The best courses and books to learn cybersecurity in 2022

“Learn how to think like a hacker, but behave as a security expert,” the course description states.

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April 2021, Facebook’s data breach exposed the personal information of 533 million users. 

May 2021, Air India’s data breach revealed the figures of more than 4.5 million passengers. 

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June 2021, 700 million people’s LinkedIn data was posted on a dark web platform. 

This, along with ransomware attacks on Pixlr, Accenture, Acer, T-Mobile, WannaCry, Petya, Mirai Botnet and Pegasus, broke the news in 2021. 

The world is moving online, digital transformation, virtual working and cryptocurrencies have the dangers of the web, and hackers are on ransom-spree. Be it bigger organisations or smaller house servers, cybersecurity is becoming an in-demand skill to have. Analytics India Magazine has listed the top online courses and books for beginners to learn cybersecurity in 2022. 

Online cybersecurity courses for beginners

  1. Introduction to Cybersecurity Specialisation on Coursera

With a 4.7/5 star rating, this course is in partnership with NYU and is one of the most popular cybersecurity courses on Coursera. The program is approximately a four-month course if learnt at the suggested pace of 4 hours a week. Introduction to cybersecurity is a foundational course for techies and non-techies, and it covers security risks in real computing, networking and software systems. The syllabus includes cyberattacks, countermeasures, real-time threat detection and mitigation and enterprise infrastructure and safety. Additionally, it includes industrial interviews, quizzes and applied to learn projects to help the students connect concepts to practice. The course instructor is Dr Edward G. Amoroso, a research professor at NYU.

Find the course here.  

  1. The Complete Cyber Security Course: Hackers Exposed! on Udemy

A bestseller course on Udemy, The Complete Cyber Security Course is part 1 of a 4 part series perfect for beginners. The beginner to advanced coursework teaches the threat and vulnerability landscape through threat modelling and risk assessment. The syllabus includes practical skills in mitigating hackers, trackers, malware, exploit kicks and cybercriminals over several platforms, including Windows, macOS and Linux. “We explore the Darknet and mindset of the cyber-criminal,” claims the module, through concepts of encryption, various social engineering threats and security control of isolation and compartmentalisation. It teaches the concepts through case studies of tracking and hacking used by nation state-run intelligence agencies like the NSA, FBI and MSS. The course is taught by Nathan House, a cyber-security agent with over 24 years of experience in the industry. 

Find the course here.  

  1. The Absolute Beginners Guide to Cyber Security 2021 on Udemy

This course is a suitable pick for students with no background in cyber security and covers the foundational concepts of hacking, malware, firewalls, worms, phishing, encryption, biometrics and BYOD. The first two sections cover the basics of hacking, followed by section 3 that explains the popular forms of hacking and malware. Finally, section 4 teaches cyber security methods to protect systems and networks from cyber-attacks. The instructor, Alexander Oni, is a web developer and cyber security expert. 

Find the course here.  

  1. Cybersecurity Fundamentals on edX

The Cybersecurity Fundamentals on edX is from Rochester Institute of Technology as part of their Cybersecurity MicroMasters Program but can be audited on its own since it is an introduction to computing security. The eight-week course teaches cybersecurity fundamentals like detecting threats, protecting systems and networks, and anticipating potential cyber-attacks. In addition, the course entails the essential techniques to protect systems and network infrastructure, monitoring threats and devising and implementing security measures for different organisations. The instructor, Jonathan S. Weissman, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Computing Security at the Rochester Institute of Technology. 

Find the course here.  

  1. Cyber Security Basics: A Hands-on Approach on edX

“Learn how to think like a hacker, but behave as a security expert,” the course description states. The Cyber Security Basics course introduces the subject through different angles of the discipline, mainly covering the existing security threats and how to protect against them. The course takes a practical approach to teach computer forensics, assembly programming, cyberdefense and malware and advanced persistent threats. It is taught by three instructors that are researchers and professors at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid with years of experience in computer security. 

Find the course here.

  1. Win the Cyber War – Advanced Certification Program in Cyber Security and Cyber Defense on TalentSpring by IIT Kanpur

This certification is a long-form 120-hour course offered by IIT Kanpur, in association with TalentSprint, catered towards aspiring cybersecurity professionals. The course combines theory and academics with a practical approach to master the skills. The program’s hands-on approach includes capstone projects, hackathons, and campus visits. The course curriculum includes VPN, reverse engineering, Honeypot, web security, access control, malware analysis, intrusion detection, secure development, etc. It is taught by five experts in cybersecurity research. 

Find the course here.

  1. Cyber Security for Beginners by Heimdal Security 

Heimdal is a cloud-based cybersecurity solution provider that has developed an introductory online cyber security course. The course has six modules teaching the cybersecurity basics, the right tools to protect from viruses, detection and prevention to identify security holes, protection from cyber-criminal actions and safe ways to explore the web. The course instructors are Bianca Soare and Miriam Cihodariu. 

Find the course here.

  1. Cybersecurity Compliance Framework & System Administration by IBM

Provided by IBM on Naukri Learning, Cybersecurity Compliance Framework & System Administration is a 16-hour introductory course that teaches the critical principles of Opensource Server Administration through real-life case studies. The course provides students with the background to understand key cybersecurity compliance and industry standards for any cybersecurity role in the organisation. The curriculum includes compliance frameworks and industry standards, client system administration, server and user administration and cryptography and compliance pitfalls. 

Find the course here.

Cybersecurity books for beginners

  1. The Psychology of Information Security by Leron Zinatullin (Read here)
  2. Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking by Georgia Weidman (Read here)
  3. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation by Jon Erickson (Read here)
  4. Cybersecurity for Beginners by Raef Meeuwisse (Read here)
  5. Hacking: A Beginners’ Guide to Computer Hacking, Basic Security, And Penetration Testing by John Slavio (Read here)
  6. Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking by Christopher Hadnagy (Read here)
  7. Cybersecurity For Dummies by Joseph Steinberg (Read here)
  8. Alice and Bob Learn Application Security by Tanya Janca (Read here)

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Avi Gopani
Avi Gopani is a technology journalist that seeks to analyse industry trends and developments from an interdisciplinary perspective at Analytics India Magazine. Her articles chronicle cultural, political and social stories that are curated with a focus on the evolving technologies of artificial intelligence and data analytics.

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