7 Free Resources To Start Your Cybersecurity Journey In 2021

Resources to learn Cybersecurity

Over the past decade, cybersecurity has become a key area of growth, with demand for professionals in the field being at an all-time high. This has been driven primarily in conjunction with the increase in cybercriminal activity, with reports claiming that the crimes have doubled in the past year alone. 

To combat the issue, a number of people are considering a career in cybersecurity; however, they don’t know where to start. There are plenty of courses and MOOCs online to learn the fundamentals of cybersecurity without having to shell out money for a college degree. 

Here are the top resources, in no particular order, that will help in dipping toes into the world of cybersecurity.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Join our editors every weekday evening as they steer you through the most significant news of the day, introduce you to fresh perspectives, and provide unexpected moments of joy
Your newsletter subscriptions are subject to AIM Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

Also Read: Is It The Right Time To Build A Career In Cybersecurity?

Introduction to Cybersecurity by EdX

The MOOC platform EdX is backed by Harvard University and MIT, assuring quality education even through a digital medium. The Introduction to Cybersecurity course on EdX is provided by the University of Washington, which is ranked #5 for computer science and #12 for cybersecurity in the US. The two-month-long course offers an introduction to key concepts and terms used in the field and will help develop the necessary skills to differentiate between cyber threats. The course is free of cost unless a certificate of completion is needed. If one is looking to increase their knowledge beyond the fundamentals, EdX and the University of Washington also offer a Professional Certificate in Essentials of Cybersecurity that goes deeper into the subject and its applications. 

Learn more about it here.

Cyber Aces Online by SANS Institute 

The SANS Institute is a leading institute in information security, network defences and digital forensics and auditing. The institute provides a free online course that teaches core concepts required to assess and defend information security systems and covers three foundational areas as separate modules — operating systems, networking, and systems administration. 

Learn more about it here.

TechExam.net Forum

TechExam.net website hosts an active community of like-minded individuals looking to pass cybersecurity certification exams or who have succeeded and are looking to help out their peers. There are multiple forums dedicated to not just CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) Security, but also for every other major certification out there like Cisco’s CCNA, EC-Council’s Ethical Hacking Associate (EHA) and so on. The community contributes their knowledge and expertise, recommending free resources to use for the exam preparations as well as providing job opportunities for those in need.

Learn more about it here

White Papers by Centre for Internet Security 

The Centre for Internet Security is a non-profit institute whose free digital repository of white papers is an invaluable resource for those keen on reading about the latest developments in cybersecurity or in-depth research about threats and tools. The institute’s stated mission is “to identify, develop, validate, promote, and sustain best practice solutions for cyber defence”. 

Learn more about it here

YouTube Tutorials by LiveOverflow and The Cyber Mentor

YouTube has evolved to become one of the most accessible websites for free tutorials on topics ranging from knitting and cooking to DIY projects and, of course, cybersecurity. Two popular youtube channels that provide tutorials, career advice, commentary and news updates are LiveOverFlow and The Cyber Mentor. 

LiveOverflow, based out of Berlin, is an ethical hacker passionate about the field and has built a community of enthusiasts across social media, including a dedicated subreddit for those who want to share their knowledge and experience. The Cyber Mentor, aka Heath Adams, on the other hand, is the founder of TCM Security, a cybersecurity company that focuses on providing top of the line penetration testing, security training, and compliance services. His channel, while smaller, provides equally useful tutorials to learn cybersecurity that would otherwise cost a pretty penny as paid courses. 

Learn more about them here and here.


Cybrary is a crowdsourced IT learning platform that is dedicated to providing free courses and resources on cybersecurity, with the aim to provide the opportunity to learn cybersecurity for anyone and anywhere. As a result, users get access to over 150 free courses that cater to both beginners and experts alike, with classes on advanced penetration testing, virtualisation management and more, along with free practice tests, labs and assessments. 

Learn more about it here.

Open Security Training

Different from most other offerings on this list, Open Security Training is a crowdsourced repository of training materials on cybersecurity, made available “in the spirit of OpenCourseWare and the Khan Academy”. These are ideally used along with a training course as a text or guidebook to follow. All the website materials are licensed with an open license like CreativeCommons, allowing anyone to learn and use them; however, they see fit.

Learn more about it here.

David B. Shrestha
I have a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, and I enjoy writing about tech policy, cryptocurrency, and the latest advancements in artificial intelligence.

Download our Mobile App


AI Hackathons, Coding & Learning

Host Hackathons & Recruit Great Data Talent!

AIM Research

Pioneering advanced AI market research

Request Customised Insights & Surveys for the AI Industry

The Gold Standard for Recognizing Excellence in Data Science and Tech Workplaces

With Best Firm Certification, you can effortlessly delve into the minds of your employees, unveil invaluable perspectives, and gain distinguished acclaim for fostering an exceptional company culture.

AIM Leaders Council

World’s Biggest Community Exclusively For Senior Executives In Data Science And Analytics.

3 Ways to Join our Community

Telegram group

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Discord Server

Stay Connected with a larger ecosystem of data science and ML Professionals

Subscribe to our Daily newsletter

Get our daily awesome stories & videos in your inbox