various tools. You must configure security for endpoints, the Azure App Service, and an Azure SQL Managed Instance. You must configure Azure Kubernetes (AKS),  Azure containers, and disk encryption. You must know secure access to storage accounts, manage security keys, and protect against data security threats using Microsoft Defender.  

Microsoft changes each of its exams every 3 to 4 months due to constant changes in its cloud products and the endless parade of name changes to its products and services. You need a practice exam that keeps up with the latest exam updates to measure your knowledge. Our practice exams contain different item types that emulate the topics you will see on the live exam.

Here are some examples of questions from N2K’s AZ-500 certification practice exam:

N2K Microsoft AZ-500 Practice Exam Screenshot example question

Our AZ-500 practice exam that conforms to the latest 2024-01-31 exam updates is available now. The SC-300 practice exam that conforms to the latest 2024-01-31 exam updates will be out in two weeks. Let us help you improve your IT career.