SC-900 EXAM- A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE IN 2024

SC-900

With no doubt, cybersecurity and data protection are paramount concerns for businesses of all sizes. As organizations continue to digitize their operations and store valuable data online, the need for robust security measures becomes increasingly critical. Microsoft, a leading provider of enterprise solutions, offers a comprehensive suite of tools and services designed to address these challenges. The Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals exam, or SC-900, serves as a foundational assessment for individuals looking to demonstrate their understanding of Microsoft’s security, compliance, and identity offerings. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the SC-900 exam, providing you with valuable insights and resources to help you prepare effectively.

What is the SC-900 exam?

The Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals exam is offered by Microsoft for the aspirants desiring to learn the security fundamentals. The code of the exam is SC-900. You are expected to have 40-60 questions in the exam. There are multiple-choice, multiple-response, true/false questions, drag and drop, scenario questions, or case study questions. The duration of the exam is 60 minutes. Microsoft offers the option for candidates to take the SC-900 exam either online through online proctoring or at an authorized exam center. Passing this single exam will make you eligible for the Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals certification.

Who is the exam designed for?

The SC-900 exam is designed for individuals who have a foundational understanding of security, compliance, and identity concepts and are interested in validating their knowledge of Microsoft’s solutions in these areas. Whether you’re an IT professional, a security enthusiast, or a student looking to kickstart your career in cybersecurity, information protection, identity, and access management- obtaining the SC-900 certification can enhance your credentials and open up new opportunities in the industry.

What is the passing score of the SC-900 exam?

The passing score of the SC-900 exam is 700. This means that a minimum of 70% of your questions must be right to crack the exam. When you take the SC-900 exam, you won’t receive your raw score, but you’ll be notified immediately upon completion whether you passed or failed. Microsoft evaluates your performance against a predetermined standard, and if you meet or exceed that standard, you’ll pass the exam. It’s essential to focus on understanding the exam objectives thoroughly and being well-prepared across all the covered topics to maximize your chances of passing the SC-900 exam.

What is the cost of the SC-900 exam?

The cost of the SC-900 exam is $99 per attempt. The cost of each attempt is the same. However, some miscellaneous costs also add to the exam like the paid course which may cost $40-$60. Similarly, the cost of exam practice materials may range from $25-$40. The renewal exam is completely free of cost.

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What are the requirements to take the SC-900 exam?

There are no formal requirements to take the exam. However, the following knowledge is recommended;

  • Concepts of networking and cloud computing
  • Broad familiarity with IT or any general work experience in an IT setting
  • General knowledge of Microsoft 365 and Azure

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Topics SC-900 Exam

What topics must be prepared for the SC-900 exam?

Describe the concepts of security, compliance, and identity (10–15%)

Describe security and compliance concepts

  • Describe the shared responsibility model
  • Describe defense-in-depth
  • Describe the Zero Trust model
  • Describe encryption and hashing
  • Describe Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) concepts

Define identity concepts

  • Define identity as the primary security perimeter
  • Define authentication
  • Define authorization
  • Describe identity providers
  • Describe the concept of directory services and Active Directory
  • Describe the concept of federation

Describe the capabilities of Microsoft Entra (25–30%)

Describe function and identity types of Microsoft Entra ID

Describe authentication capabilities of Microsoft Entra ID

  • Describe the authentication methods
  • Describe multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Describe password protection and management capabilities

Describe access management capabilities of Microsoft Entra ID

  • Describe Conditional Access
  • Describe Microsoft Entra roles and role-based access control (RBAC)

Describe identity protection and governance capabilities of Microsoft Entra

  • Describe Microsoft Entra ID Governance
  • Describe access reviews
  • Describe the capabilities of Microsoft Entra Privileged Identity Management
  • Describe Entra ID Protection
  • Describe Microsoft Entra Permissions Management

Describe the capabilities of Microsoft security solutions (35–40%)

Describe core infrastructure security services in Azure

  • Describe Azure distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) Protection
  • Describe Azure Firewall
  • Describe Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  • Describe network segmentation with Azure virtual networks
  • Describe network security groups (NSGs)
  • Describe Azure Bastion
  • Describe Azure Key Vault

Describe security management capabilities of Azure

  • Describe Microsoft Defender for Cloud
  • Describe Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)
  • Describe how security policies and initiatives improve the cloud security posture
  • Describe enhanced security features provided by cloud workload protection

Describe capabilities of Microsoft Sentinel

  • Define the concepts of security information and event management (SIEM) and security orchestration automated response (SOAR)
  • Describe threat detection and mitigation capabilities in Microsoft Sentinel

Describe threat protection with Microsoft 365 Defender

  • Describe Microsoft 365 Defender services
  • Describe Microsoft Defender for Office 365
  • Describe Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
  • Describe Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps
  • Describe Microsoft Defender for Identity
  • Describe Microsoft Defender Vulnerability Management
  • Describe Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence (Defender TI)
  • Describe the Microsoft 365 Defender portal

Describe the capabilities of Microsoft compliance solutions (20–25%)

Describe Microsoft Service Trust Portal and privacy principles

  • Describe the Service Trust Portal offerings
  • Describe the privacy principles of Microsoft
  • Describe Microsoft Priva

Describe compliance management capabilities of Microsoft Purview

  • Describe the Microsoft Purview compliance portal
  • Describe Compliance Manager
  • Describe the uses and benefits of compliance score

Describe information protection, data lifecycle management, and data governance capabilities of Microsoft Purview

  • Describe the data classification capabilities
  • Describe the benefits of Content explorer and Activity explorer
  • Describe sensitivity labels and sensitivity label policies
  • Describe data loss prevention (DLP)
  • Describe records management
  • Describe retention policies, retention labels, and retention label policies
  • Describe unified data governance solutions in Microsoft Purview

Describe insider risk, eDiscovery, and audit capabilities in Microsoft Purview

  • Describe insider risk management
  • Describe eDiscovery solutions in Microsoft Purview
  • Describe audit solutions in Microsoft Purview

How to prepare for and crack the SC-900 exam?

Successfully passing the SC-900 exam requires diligent preparation and a solid understanding of the exam objectives. Here are some tips to help you prepare effectively:

  1. Review the Exam Skills Outline: Familiarize yourself with the skills outline provided by Microsoft. This document outlines the key concepts and topics that will be covered in the exam, helping you focus your study efforts.
  2. Utilize Microsoft Learn: Microsoft Learn offers a wealth of free resources, including modules, tutorials, and hands-on labs, covering various aspects of Microsoft’s security, compliance, and identity solutions. Take advantage of these resources to deepen your understanding of the subject matter. You may also use the instructor-led course. 
  3. Explore Documentation and Whitepapers: Microsoft provides extensive documentation and whitepapers on its security, compliance, and identity solutions. Take the time to explore these resources, as they offer valuable insights and real-world examples that can aid in your preparation.
  4. Take Practice Exams: Practice exams are an excellent way to assess your readiness and identify areas where you may need further review. Several online platforms offer SC-900 practice exams, allowing you to simulate the exam experience and gauge your proficiency.

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What is the worth and importance of taking the SC-900 exam?

Ultimately, whether the SC-900 exam is worth taking depends on your individual circumstances and career aspirations. If you believe that obtaining the certification aligns with your goals and can provide value to your career, investing the time and effort into preparing for and passing the exam can be a worthwhile endeavor.

Here are some factors to consider when determining if the SC-900 certification is worthwhile for you:

  1. Career Path: If you’re pursuing a career in cybersecurity, cloud computing, compliance, or IT administration, obtaining the SC-900 certification can be beneficial. It demonstrates your foundational knowledge of Microsoft’s security, compliance, and identity solutions, which are widely used in enterprise environments.
  2. Employer Requirements: Some employers may require or prefer candidates to have relevant certifications, including those related to Microsoft technologies. If you’re seeking employment or advancement within an organization that values Microsoft certifications, earning the SC-900 certification could enhance your credentials and make you a more competitive candidate.
  3. Security skill Enhancement: Even if the SC-900 certification is not explicitly required for your current role, preparing for the exam can deepen your understanding of security, compliance, and identity concepts in the context of Microsoft’s offerings. This knowledge can be valuable for enhancing your job performance and contributing to your organization’s success.
  4. Personal Development: Pursuing certifications like the SC-900 can also be a form of personal and professional development. It demonstrates your commitment to continuous learning and staying current with industry trends and best practices. Additionally, earning certifications can boost your confidence and satisfaction in your abilities.
  5. Communication with industry experts: Engaging with other professionals who are also pursuing Microsoft certifications can provide networking opportunities and access to a community of like-minded individuals. Participating in study groups, online forums, or local user groups can help you expand your professional network and learn from others’ experiences. 

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In a Nutshell

The Microsoft SC-900 exam serves as a foundational stepping stone for individuals seeking to demonstrate their understanding of Microsoft’s security, compliance, and identity solutions. By following the tips outlined in this guide and dedicating sufficient time and effort to your preparation, you can increase your chances of success on exam day. Make sure to stay focused, stay motivated, and leverage the wealth of resources available to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

The difficulty of the Microsoft SC-900 exam can vary depending on your level of experience and familiarity with the concepts covered in the exam objectives. As a foundational certification exam, the SC-900 is designed to assess candidates’ understanding of fundamental security, compliance, and identity concepts in the context of Microsoft’s solutions.

For individuals with prior experience or knowledge in cybersecurity, cloud computing, compliance, or IT administration, the SC-900 exam may be relatively manageable with adequate preparation. However, if you’re new to these concepts or have limited experience with Microsoft’s security and compliance offerings, you may find the exam more challenging.

Overall, while the SC-900 exam is considered a foundational certification, it still requires thorough preparation and a solid understanding of the exam objectives to succeed. With diligent study and hands-on practice, you can increase your chances of passing the exam and obtaining the Microsoft SC-900 certification.

After successfully passing the Microsoft SC-900 exam and obtaining the Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals certification, you may choose to pursue more advanced certifications that align with your career goals and interests. Here are some potential certification paths you could consider:

  • Microsoft Certified: Security Operations Analyst Associate (SC-200): This certification demonstrates your expertise in detecting, responding to, and mitigating security threats using Microsoft security solutions, including Azure Sentinel and Microsoft Defender.

Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate (MS-500): This certification focuses on managing security and compliance solutions in Microsoft 365, including identity and access management, threat protection, and information protection.

Yes, earning the Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals certification (SC-900) can significantly enhance your qualifications for entry-level positions in the field of cybersecurity, compliance, and IT administration, particularly within organizations that utilize Microsoft technologies. While the SC-900 certification alone may not guarantee a job, it can serve as a valuable credential that demonstrates your foundational knowledge and commitment to the field.

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