Cybersecurity is a growing issue for businesses and individuals alike, and the demand for training in the field is on the rise. Would you like to tighten up your cybersecurity measures at home or at work? Or perhaps you’re an employer wanting to step up your business’s security measures and educate your employees on the topic. Maybe you’re considering a career in cybersecurity and are looking to get started. An online cybersecurity course for beginners can help.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to delve deeper into the world of cybersecurity, there is sure to be an online course that’s right for you. Teaching tools vary greatly in terms of accessibility, scope, suitability for various levels of competence, and of course, price.
There are a ton of options to choose from, such that the selection process can become overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top seven online cybersecurity courses out there. Before we get into the details here’s an at-a-glance list of the best cybersecurity course available online.
Best Cyber Security Courses Online:
StationX VIP Membership: Gives you unlimited access to a huge range of cyber security courses including ethical hacking, penetration testing, and much more. Caters for all levels and great value for money.
Coursera Introduction to Cyber Security Specialization: Covers 4 entry-level courses to help you on your way to a career in cyber security.
SANS Cyber Aces Online: Courses cover security fundamentals around networking, operating systems, and system admin.
edX Essentials of Cybersecurity: Good option for those looking for a university accredited course.
Heimdal Cyber Security for Beginners: A course geared more towards the general user who wants to increase their understanding of cyber security.
Cybrary Introduction to IT and Cybersecurity: Covers network engineering, system administration, forensics, and penetration testing.
Harvard Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age: Cyber security course covering attack types, risks, and mitigation strategies alongside compliance and legal issues. Not cheap at £2,800.
We based our course selections on the following criteria:
Offers value for money
Doesn’t require much, if any, previous knowledge of cybersecurity
Offers practical advice that can be applied at home or to your business or cybersecurity career
Operates entirely online with no travel required
Provides you with some type of certification upon completion
Best cyber security course online for beginners
Here’s our list of the best online cybersecurity courses for beginners:
StationX cybersecurity course online.
StationX offers almost 100 courses related to cybersecurity, including those teaching ethical hacking, penetration testing, networking, security coding, digital forensics, and incident response. It even has courses centered around passing top security certifications and preparing for examinations.
The StationX VIP Membership gives you unlimited access to all courses, many of which have racked up thousands of great reviews. Considering each course normally costs $90–$2,000 by itself, the discounted fee of $149 (usually $1,199) per year for access to all courses is well worth it. You can stream and download lectures and access them from mobile or desktop. You’ll learn at your own speed and receive a certificate of completion for each course.
For beginners, we suggest starting with The Complete Cyber Security Course! which includes four volumes with classes taught by cybersecurity expert and StationX CEO, Nathan House. These are the modules in this course:
Hackers Exposed: Learn to stop hackers, block tracking, and prevent government surveillance.
Network Security: Find out about network security, wifi security and hackers, firewalls, password managers, and more.
Anonymous Browsing: Discover the world of anonymous browsing including hiding IP addresses, Tor, and VPNs.
End Point Protection: Learn about antivirus software, malware, encryption, and application control.
Once you’re through that, you can continue browsing and see what captures your interest next. By purchasing the membership, you have continued access to new training courses that are being added all the time. Courses are presented by top security experts, so you know you’re getting the best of the best training.
All-in-all, this is a training toolbox that can serve you well as you embark on a career in the industry. Since it’s updated regularly, you can use it to stay on top of advances in cybersecurity and propel yourself further in your career.
Even if you’re not pursuing a career in the field, this might still be a good fit. Because you can tailor your learning, this membership is suitable for someone looking to take control of cybersecurity within their own company, or even someone who is simply interested in learning more about the field.
BEST CYBERSECURITY COURSES:StationX is our #1 choice for beginners. StationX VIP Membership provides unlimited access to all content including courses focused on passing top security certifications.
Coursera cybersecurity course online.
The way Coursera works is it presents multiple courses as part of a specialization. You can take all courses within a specialization or choose specific ones. Each specialization includes a hands-on project which you’ll have to complete in order to earn a certificate.
The Introduction to Cyber Security specialization includes four courses:
Introduction to Cyber Attacks: Provides a basic understanding of threats and vulnerabilities, and an overview of how cyberattacks are carried out.
Cyber Attack Countermeasures: Teaches the basics of cyber defense and cryptography, including authentication solutions and public-key cryptography.
Real-Time Cyber Threat Detection and Mitigation: Discusses real-time cybersecurity techniques and how to detect and prevent common attacks.
Enterprise and Infrastructure Security: Introduces more advanced topics such as enterprise compliance frameworks and issues in blockchain and mobile security.
This set of courses goes beyond the basics, so is less suitable for home users looking to boost their cybersecurity knowledge and more for business owners or would-be cybersecurity professionals. The suggested time frame is nine hours per week for two months.
You can take many individual Coursera courses for free. However, to complete a specialization and its corresponding hands-on project to get a certificate, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee. Specializations come with a seven-day free trial after which they cost between $39 and $79 per month for each specialization. This means the quicker you get through the courses and projects, the less you have to pay.
Once you’re finished with this specialization, there are other related ones you can undertake, such as Cybersecurity for Business and Applied Cryptography.
SANS Institute cybersecurity course online.
SANS Cyber Aces Online courses are offered for free by the SANS Institute, which you’ve no doubt heard of if you’re in any way interested in cybersecurity. This organization is highly regarded in the field of information security and has been conducting research and education programs for three decades.
The institute runs in-person training events across the globe, but these typically cost thousands of dollars a pop. As such, to get some free online training from these guys is a treat. That being said, the current offerings are limited with just one course being available. But if you’re just looking for a taster, it could be ideal.
The course teaches the fundamentals of cybersecurity, covering the following:
Operating Systems: Focusing on command line usage, this module teaches concepts and commands in Linux and advanced use of Windows.
Networking: This covers the fundamentals of computer attacks and corresponding defense from a network point of view. You’ll find out about the protocols used in each OSI layer, in particular, the networking layer.
System Administration: The final module teaches administrative functions in popular scripting environments.
You can opt to take courses with or without quizzes, which are presented in a multiple-choice format and test knowledge and understanding of each module.
This course is geared toward a prospective cybersecurity professional or members of the general public. The SANS Institute hopes that by offering courses like this for free, people will be better educated on cybersecurity, and it will ultimately “help strengthen the security of our nation.”
edX cybersecurity course online.
edX is a great resource for accredited university courses. These courses are designed by various universities themselves and come with verified certificates. However, they do come at a cost. The Professional Certificate in Essentials of Cybersecurity is offered by the University of Washington (UWashingtonX) and costs $796.
The suggested duration for the whole program (which includes four introductory courses) is 2–5 hours per week for 16 weeks.
Included courses are:
Introduction to Cybersecurity: Answers questions about and provides literacy in the field of cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity: The CISO’s View: Delves into cybersecurity operations and in particular what a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) does within a company.
Building a Cybersecurity Toolkit: Teaches the skills needed to become a cybersecurity professional.
Finding Your Cybersecurity Career Path: Discusses the various career paths you could follow and helps you decide which is the right fit for you.
Each course separately costs $99 so you save around $40 by buying the bundle. As you can see, the flow of this program is tailored to someone who is thinking of pursuing a career in the cybersecurity field.
Once you’ve completed this one, if you’re looking for something more advanced, the MicroMasters® Program in Cybersecurity might be of interest. It’s fairly pricey at $1,080, but the length and scope of this course are no doubt worth it. It’s run by the highly-regarded Rochester Institute of Technology and is aimed at learners looking to launch their cybersecurity career.
PM IT Solution is a reputable firm providing technologies and intelligence in the fight against cybercrime. PM IT Solution is offering its handy Cyber Security course in Jaipur for Beginners course free of charge. While many of the courses on this list are aimed at prospective cybersecurity professionals, this one is targeted more toward a general user looking to bump up their home cybersecurity.
This course is paced for you as lessons are delivered to your inbox every two days. Over the course of 20 lessons, you’ll learn:
Cybersecurity basics such as vocabulary and setting up a security system
Tools and tactics that can shield you from malware
How to make your system less vulnerable to cyber threats
How to keep your kids and other loved ones safe online
How to explore the web safely (including email and social media)
Security skills such as knowledge of how attacks work and how to avoid and deal with them