What is Microsoft Cloud App Security and what it does?

Well, it is a Cloud☁️ Access Security Broker (CASB) 🛡️ 🔐 that supports various deployment 🚀 modes; like log collection, API connectors, and reverse proxy.


You can get a rich visibility, control over data travel, and sophisticated analytics to identify and combat cyberthreats across all your Microsoft Azure ™ and third-party cloud services.

Cloud App Security integrates visibility with your cloud by providing:
✔️ Cloud Discovery
✔️ Sanctioning and unsanctioning an app
✔️ App connectors
✔️ Conditional Access App Control protection
✔️ Policy Control
✔️ Types of apps to migrate

Check out how to get started with Microsoft Cloud App Security 👉 https://lnkd.in/eZg2Pby#SharingIsCaring❤️

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become ᴀ #cloudmarathoner ⛅🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍

Starting points in DevSecOps journey

Hello friends,

During my journey to become a Microsoft Azure Security professional, I have compiled set of useful resources in addition to the exam materials. These resources do complement cloud and application security with open-source tooling, and a book that is much needed for success.

I am excited to share this with my network and DevSecOps enthusiasts 🙂

  1. WhiteSource Bolt – is a #free developer tool for finding and fixing open source vulnerabilities.
  2. Find Security Bugs – it is a SpotBugs plugin for security audits of Java web applications – https://find-sec-bugs.github.io/
  3. OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) – one of the most popular free web security tool, actively maintained by a dedicated international team of volunteers – https://owasp.org/www-project-zap/
  4. Sqlmap – is an open source penetration testing tool that automates the process of detecting and exploiting SQL injection flaws and taking over of database servers – http://sqlmap.org/
  5. OpenVAS – Open Vulnerability Assessment Scanner is a full-featured vulnerability scanner. Its capabilities include unauthenticated testing, authenticated testing, various high level and low level Internet and industrial protocols, performance tuning for large-scale scans and a powerful internal programming language to implement any type of vulnerability test. – https://openvas.org/
  6. Recon-ng – is a full-featured Web Reconnaissance framework written in Python. Complete with independent modules, database interaction, built in convenience functions, interactive help, and command completion, Recon-ng provides a powerful environment in which open source web-based reconnaissance can be conducted quickly and thoroughly – https://tools.kali.org/information-gathering/recon-ng
  7. OWASP Glue – is a framework for running a series of tools. Generally, it is intended as a backbone for automating a security analysis pipeline of tools – https://github.com/OWASP/glue
  8. Awesome DevSecOps book. Inspired by the awesome-* trend on GitHub. This is a collection of documents, presentations, videos, training materials, tools, services and general leadership that support the DevSecOps mission. These are the essential building blocks and tidbits that can help you to arrange for a DevSecOps experiment or to help you build out your own DevSecOps program.
  9. #lambhack is A vulnerable serverless lambda application. This is certainly a bad idea to base any coding patterns of what you see here. It allows you to take advantage of our tried and true application security problems, namely arbitrary code execution, XSS, injection attacks and more.
  10. Black Duck is a commercial alternative to WhiteSource Bolt. It helps to manage the risks that come with the use of open source. Black Duck software composition analysis solutions and open source audits give you the insight you need to track the open source in your code, mitigate security and license compliance risks, and automatically enforce open source policies using your existing DevOps tools and processes.
  11. OWASP Honeypot-Project. Goal of the OWASP Honeypot Project is to identify emerging attacks against web applications and report them to the community, in order to facilitate protection against such targeted attacks. Based around the earlier OWASP/WASC Distributed Web Honeypots Project.
  12. Open Source Honeypots That Detect Threats For Free. You could read details on this interesting post.

Note: in noway this presents a complete guide. However, I hope it will guide your project into a more successful DevSecOps state.

I do encourageto comment and share your tips and resources here. This will ultimately help every community member to become a better security professional. Thanks!

Microsoft Azure Data Engineer Certification Tips + Study Guide

Hello my friends,

Last week, I was able to knockout the second “Azure Data Engineer” exam and get the certification. Most importantly, I got a chance to have a deep dive into Azure Data technologies from a holistic solutioning perspective. The main focus areas of this certification are neatly visualized below:

Those exam objectives, are high level focus areas that cover DP-200 and DP-201 exams. The first exam is more technical and has focus toward implementation while the second one is shifting gears toward design and solutioning options based on project requirements.

As dealing with data solutions was not my primary work responsibility, I was really impressed by depth of service options, capabilities and tools that could accelerate many data solutioning projects.

Starting an “Azure Data Engineering” learning journey will help any cloud professional to get deeper understanding on designing different data solutions based on project requirements. In fact, it helped me to get a well informed understanding technical limitations in each solution; like deciding between different data processing and/or storage options and their respective security configurations. Well, enough about intro, let’s look into what it means to be an “Azure Data Engineer” 😑🤔

Azure Data Engineer vs Database Administrator

A Database Administrator’s (aka, DBA) job is to ensure everything is working smoothly with things like performance tuning and monitoring, data migrations of third party systems, performing backups, checking performance, and load balancing, and everything to do with databases operations. On the other hand, DBA could also perform data engineering tasks in a small or mid-size organisations.🤠

Azure data engineers are responsible for data-related implementation tasks that include provisioning data storage services, ingesting streaming and batch data, transforming data, implementing security requirements, implementing data retention policies, identifying performance bottlenecks, and accessing external data sources. They are responsible for data-related design tasks that include designing Azure data storage solutions that use relational and non-relational data stores, batch and real-time data processing solutions, and data security and compliance solutions.👩‍🚀👨‍🎓

Getting ready for each exam 📆

There is no right or wrong starting point with this certification. I would start with the one that you find more familiar. Here is the exam flow diagram from the official Microsoft learn website:

Exam study resources for DP-200: Implementing an Azure Data Solution

This exam really tests your ability to demonstrate good understanding of setting-up a data processing pipeline and configurations of each component. A lot of questions were on optimizing, operating, loading and reading data from Azure SQL DB and Synapse Analytics (formerly SQL DW), I found them tricky and quite challenging.

The DP-200 exam has around 40-48 questions and is somewhat similar to other Azure Associate exams. The exam duration is fixed around 180 minutes with additional 30 minutes for reading instructions, signing the non-disclosure agreement, and giving feedback to each question at the end.

Expect different types of questions (single choice, multi-choice, binary choice and sorting order) and one or two case studies.

Exam study resources for DP-201: Designing an Azure Data Solution

My exam experience with DP-201 was much smoother, as mainly questions were focused on design related topics and solutioning options. As an Azure Architect – you may find them familiar and a bit easier than the previous exam.

This exam was 150 minutes long and had 42 questions, with much more case studies (i got three on my exam). There were few questions with set of drop-down choices that were easy and tricky at the same time.

That is it folk, i tried to share and illustrate my exam experiences in this post. I hope you will find it helpful and apply to your “Data Engineer-ing” journey.

Please, feel free to share your experience or thoughts, as i am planning to keep this post up to date with your valuable contributions going forward. #keeplearning

Stay safe and be the 4th with you! #nevergiveup

Study Guide for Microsoft Azure AI-100 Exam

Hello friends,

I am back with another study guide – as I passed the Microsoft Azure AI-100 exam. Now, I would like to share new Microsoft Azure AI Engineer Associate credentials with you. As I always post on LinkedIn platform the #SharingIsCaring❤️

In another words, I would like to see this success in you. To help you in this journey, I have compiled resources that contributed to my preparation for this special exam.

What is Microsoft Azure AI-100 Exam? This is the exam you must pass to become a Microsoft Azure AI Engineer Associate. it involves designing and implementing an Azure AI solution.

Earning the Azure AI Engineer Associate certification validates the skills and knowledge to use Cognitive Services, Machine Learning, and Knowledge Mining to architect and implement Microsoft AI solutions involving natural language processing, speech, computer vision, bots, and agents.

Microsoft Learn AI-100

Resources used

Microsoft Azure Account – This is a free azure account that comes with a 12 months validity. $200 free credit is offered for the first 30 days and more than 25 products are accessible for free afterwards.

Microsoft Learn – is a #free tutorial platform and has following learning paths

  • Evaluate text with Azure Cognitive Language Services – this contains 3 modules and helps to understand how to use Cognitive Language Services to analyze text, determine intent, detect adult themes, and process natural language input.
  • Process and translate speech with Azure Cognitive Speech Services – also has 3 modules and helps you to learn – how to implement the Speech services found in Azure Cognitive Services by performing speech-to-text transcription, synthesizing text input to speech, performing speech translation, and implementing speaker recognition in your AI infused applications.
  • Create Intelligent Bots with Azure Bot Service – this one has a single module. It walks you through how you could enable customers to interact with computer applications in a conversational way using text, graphics, or speech, can be realized using Bots. It may be a simple question and answer dialog, or a sophisticated bot that allows people to interact with services in an intelligent manner using pattern matching, state tracking and artificial intelligence techniques well integrated with existing business services. Learn how to build a chat bot and add intelligence to the Bot by integrating QnA Maker and LUIS.
  • Process and classify images with Azure Cognitive Vision Services – the last one comes with 4 modules. It describes the Microsoft Cognitive Services. This service offers pre-built functionality to enable computer vision functionality in your applications. Learn how to use the Cognitive Vision Services to detect faces, tag and classify images, and identify objects.

Pluralsight video resources

Pluralsight –You can start with a free trial for 7 days, the Microsoft Azure Ai Engineer(AI-100) contains multiple courses and is a good source for an interactive, video leaning.

GitHub lab resources

AI-100 Labs – It has 9 labs that will introduce a workshop case study and setup tools on your local workstation and in your Azure instance to enable you to build tools within the Microsoft Cognitive Services suite.

Overall learning experience

I have found it very useful to complete all the labs and get familiar with all the Azure services mentioned in the Microsoft Lean tutorials and labs. Keep in mind that there is a big emphasis on understanding each Azure cognitive service and what capability it can provide.

Thus, I would strongly advice to take couple days and get very familiar with Azure AI website. I would also encourage to take a deep dive into Azure Cognitive Services website and understand every concept, use case and terminology.

There is a very cool website Hands on with AI that will help you to experiment with Microsoft AI platform capabilities for #free. Take this opportunity to learn and strengthen your knowledge before exam.

And one last point. Get very cozy with the Exam Objectives listed in the pdf on Azure AI-100 exam page . That should be your ultimate measure for the exam preparedness.

What is next?

The hardest part starts now, where a candidate have to actually learn these materials, practice and get ready for the exam. However, that is not all. Once you get Expert with Azure AI then you could create a learning model that could help you with all this information, right? 😕 hmmm…. Whaaaat ?

I want more guides, where I can get them?

You have landed to a golden coast mate. Check-out following study guides as well 👌👍

Can I start my study now?

Sure, you can! Thank you for reading this post till the end. Feel free to drop your message if you have any questions.

Well, I wish you all the best in your endeavors!!! Keep up the ☁ cloud journey rolling 🙄

Journey 2 RE-certification: AZURE SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT EXPERT

Over the weekend, I had a scheduled proctored exam AZ-301 Microsoft Azure Architect Design. Passing it would re-certify my credentials in Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert, but most importantly up-skill my knowledge in recent changes of Microsoft Azure.

Actually, the first pre-requisite Expert Architect Technologies exam which I had, earlier in May, was not easy at all. The content of exam is quite BIG, in comparison what it used to be 2 years ago. It turned out to be true underestimate from me, when i failed my first attempt. The good or bad thing about this failed exam was the score – 679. I missed it with just one correct answer. Ah…

Anyway, repetition is the mother of perfection. If there is true perfection, it’s about getting ready, and doing something over and over again. Well, on the second attempt I was able to pass AZ-300 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies much easier… If you curious about the score, it was in upper 900’s (where max is 1000).

Overall, Microsoft Expert exams are much harder (probably 3x times) to get prepared than the Associate one. Thus, I was pretty excited and nervous while going for the next exam Architect Design 🙂 It turned out well this time, as I used those skills in my day-2-day work, so no surprises there…

By the way, the Microsoft also announced new exams (AZ-303 and AZ-304) for the Azure Solutions Architect certification. They are all in beta for now and there are no online training material yet. You can check these exams here Microsoft official post.

Earning the Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification demonstrates skills and knowledge to advise stakeholders and translate business requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable solutions. Candidates have advanced experience and knowledge across various aspects of IT operations, including networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data management, budgeting, and governance – managing how decisions in each area affects an overall solution.

Microsoft Learn

There is an informative blog post by Chris Pietschmann, about the state of the current Microsoft Expert exams and how they are structured, if you are new to the Microsoft role based certifications i would recommend to have a look.

There is an informative blog post by Chris Pietschmann, about the state of the current Microsoft Expert exams and how they are structured, if you are new to the Microsoft role based certifications i would recommend to have a look.

Turning attention back to current Azure Architect exams, with a small detour, there are multiple overlapping topics between those two Expert exams. Completing one of them greatly help with the second one, as they share certain exam objectives.

Now, the list my study guides consisted from the followings:

Congrats to everyone, who already got the Azure Solutions Architect Expert badge and certifications! This is a good thing to accomplish.

For those who are planning to go with Azure Architect pass, I wish good luck in preparing and getting it done. It is going to be an interesting journey, a lot to learn, much more to practice and up-skill yourself to be better prepared for your next challenge!

Hopefully, my journey will be a tiny encouragement wave to start your own.

  • Feel free to comment on what exam preparation approach do you follow?
  • What challenges are you facing or already overcome?
  • What helped and what did not – in setting up yourself for a journey?

Thank you and May The 4TH Be With You!

Study Guide for Azure Security Technologies (AZ-500)

Hello friends,

I am back with a new study guide AZ-500: Azure Security Technologies Associate.

This is a very important exam for anyone who puts security at the core of a solution – deployed into Azure Cloud environment. In this respect, it is invaluable for any professional whose responsibilities include: maintaining the security posture, identifying, and remediating vulnerabilities by using a variety of security tools, implementing threat protection, and responding to security incident escalations.

By the way you may check-out following study guides as well 👌👍

By learning this topic, you as a candidate will gain strong skills in scripting and automation; a deep understanding of networking, virtualization, and cloud N-tier architecture. Your strong familiarity with cloud capabilities and products and services for Azure is very critical to succeed.

Getting AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies Associate

In this section, you will get to know the official exam objectives, free Microsoft Learn materials and additional materials that I have used. On a high level, the skills that are measured in this exam are:

Actually, you could find this information on the official Microsoft exam website.

List of useful resources that helped me along the way:

Here you are the references which will serve you a way for successful digestion of the security materials. I would like to thank Pete Zerger – a Microsoft MVP & Cybersecurity Strategist for his informative content & professional support. He has really valuable posts and training courses on LinkedIn platform.

There were many breaks in my study where I paused to search – for Azure Security documentation on Microsoft Docs. However, discovering the GitHub repo from AzureMentor highly helped me to save some time, while getting familiar with exam objectives.

Thus, the @AzureMentor GitHub pages on Azure-AZ-500-Study-Guide have direct links into each high level objective and as well as outlined items within it.

I would like to thank my family and kids for providing opportunity to complete my journey. Big thanks to close friends and #linkedinfaily for continues support.

That’s all friends! Hope this sharing and my journey will encourage to start your own.

And And as always, feel free to get connected and leave your comment(s). The whole LinkedIn family will benefit from your suggestions and feedback.

Journey to Azure DevOps Expert with a 3P mindset – People… Processes… Products

Hello my friends!

If you are looking to get some study tips on an Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification then you landed in a right post 🙂

So why Azure DevOps as a platform for your organization’s digital transformation? Well it is build for any language, and any platform. Yes, that is 100% true statement! Run the OSS (#opensourcesoftware) tools and frameworks on it, anything you want, in addition to Microsoft stack.

This weekend, I got loaded with fresh coffee and sit to wright-down experiences and resources I have used, along the journey to become an Azure DevOps Expert. 
This journey brings along a new credential in Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert. However, most importantly, it refreshes your understanding of latest developments in the DevOps ecosystem on Microsoft Azure platform.

Side note: I have been actively using Microsoft DevOps pipelines for the last 2.5 years. Having this experience provided a lot of help in understanding exam objectives and focusing on areas that I never touched.

Overall, Microsoft Expert exams are harder than Azure fundamentals and associate exams. They come with test scenarios, labs and tricky questions where you have to know the order of processes – in one way testing your real-world understanding of the processes and technologies and its interconnected components.

Earning the DevOps Engineer Expert certification demonstrates the ability to combine people, process, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end user needs and business objectives. DevOps professionals streamline delivery by optimizing practices, improving communications and collaboration, and creating automation.

Microsoft Learn

Now, as you may expect, there are tons of material out there on how to get prepared for required two exams that qualifies you to Expert certification. I took a bit stiff hill to climb 🙂 First, I went head-on with AZ-400 “Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions” exam and later focused on Azure Administrator Associate exam.

As an alternative, you could choose a developer path. It applies very well for the case, where you might already have an Azure Developer Associate certification and just need to pass AZ-400 to qualify for the DevOps Expert certification.

Study Materials and references

I primarily used Microsoft Learn – an online and free starting point to cover gaps in my knowledge and skills. by complementing it with Pluralsight videos. I have combined the following list of resources that you might find handy 🙂

In summary, the important once are listed on top. They are all very important, as you would like to keep your knowledge up to date with developments on DevOps world.

In a nutshell, I tried my best to walk you through the process, options and resources that will help you along the way. Hopefully, this brief guide will help you on your journey to prepare and become an Expert DevOps Engineer!

Meanwhile, feel free to answer the following questions:

  • Comment on your exam preparation approach?
  • What challenges are you facing or already overcame?
  • What helped and what did not – in setting up for a DevOps journey?

Thank you and May The 4TH Be With You!

Study Guides for DP-300 Administrating Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure

For all Microsoft SQL server admin and developer friends 👍👌

DP-300 exam is out there, and I am trilled to pieces having it next week:

Caveat is, there is no officially published study guide yet (while it is Beta). I have compiled following resources from community members and in ne place for you.

We have following study guides to get help from:

1. Check Gregor Suttie’s guide 👉 https://lnkd.in/e-H-hNG

2. Check Ravikiran Srinivasulu’s guide 👉 Study Guide for DP-300

3. Check Gonzalo Juan Jose Bissio guide 👉 DP 300 My experience 🙂

4. Free e-book from Microsoft on Professional Azure SQL Database Administration

Please, let us know if you have other good sources for exam preparation. Feel free to share it with community by providing valuable feedback in the comments section.

Updated: I would also recommend to read this post: “Level up with Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate” from Microsoft Tech Community” https://lnkd.in/eXSHbMt #SharingIsCaring❤️

Good Luck on your upcoming exam!
Keep my posted on your success & journey progress!

#azure #sqldatabase #sqldeveloper #sqlserver #certification #betaexam

#MSBuild 2020 Cloud Skills Learning Challenge and Azure exam voucher

Hello friends,

In this post, I am excited to share about – how you could use your Microsoft Build 2020 registration/account to sign-up for Cloud Skills Learning Challenge and complete at least one challenge to earn a complementary Azure exam voucher, by June 2, 2020.

Thank you @Microsoft for this generous offer. Really appreciated!

So buckle-up friends, and Let’s START!

First thing first, you would need to have following 3 things:

Once signed-in into Microsoft Build 2020 registration account, you would need to follow pdf instructions from Microsoft.

Upon successful registration with Microsoft Build Cloud Skills Challenge you would see something similar to the following screen-shot:

Clicking on first item from Challenge Collection will show-up similar to the following screen-shot:

Note: it will show 0% completed initially, however as you move forward with training items it will go up. Upon completion of at least one challenge from Collection by June 2

Official rules of the Microsoft Build Cloud Skills Challenge could be found here.

That’s it friends, buckle up to complete your challenge before June 2, 2020 to receive a complementary Azure exam voucher and maybe some other prizes from sweepstake.

Good Luck!

KEY 30+ free training materials for everyone

Hello my friends!

I have been asked about free, online training resources. I have compiled, to my best knowledge, all recent training resources in this post. However, please feel free to add your comments (aka, 2 cents 💰) and extend this list together 🙂

All the training resources could be used by anyone around the glob 24/7. Note that few training resources are geared toward certain US state learning programs.

I truly hope, you could share these resources with your friends, who might be looking for affordable training, and prepare themselves for a better future.

  1. Microsoft Learn: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/
  2. Google Cloud Training: https://cloud.google.com/training
  3. Oracle OCI training with free exam till May 15, from Raghu Viswanathan: https://www.oracle.com/corporate/blog/free-certifications-oracle-oci-autonomous-033020.html
  4. IBM AI training: https://cognitiveclass.ai/
  5. Pluralsight – free April month: https://www.pluralsight.com/
  6. Harvard University. Pay for official certificate only: https://harvardx.link/sz4ck
  7. Tableau (90 days with code 2020elearning): https://www.tableau.com/learn/training/elearning
  8. Qlik (online training): https://www.qlik.com/us/announcements/covid-19-response
  9. Databricks: https://www.databricks.training/learn-from-home/index.html
  10. Looker: https://training.looker.com/
  11. Coursera: https://blog.coursera.org/coursera-together-free-online-learning-during-covid-19
  12. Atlassian: https://www.atlassian.com/software/free
  13. MicroStrategy (45 days till May 15th 2020): https://www.microstrategy.com/us/free-education
  14. Free Training from BMCC/ NY-Cisco, A+, EMT, Medical Assistant, etc. https://www.bmcc.cuny.edu/ce/
  15. New York Mechanic’s Apprenticeship Program: https://www.nyatlas.org
  16. Web Development training at LaGuardia Community College: https://www.laguardia.edu/Open-Code-Information/
  17. OSHA Training, and several other Free Training – New York: http://www.cb14brooklyn.com
  18. SUNY Bronx- Free Training- GED, Master Barber, Medical Assistant, EMT, etc. http://www.bronxeoc.org/index.html
  19. Learn to code: https://www.freecodecamp.org/
  20. Training in programming and IT : https://www.npower.org/
  21. Training in Cyber Security, Net +, A+, System Admin, etc: https://perscholas.org/
  22. Year Up for 18-24 years old offered in several states in the US. 12 months program with internship: https://www.yearup.org/
  23. Training in IT, Construction, Medical Admin Assistant: usa.generation.org/regeneration
  24. Free IT Training with Certificate: https://thegymnasium.com
  25. Training in several states and online for CompTIA A+ : https://www.creatingitfutures.org
  26. Salesforce training : https://trailhead.salesforce.com/
  27. Sign up for Free trial to take cert exams like: A+, Net, CySa+, Cisco, PMP : https://www.ucertify.com/
  28. Python training from Google: https://www.udacity.com/course/programming-for-data-science-nanodegree–nd104
  29. University of the People- Free degree program in Computer Science, Business Administration, Health Services: https://www.uopeople.edu
  30. Much more online training from @Rajanand’s post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/free-learning-resources-rajanand-ilangovan/
  31. Atlassian free product training catalog: https://training.atlassian.com/free-training-catalog

These list is not complete and I look forward for your contributions #linkedinfamily  to keep this post updated #SharingIsCaring❤️