In 2020, Microsoft has modified their exam model and created a new path, dedicated to Security and Compliance. Previously existing AZ-500 and MS-500 exams were cut off a little bit and new path, containing SC-200, SC-300, SC-400 and SC-900 were announced. There was, however, one missing item – the Expert level exam for Security and Compliance. And now Microsoft is filling this gap using brand new exam – SC-100: Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect.
SC-100 exam is still in beta; however, we can take a sneak peek and understand what exam pre-requirements are. We can also better understand how exam looks like and how to prepare for it.
Who is the SC-100 for?
SC-100: Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect confirms that the candidate is an SME in cybersecurity strategies, protecting organization and creating business process across Enterprise Security area. He is responsible for designing the Zero Trust strategy, assessing the current state of the company in readiness for implementation of new security measures.
He focuses on all six aspects of Zero Trust architecture fundaments:
Zero Trust, however, is not the only responsibility of Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect. He also needs to focus on risk governance, technical and security operations strategies in the organization. The ideal candidate should have experience in both on-premises and cloud environments, knowing identity and access protection, security operations, platform protection and knowing how to protect data and applications.
Because SC-100 is an Expert level exam, to reach title of Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect, candidate must be a holder of one of following exams:
- SC-200: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst
- SC-300: Microsoft Identity and Access Administrator
- AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies
- MS-500: Microsoft 365 Security Administration
Microsoft is not enforcing the order of passing exams in their certification paths but mentioned Associate level exams help outline the needs and areas, which helps candidate fully prepare for the exam.
SC-100 exam objectives
In this part I will just focus on the most key areas. The document with detailed objectives is available on the Microsoft Exam page. As most of Microsoft exams, SC-100 objectives are divided in four bigger areas:
- Design a Zero Trust strategy and architecture (30–35%)
- Evaluate Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) technical strategies and security operations strategies (20–25%)
- Design security for infrastructure (20–25%)
- Design a strategy for data and applications (20–25%)
Where can learn the skills needed to pass SC-100 exam?
Because the SC-100 exam hasn’t left beta stage, the official Microsoft Courseware is not yet released. However, getting into exam requirements, we can clearly find some good training materials, which will help us prepare for the exam with ease.
1. Microsoft Cybersecurity Reference Architectures (https://aka.ms/MCRA)
This 65-slide interactive PowerPoint document describes how Microsoft cybersecurity capabilities integrate Microsoft Platforms and other solutions to provide secure ways of operations. MCRA provides information and comments about Capabilities, People, Zero Trust User Access, Azure Native Controls, Operational Technology, Security Operations, Attack Chain Coverage, Secure Access Service Edge and more. Document helps understand which roles and capabilities should be utilized in organizations to build security inside.
2. Microsoft Security Best Practices module: Governance, risk, and compliance (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/security/compass/governance-risk-compliance-videos-and-decks)
That course covers the most important aspects of GR&C implementation in Microsoft products and helps with better understanding of all concepts related to all three areas.
3. Microsoft Learn paths (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/sc-100)
Official courseware becomes available when the exam leaves beta phase. So far, we can rely on already created materials and prepare using knowledge from exams like AZ-500 and SC-200.
How SC-100 Exam looks like?
SC-100 exam and other Microsoft Exams consists of about 30-55 questions from all four areas. Expert level exams usually consist of 2 or 3 case studies, where we are requested to help solve requirements of some fictional companies. That part is separated from the rest of the exam. Another part of separated questions, also in non-returnable way is a scenario question with proposed solution, from which we need to choose if the proposed solution will solve the mentioned problem. The rest of the exam is a mix of multiple-choice questions with single and multiple answers, drag-and-drop questions, yes/no questions, selecting options in order.
Do you plan to pass SC-100 exam? What do you think about changes in the recent Microsoft Examination? Let me know in the comments section.