Strong expertise with implementing security controls and threat protection, managing identity and access, and protecting data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments as part of an end-to-end infrastructure; that is what one can (and should) expect about the level of expertise of every self-respecting Security Engineer.

The Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate certification may be for candidates who are just starting to work with security technologies or are new to Azure, but experts may also benefit from this certification. After all, you can never have enough knowledge about security technologies.

Azure Security Engineer Associate certification covers cloud concepts, Azure services, Azure workloads, security and privacy in Azure, as well as Azure pricing and support. Microsoft states that candidates 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 and products and services for Azure, plus other Microsoft products and services.

Azure Security Engineer Associate may be useful to prepare you for other Azure role-based or specialty certifications but is not a prerequisite for any of them. In this blog article, I share available learning materials (free and paid) that prepare you for the Azure Security Technologies exam from Microsoft, but more importantly, these learning materials provide you with the knowledge about security technologies and Microsoft Azure security services in particular.

Before we dive into the learning materials

You want an Azure environment to build things yourself. I cannot say and emphasize this enough. Think of it as learning to drive: you can’t do that without being in a car. So, the first thing you’ll do is create your Azure environment. Via this link you can use various Azure services free of charge for 12 months.

Virtual training courses

There are various virtual training courses to follow, based on registration or on-demand. Below is an overview of the recommended virtual training events:

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn provides you with free online training and learning paths for different Microsoft technologies. Here are the relevant Microsoft Learn modules and learning paths for the AZ-500 Exam:

Links to Microsoft articles on the specific topics

Below are several links to articles on topics that may come up in the exam. To prepare for the exam, you’d be wise to go through these articles and, where necessary, build the components yourself in your Azure environment.

Manage identity and access

Manage Azure Active Directory identities

Configure secure access by using Azure AD

Manage application access

Manage access control

Implement platform protection

Implement advanced network security

Configure advanced security for compute

Manage security operations

Monitor security by using Azure Monitor

Monitor security by using Azure Security Center

Monitor security by using Azure Sentinel

Configure security policies

Secure data and applications

Configure security for storage

Configure security for databases

Configure and manage Key Vault

Books and other reading material

Due to the rapid renewal and innovative nature of cloud and Microsoft, there is no book I would advise you. Mainly because these are quickly becoming outdated and the fact that there are much better alternatives. If you still like to use a book for studying, then there is only one suitable book: the Exam Ref AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies by Yuri Diogenes.

Practice exams

Practice exams are useful for getting a feel for the exam questions and topics. My personal experience with practice exams is that they are often outdated, incomplete, or that the answers marked as correct in practice exams are actually incorrect. I advise everyone not to use practice exams to memorize questions and the corresponding answers, but mainly to use them to get a feel for the real exam. Below are some practice exams for the AZ-500 exam:

Good luck!

Now that we have come to the end of this article, hopefully you have discovered enough learning materials to take the AZ-500 exam with confidence. All I can do now is wish you the best of luck. Goodluck!