With each passing day, attacks on security systems of organizations are getting more frequent and much more severe. Without a doubt, there is big money involved in all this and it’s not surprising that the spending on the information security market will surpass $127 billion by 2019 and the damages will exceed $6 trillion by 2021. And in order to tackle problems of such massive scales, the cybersecurity market needs professionals who can efficiently safeguard security systems and ward off threats before they emerge.
According to Cisco, there will be more than 3.5 million job opportunities in the information security domain and the unemployment rate will diminish to 0%.
All these facts point in the same direction - if you have relevant cybersecurity skills, your career prospects are much brighter than any other profession. Consequently, cybersecurity specialists need to constantly update their inherent skills and stay updated with the latest threats and recent advancements in the field. And for these reasons, we need reliable training resources which could assist both professionals and newcomers to stay informed and develop a better and broader understanding of the cyber threats over time.
Keeping in mind the vibrant nature of the cybersecurity landscape, we have arranged a list of free and low-cost courses, video content and webinars, cybersecurity ebooks and whitepapers, resourceful blogs, online podcasts, and several other important tools.
These resources aim towards intensifying your existing skills and also imparting new ones. Let us catch a glimpse at each one of these resources and understand how they are so beneficial for your career growth:
Free Cybersecurity Courses
Cybrary was founded with a unique motive to provide learning opportunities to people who intend to make a difference in the cybersecurity world. This learning platform has a user base of around 2 million users and has something to offer to everyone.
Basically, Cybrary is an online library for information security domains and offers an extensive range of around 500 free courses. The courses are ranked by their difficulty levels and also include well-structured tests and practical assessments. You can opt for beginner, intermediate or expert level courses on advanced penetration testing, cryptography, virtualization management, secure coding and much more.
2. SANS Cyber Aces Online
The Sans Cyber Aces Online course has been developed by the reputed SANS Institute and offers free training and certification in concepts related to the assessment and protection of information security systems. A combination of tutorials and videos, this self-paced course is available as open course ware and is a part of the professional development curriculum of the SANS Institute.
3. Springboard’s Foundations of Cybersecurity
This free course offered by Springboard has more than 38 hours of content and is highly suitable for anyone willing to solidify their cybersecurity basics. The course offers 40 plus resources across 9 core modules and thoroughly explains the most basic aspects of cybersecurity. At the end of this course, you will be able to understand the basics of cryptography, penetration testing and also about some tools to prevent probable cyber attacks.
4. US Department of Homeland Security
It may sound a bit surprising, but the US Department of Homeland Security is also a great source when you are looking to gain cybersecurity expertise. Moreover, they have also compiled resourceful articles to help the general public gain awareness about their cybersecurity policies. The department mainly focuses on providing structured courses on the security of industrial control systems. There are almost 11 courses on their online portal that range from current vulnerabilities in cybersecurity to operational security of industrial control systems. They also offer several instructor-led courses to those looking for an in-person experience.
5. Open Security Training
Although their website looks quite minimalistic, Open Security Training has an abundance of cybersecurity-related course matter which ranges from basic lessons on Android Security Testing to Advanced x86 Virtualization courses. Overall, they offer a considerable volume of free cybersecurity training resources in the form of open source material. They also have a team of instructors who constantly update the courses and keep the learners up-to-date with the current and ongoing threats.
6. TechExam.net Preparation Community
If you are looking for resources to prepare for cybersecurity certifications, you may consider TechExam.net’s certification preparation community. Members of this community are the professionals and experts who have already completed their own certifications and provide valuable insights into the certification preparation process. The community also shares free cybersecurity training resources and job notifications on a regular basis. On the portal, there are discussion forums for some of the top cybersecurity certifications like CompTIA, Cloud Certifications, GIAC, IAPP, ISACA and so on.
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
The Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs as they are famously called, are getting popular day by day and their arrival has changed the way people perceive learning today. Offered by the top universities of the world, these courses are taught by expert faculties and are available either for free or at reasonable prices online.
1. Cybersecurity Specialization by the University of Maryland
Offered by the University of Maryland on Coursera, this course covers all the fundamental aspects of cybersecurity in the creation of secure systems using cryptography. The course is expected to take almost 5 months if exercised for 5 hours per week.
2. Cybersecurity and CISSP by KSU
The course is designed by the Kennesaw State University to help students and cybersecurity professionals gain a working knowledge about network security, cryptography, access control and other fundamental aspects of cybersecurity and CISSP. The course also offers online interactive sessions with industry experts to enhance the knowledge and understanding of learners.
3. MIT OpenCourseWare
MIT’s OpenCourseWare initiative brings the exclusive MIT classroom course material available on the web for free. Talking about cybersecurity resources, there are plenty of free courses available on the website. These courses range from network and computer security to advanced cryptography and cryptanalysis. The course content can also be downloaded for offline use.
Videos and Webinars
1. Stanford University’s Free Video Content and Webinars
Getting a professional certification from the mighty Stanford University may not be an easy task but that doesn’t mean the university’s educational content is out of reach of common students. Under the certificate program on advanced computer security, the university has made its video lectures available for free on its website. Interested professionals and students can also register for live virtual meetings on YouTube with Stanford faculty and cybersecurity experts to discuss concepts which may go way beyond the course curriculum.
2. BrightTALK’s Videos and Webinars
BrightTALK’s IT Security community of over 200,000 security professionals trade relevant information related to cybersecurity such as network and mobile security via the on-demand and live videos and webinars. The videos are constantly updated and are available in multiple languages. Along with sharing their expertise and insightful suggestions on information security, the experts also answer the questions of the viewers.
3. BeyondTrust’s Webinars
Cybersecurity professionals may augment their knowledge about the prevailing cyber threats through BeyondTrust’s periodic webinars which they call as ‘WebCasts”. These webinars focus on empowering learners through a detailed analysis of the prevailing threats and also provide expert tips to safeguard businesses from vulnerabilities.
4. Dark Reading Free Webinars
Widely applauded information security agency Dark Reading has a lot of free cybersecurity training resources to offer via its informative videos and webinars. In their webinars, experts from all facets of the cybersecurity industry gather and give useful guidance and suggestions related to data breaches and explain ways and means to enhance the security functions in various enterprises.
Books and Whitepapers
1. Free Security Ebooks by O’Reilly Media
Books are ultimately the best sources to gather information about anything and when it comes to cybersecurity, O'Reilly Media's free e-books offer much more than expected. This media company offers an impressive roster of complimentary titles based on cybersecurity that takes into account topics like data lakes, the darknet, DevOps security and much more. You can sign up for a free trial and also access these e-books for free in the beginning.
2. Whitepapers by Centre for Internet Security
Although people may find the idea of collecting information from whitepapers a little bit exaggerated, they are often filled with sound information and illuminating data. In the whitepaper domain, the Center for Internet Security's amazing collection of quality whitepapers set a new benchmark. These whitepapers are certainly among the top free cybersecurity training resources as they offer meaningful information about the emerging cybersecurity threats and their mitigation.
3. Guides, Whitepapers, and Research Journals by CompTIA
CompTIA, best known for issuing online IT certifications, is a non-profit trading organization which is a good source for whitepapers, guides, and research related to technology. Several cybersecurity specific research journals are available on the website which guides the cybersecurity personnel towards sharpening their skill set.
Recognized among the top security vendors worldwide, Appknox consistently comes up with resources which cybersecurity enthusiasts and businesses can utilize to broaden their perspectives. Our blog frequently shares resourceful articles on all the recent developments in the information security industry, throws light on recent attacks and data breaches, presents eye-opening insights and crisp cybersecurity stats and what not.
We also update our readers with tonnes of free cybersecurity resources and useful tips on almost everything which may boost their journey as a cybersecurity professional. For learners willing to know more about Mobile Application Security and the associated best practices, the Appknox blog is certainly a treasure of useful resources.
2. Krebs on Security
After his home network was attacked by a computer worm in 2001, Brian Krebs decided to do something which could teach the cybercriminals a hard lesson. He then came up with KrebsOnSecurity.com- a highly reputed daily blog with detailed stories on recent data breaches, cybercrime investigations, and numerous resources on information security. Considered among the leading cybersecurity influencers, Krebs has also worked with The Washington Post as a reporter from 1995 to 2009 and developed hundreds of posts for the Security Fix Blog also.
3. Infosecurity Magazine
Infosecurity Magazine is an award-winning cybersecurity blog which provides streamlined knowledge and insight into the data security world. Present both online and in print, the magazine covers the contemporary events happening in the cybersecurity world and offers detailed analysis by top experts. The Infosecurity Magazine also provides other free cybersecurity training resources on a regular basis like whitepapers, virtual conferences, and webinars on information security.
4. Schneier on Security
Known famously as “the security guru,” Bruce Schneier is a renowned cybersecurity expert and his blog consistently ranks among the top cybersecurity blogs.
On his blog, Schneier constantly provides insightful updates on security issues, past and ongoing vulnerabilities and so on. You may also subscribe to his email newsletter called ‘Crypto-Gram’ and receive his regular articles and commentaries on cybersecurity.
Free Email Based Resources
1. The Daily Security Tip
Introduced by the notable Heimdal Security group, the Daily Security Tip is an email-based free cybersecurity learning tool where you receive one cybersecurity-related email each day. The idea behind this venture is to keep the interested audience safe on the cybersecurity front. You can sign up for the Daily Security Tip without spending a penny and will also receive a funny GIF with each email.
2. Cybersecurity Course by Heimdal Security
The free Cybersecurity for Beginners course is another email-based venture by Heimdal Security. Under this course, a new lesson is delivered via email once every two days for about five weeks. This course is for everyone who wishes to know more about cybersecurity and covers topics ranging from the basic tools and tactics to tackle cyber threats and identification of loopholes in security systems to cloud-based security measures.
1. Security Now
Hosted by Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte, Security Now is a weekly podcast which airs every Tuesday for two hours on platforms like Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and YouTube. Steve Gibson is the man who created the first anti-spyware program and along with TWiT Netcast Network founder Leo, he discusses the hot and trending cybersecurity issues which lure the tech-savvy audiences.
2. Risky Business
A must-listen podcast for data security professionals, Risky Business is hosted every week by the award-winning journalists Patrick Gray and Adam Boileau. Counted among the top free cybersecurity training resources, this podcast focusses on featured industry news and in-depth analysis by expert guests. The portal also offers inventive blog posts by celebrated security experts from time to time.
3. Security Weekly
Running since 2005, Security Weekly is one of the longest-running information security podcasts. Hosted by Paul Asadoorian, Larry Pesce and other security experts, the show focusses on technical discussions on web application attacks and in-depth analysis of cybersecurity tools and tactics. The podcast also features experts on their guest interview segment and can be listened to live on YouTube and Facebook.
4. Information Security Podcast or "StormCast"
If you are looking for short and concise information on cybersecurity, this podcast is best suited for you. Produced by the SANS Internet Storm Centre, the 5-10 minute long StormCasts present to the point information on security-related events and developments. This podcast is typically released late in the day in order to cater to the early morning commuters.
Tools and Cheat Sheets
1. Cybrary InfoSec Cheat Sheets and Glossary
The free cybersecurity training portal Cybrary has tonnes of free cheat sheets to offer to cybersecurity enthusiasts. Be it reverse engineering for malware analysis or penetration testing and Linux commands, there is something for every infosec domain. Cybrary also has a vast cybersecurity glossary that explains and defines the confusing jargons of the industry. This glossary is considered as one of the most extensive free cybersecurity vocabulary resources online.
2. DNS Made Easy Subnet Mask Cheat Sheet
A delight for network admins, this free cheat sheet on subnet mask has a lot of useful information to offer. Apart from network administrators, this DNS Made Easy cheat sheet can also be used by students and professionals who are working on projects heavy on IP Subnetting.
3. CompTIA Career Roadmap
CompTIA offers effective guidance to both unseasoned and experienced IT professionals on the certification front. The Career Roadmap outlines the detailed pathway to be followed by cybersecurity professionals in order to achieve the career goals they have always desired. After going through this comprehensive infographic, you may be able to develop a fair understanding of the best certifications you need to get corresponding to your specific career path.
4. Information Security Cheat Sheets by Lenny Zeltser
The famous SANS Institute instructor Lenny Zeltser has compiled an amazing collection of useful tips, checklists and cheat sheets to assist cyber professionals wherever possible. The topics in the cheat sheets range from security specific topics like Malware Analysis on Linux to suggestions for getting the right IT job. These tips and suggestions can also be bookmarked or downloaded as PDFs and stored conveniently.
5. Cheat Sheets by Claus Cramon Houmann
This wholesome list of some of the most useful infosec related cheat sheets has been compiled by an expert security professional named Claus Cramon Houmann. This list contains hundreds of cybersecurity cheat sheets ranging from penetration testing to Google hacking and defense cheat sheets.
As cyber threats continue to increase, the need for better and safer cyberspace also increases substantially. With these free and easily available cybersecurity resources, budding and experienced professionals may amplify their capabilities and face the dynamic security challenges more effectively.