Time for a new job? Check out 16 cybersecurity courses on the basics, SOC skills, and new privacy rules

Time for a new job? Check out 16 cybersecurity courses on the basics, SOC skills, and new privacy rules

Online training classes for newbies, managers, and privacy officers are on sale this week.

Even as more companies lay off employees as the coronavirus pandemic continues, cyber security professionals are some of the few people who still have job security. In PwC’s latest COVID-19 CFO Pulse survey, only 2% of chief financial officers said they’ll cut planned investments in cybersecurity and data privacy.
People who can defend corporate networks from bad actors are always in demand, and that status has only improved since working from home has introduced even more security risks.

SEE: Top IT certifications to increase your salary (free PDF)

If you want to shift your career path to cybersecurity, now is the time to start. Many online training sites are offering significantly reduced prices on training programs during the month of May. This roundup includes free courses for people who are new to cybersecurity as well as specialized courses about security for the Internet of Things (IoT) and California’s new privacy law.

Disclosure: TechRepublic may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page. TechRepublic and the author were not compensated for this independent review.


Here are a variety of options for people looking for an introduction to cybersecurity. Some of the courses are free, some are on sale, and some require tuition. Udemy courses are on sale for $9.99 and up until May 14.

Free online courses for security basics
If you’re not ready to spend money on cybersecurity training, take a look at the SANS Cyber Aces Online Courses. These are free and cover three foundational areas of information security, including operating systems, networking, and systems administration. The Cyber Aces courses are from the professional development curriculum offered by The SANS Institute, a global leader in cyber security training. 
Heimdal Security also offers a free introductory course, Cyber Security for Beginners. You’ll get a lesson every day via email for five weeks. You’ll learn about tools and tactics, detection and prevention, and recommendations for protecting personal data.

The Absolute Beginners Guide to Cyber Security 2020–Part 1
This Udemy course is for anyone who is interested in becoming a cyber security or information security professional. The class covers the basic concepts used in the world of information security. The four sections of the course cover terminology and protocols, hacking methodology, hacking tools, and strategies for building a strong defense.

The Absolute Beginners Guide to Cyber Security 2020–Part 2
Part two of this Udemy class covers proxy servers, VPNs, best practices for secure browsing as well as how to use a rootkit scanner and three major anti-malware tools.

Learn Nessus Vulnerability Scanner–Beginner
This Udemy course is designed for security engineers or security consultants who want to perform vulnerability scanning for their organizations or customers. The class covers deployment options, installation, launching scans, and analysis and reporting.

Professional Certificate in Essentials of Cybersecurity
The University of Washington offers a Professional Certificate in Essentials of Cybersecurity. The six-month course is $716 and is self-paced. The program includes four separate courses that cover the landscape of cybersecurity, professional roles in the field including the responsibilities of a CISO, and guidance for building a cybersecurity toolkit.

Introduction to Cyber Security Specialization  
Introduction to Cyber Security from Coursera will give you a deeper understanding of modern information and system protection technology and methods. The goal is to learn how to assess and improve cyber risk posture in real computing, networking, and software systems. Real-world scenarios are included based on practical enterprise and infrastructure deployments. This course is part of a specialization series in cybersecurity. When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Specialization 
The instructors for this Coursera class are architects, Security Operation Center (SOC) analysts, and  engineers with day jobs in cybersecurity at IBM. They will share the skills needed to secure IBM and its clients security systems. The completion of this specialization also makes you eligible to earn the IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity IBM digital badge.

Intermediate courses

These educational opportunities are best for people with experience in the field of IT or cybersecurity.  

StationX cybersecurity courses
You can buy one-off courses or you can sign up for a VIP membership. StationX has a deal going on at the moment (May 11, 2020), and the membership is now $149 per year instead of $1,199. Courses include:

  • The Complete Ethical Hacking Course Bundle
  • The CISSP and CISM Certification Bundle
  • Hands-on Penetration Testing Labs plus Kali Linux
  • The Ultimate Information Security Certificates Bundle

Security Operations Center–SOC Training
This new course at Udemy will prepare you for a successful interview with a cybersecurity firm for the position of analyst in a SOC team. The course will cover the foundations and fundamentals of IT security, networking, and SIEM tools. Udemy courses are on sale for $9.99 through May 15. 

Courses for managers

This list includes courses for IT professionals who need a big-picture understanding of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age
Harvard offers an online short course that starts in July and lasts six weeks. The price tag is $2,800, the format is self-paced, and topics include:

  • Cybersecurity risk is business risk 
  • Cyber risk and the law
  • Incident response and accountability
  • Designing and implementing a mitigation strategy

California Consumer Privacy Act: Simplifying Compliance
Udemy is offering this course to explain the basics of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and explain how to build a CCPA compliance program. This course can be taken by anyone with any level of privacy knowledge or experience, including business owners, compliance professionals, privacy professionals, and people preparing for the CIPP/US exam.

GDPR Compliance Guide and Action Steps
This is an introduction to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation which sets regulations around personal data. This data protection course is a comprehensive data privacy training video course which focuses on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation compliance requirements and provides specific action steps in each section that students can apply to ensure GDPR compliance within their organizations. The cost is $79.

Cybersecurity specializations

These courses focus on a particular slice of cybersecurity. 

Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things
This Coursera class explores current security and privacy related concerns in the growing IoT space. Every module will include readings, videos, case studies, and a quiz to help participants plan for a smart community approach to IoT. This is offered by the University System of Georgia.

Cybersecurity and Mobility
This class from Coursera is for IT professionals interested in moving into a managerial role in cybersecurity and mobility. After this course, participants will be able to describe how the nature of the threat evolves, as culprits employ sophisticated tools to take advantage of the growing reliance on networks for critical-data exchange. This 15-hour course is self-guided and part of this specialization: Cybersecurity: Developing a Program for your Business.

Cyberlaw, Cybercrime, and Cybersecurity in the Coronavirus Age 
This Udemy course is for anyone interested in understanding the cyberspace related ramifications that have begun to start emerging in the coronavirus age. This course is designed for IT professionals, managers, government employees, law students, legal professionals, and lawyers interested in knowing about the legal, criminal and cybersecurity developments related to the coronavirus.

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