Exam Study Guide: SC-100 - Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect Expert

Tobias Zimmergren
Tobias Zimmergren
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I recently decided to sit the SC-100: Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect Expert exam which, if you pass, grants you the certification with the same title. I am happy to share that I passed the exam.

In this post, I will share some details about the experience, and links and insights for how to prepare for this exam using only free resources.

Many of the resources I collected comes from Microsoft Learn and Microsoft Docs, where there's an incredible pool of knowledge and experience bundled together in a self-paced learning format. More on the specific learning paths below.

Establish your expectations

To set the scene and align expectations, I want to take a moment to share my thoughts on this exam.

This is not a deep security exam - on the contrary, it's very wide and will ask you about knowledge across the stack of products in the Azure security space. The exam does test your ability for some advanced scenarios, but without the deep technical knowledge like specific commands or lines of code.

You should consider this exam if you're a Microsoft cybersecurity/security architect with expertise in designing and evolving your organization's security strategy. Studying for this will help identify any gaps in your knowledge that may prove fruitful in your continued adventure in the ever-changing security landscape.

Pre-requisites

You can pass the exam regardless of previous exams. However, to earn the certification you also need to pass at least one of the pre-requisite exams.

I previously outlined some of my experiences in passing the AZ-500 exam. Below is a picture illustrating the prerequisite exams if you want to earn the SC-100 certification after passing the exam.

Exam poster from Microsoft showing the available paths to reach the Microsoft Certified: Cybersecurity Architect Expert certification.

Study Guide format

The below sections of this guide will include both resource documentation and free training from Microsoft Learn. Each section covers both angles, to best cater for the way you learn best.

This guide will detail these types of resources for each section:

  • Resource links
    Microsoft Docs or Microsoft Learn-modules, other relevant documentation for SC-100.
  • Training
    The full and free Microsoft Learn modules targeting SC-100 explicitly.

Looking at the learning path with Microsoft Learn, there are four modules that builds up the preparations and groundwork for successfully passing the SC-100 exam. You will find links to them all in the content below.

Exam poster from Microsoft showing the available paths for instructor-led or self-paced learning toward the Microsoft Certified: Cybersecurity Architect Expert certification.

Study Guide

I generally say that there are two ways around taking an exam.

Either you have the experience and knowledge and will take the exam without preparation, or you want to prepare by reading up or do some training on the areas the test will cover.

Below are links to the resources and training recommended to pass the SC-100 exam. If you want the latest insights on what the exam covers, download the SC-100 Study Guide from Microsoft.

Unfortunately, the official study guide doesn't come with links to relevant resources across the Microsoft documentation or learning platforms. Therefore, I am adding links to the items covered so you can more easily find the right resources in preparation for the exam.

Tag along this guide to find out where you can get the best material to further your preparations and studies in this area. Good luck!

Design a Zero Trust strategy and architecture (30-35%)

The links and resources in this section covers most of the content required to understand designing a Zero Trust strategy and architecture.

Build an overall security strategy and architecture

Design a security operations strategy

Design an identity security strategy

Note: includes hybrid and multi-cloud

Training path

Check out this training path and the accompanying modules to quickly ramp up on this topic.

Microsoft Learn offers a free training path for SC-100: Design a Zero Trust strategy and architecture

Training Path:

Included modules:

Evaluate Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) technical strategies and security operations strategies (20–25%)

Documentation

Design a regulatory compliance strategy

Evaluate security posture and recommend technical strategies to manage risk

Training path

Check out this training path and the accompanying modules to quickly ramp up on this topic.

Microsoft Learn offers a free training path for SC-100: Evaluate GRC technical strategies and security operations strategies

Training Path:

Included modules:

Design security for infrastructure (20–25%)

Documentation

Design a strategy for securing server and client endpoints

NOTE: includes hybrid and multi-cloud

Design a strategy for securing SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS services

Training path

Check out this training path and the accompanying modules to quickly ramp up on this topic.

Microsoft Learn offers a free training path for SC-100: Design security for infrastructure

Training Path:

Included modules:

Design a strategy for data and applications (20–25%)

Documentation

Specify security requirements for applications

Design a strategy for securing data

Training path

Check out this training path and the accompanying modules to quickly ramp up on this topic.

Microsoft Learn offers a free training path for SC-100: Design a strategy for data and applications

Training Path:

Included modules:

Extras

While searching for additional insights to put into this post, I found some relevant study guides that can help you ramp up quicker.

SC-100 Study Cram (Video)

John Savill has a great "Study Cram" session that covers many of the topics that you'll be exposed to during this exam. While the video isn't going to get you all the knowledge you need (that's on you to learn), it has a nice "recap" of what the exam expects you to know, and an intro to those concepts.

SC-100 Study Guide (Book)

There is a pre-order available for the Exam Ref SC-100 book, aiming to be released in February 2023. The book is authored by some well-known names in the Microsoft security space. Keep an eye out for when it releases!

CertificationcybersecuritySecurity

Tobias Zimmergren Twitter

Hey, I'm Tobias! I write about my experiences in designing, architecting, securing, and operating distributed cloud services. Nice to meet you 👋

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