best cyber security courses online

15 Best Cyber Security Courses and Classes to Take Online in 2021

Cyber security is a very versatile field.

If you’ve worked in cyber security for any significant amount of time, you’ll attest to the fact that cyber attackers are constantly inventing new ways to circumvent your security measures and compromise your system.

So in order to stay ahead of cyber-attacks and data breaches, it’s vital to learn some of the latest cyber security trends and attack mechanisms.

A great place to start is by taking some of the best cyber security courses online.

These classes will help you discover system vulnerabilities. You’ll also learn how to promptly react in the face of an attack and stop further damage to your networks and systems as a whole.

In this article, I’ll take you through the best cyber security courses & classes to take online in 2021 to make you the cyber security expert to reckon with.

Let’s get started.

Courses
1. The Complete Cyber Security Course: Hackers Exposed! [Udemy]
2. IBM Cybersecurity Analyst [Coursera]
3. Cybersecurity Foundation [LinkedIn Learning]
4. The Complete Cyber Security Course: Network Security! [Udemy]
5. Introduction to Cyber Security Specialization [Coursera]
6. Cybersecurity with Cloud Computing [LinkedIn Learning]
7. The Absolute Beginners Guide to Cyber Security 2021 – Part 1 [Udemy]
8. IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Specialization [Coursera] 
9. Transitioning to a Career in Cybersecurity [LinkedIn Learning]
10. The Ultimate Dark Web, Anonymity, Privacy & Security Course [Udemy]
11. Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks [Coursera]
12. Cybersecurity for IT Professionals [LinkedIn Learning]
13. Security Awareness Training, Internet Security for Employees [Udemy]
14. Cybersecurity for Everyone [Coursera]
15. Risk Management for IT and Cybersecurity Managers [LinkedIn Learning] 

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

This course is for you if you’d like to know how hackers and trackers work so you can stop them. 

Here’s what to expect:

  • 9 video previews across various topics, something quite rare on Udemy, which enables you to know what you’re getting into.
  • Comprehensive coverage of the zero-trust model, which is vital if you’re an IT specialist looking to implement secure IT systems that can stand up to modern attacks.
  • Coverage of operating system privacy, pathing, and security across three popular operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is therefore the best cyber security course on Udemy for cross-platform expertise.

This class can feel a little overwhelming for beginners because it approaches cyber security on three OS fronts and 6 OS versions in total. On the plus side, you can solve this by focusing on a single platform and restarting the course each time. 

2. IBM Cybersecurity Analyst [Coursera]

For professional certification, this is the best cyber security course online for building the job-ready skills you require without prior experience. 

Some course highlights include: 

  • An 8-course layout covering the essentials from beginner principles to advanced security testing tools, thereby ensuring a high-value class. 
  • A 7-day free trial, which you can terminate and pause at any time. This trial gives you an excellent course preview to help you make up your mind about enrolling. 
  • Applied learning projects on Wireshark and IBM Q radar, among other tools. These projects offer practical skills applicable in a real job environment. 

This course is time-intensive because it is an 8-course specialization, hence it may not be the best cyber security course on Coursera if you’d like a quick, part-time class. On the flip side, it covers all the core cyber security concepts so you’ll not need to take any other complementary course. 

3. Cybersecurity Foundation [LinkedIn Learning]

This tutorial is ideal if you’re also studying information technology and would like to earn continuing professional education credits. 

You’ll get to learn about: 

  • Cyber security frameworks like NIST and COBIT 5, which will help you to better assess and mitigate risks.
  • Protecting card payment data, which makes this the best cyber security course on LinkedIn Learning if you’re interested in financial services security. 
  • The ISF standard of good practice. The instructor uses this guide to enhance the practical depth of the course by learning from previous information security risks.

However, this course doesn’t give too much attention to phishing and email security. Nonetheless, it is still among the best cyber security courses online as it offers a solid foundation for data security and general incidence response.  

4. The Complete Cyber Security Course: Network Security! [Udemy]

If you’re worried about the privacy threats you’re exposed to when using public WiFi, this is the best cyber security course online for you.  

Some course highlights include: 

  • Practicing on state-of-the-art tools like Wireshark for effective network monitoring to better anticipate threats that often fly under the radar.   
  • Wi-Fi security best practices, including concepts like RF isolation, evil twins, and encryption to ensure maximum security on public networks.
  • Notably, you’ll be able to get an insider’s view on password cracking, and which password managers you can trust, and why.

The instructor’s 24 years of expertise ensure this is one of the best cyber security courses on Udemy to gain working knowledge of the industry. 

That said, there’s a general assumption of underlying cyber security principles, and as such, some topics like Syslog are handled at an intermediate level. Conversely, if you’re looking for a deep take on network security, look no further.

5. Introduction to Cyber Security Specialization [Coursera]

In terms of modern system protection, this NYU course has what you need to stay ahead.  

Some course highlights include:

  • This is one of the best cyber security courses on Coursera for all-around cyber security expertise. It is a 4-in-1 course encompassing infrastructure security, real-time cyber threat detection, and cyber-attack countermeasures, among others. 
  • Practical concepts on stopping Denial-Of-Service attacks and other common network threats. In turn, you’ll be able to guarantee excellent system uptime. 
  • An enhanced learning experience courtesy of infrastructure and enterprise deployment topics that feature authentic scenarios, making it one of the best cyber security courses online.

On the downside, this course requires a little familiarity with certain IT management concepts if you’d like to hit the ground running. Even then, it is still beginner-friendly as the prior knowledge required is minimal overall.  

6. Cybersecurity with Cloud Computing [LinkedIn Learning]

Are you interested in cloud cyber security?

This is the perfect cyber security training to get you started with cloud computing and the risks that lie therein. 

Course expectations entail: 

  • A coverage of cloud security defenses like logging and encryption on cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services. Consequently, you’ll be able to better defend against vulnerabilities in popular SaaS and PaaS options. 
  • A breakdown of the major cloud security technologies. This includes the risks and benefits of each, enabling you to make informed decisions about the right cloud infrastructure to use across various scenarios. 
  • Through introductory outline to cloud computing. As a result, it is one of the best cyber security courses on LinkedIn Learning for beginners. 

Instructor support is unreliable in this course so you’ll largely have to rely on the Q&A forum. On the plus side, this is a recently updated course so common sources of complaints have already been resolved. 

7. The Absolute Beginners Guide to Cyber Security 2021 – Part 1 [Udemy]

If cyber security is completely foreign to you, this offers the best cyber security course online to easily break down complex topics, terminologies, and hacking methodologies.

Here’s how it can get you started:

  • An excellent historical backdrop of the biggest hacking scandals, such as Stuxnet, thereby mapping an effective way to build on hacking methodologies and concepts.
  • Proven Honeypot building tactics to enable you to better protect your company’s billing systems, and other hacker hotspots, and easily find would-be hackers.
  • A compressive analysis of common types of malware like trojans, viruses, spyware, etc, and how to be on the lookout for network security threats in your systems.

The intermediate learner may find that this is not the best cyber security course on Udemy in terms of technical depth. Even so, it offers a well-structured cyber security overview to jog the memory even if you’re an advanced learner. 

8. IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Specialization [Coursera] 

Are you keen on working in cyber security? 

If so, this is among the best cyber security courses online to launch your cyber security career. It prepares you for a variety of roles, and the risks that come with these individual positions, in the industry. 

Here’s how the course gets you job-ready: 

  • A thorough analysis of essential cyber security tools that you’ll use to perform digital forensics, penetration testing, and cryptography
  • Via incident response example testing, you’ll be able to grasp important cyber security best practices for protecting a huge range of networks. 
  • By getting an IBM badge, you’ll be a verified IBM new collar candidate. This opens up countless opportunities to work for many Tech companies. 

This course is geared mostly towards job market preparation for intermediate learners. As a result, it may not be among the best cyber security courses on Coursera for beginners. However, it doesn’t hurt to explore the career requirements that lie ahead. 

9. Transitioning to a Career in Cybersecurity [LinkedIn Learning]

Switching to a career in cyber security can be challenging with regard to niche selection. 

This is the best cyber security course online to clear up these uncertainties and it can ease your transition in the following ways: 

  • Being a quick crash course that teaches you how to research jobs, this class is perfect if you’d like to zero in on a specialization quickly.
  • With tried and tested cyber security resumes and interview tips, this is the best cyber security course on LinkedIn Learning to give you better interview success. 
  • An insider’s perspective on which cyber security certifications to prioritize and how to earn them. As a result, you’ll be able to gain job qualifications fast. 

If you’re keen on learning the technical aspects of cyber security from the ground up, this may not be an ideal class as it focuses more on career choices. Regardless, it is an excellent guide and starting point for your cyber security journey. 

10. The Ultimate Dark Web, Anonymity, Privacy & Security Course [Udemy]

For safely exploring the dark web, this is one of the best cyber security courses online you can try out. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Use TAILS and other private OS to browse the dark web incognito and feed your curiosity without putting yourself in harm’s way.
  • Transfer Monero and Bitcoin anonymously, thereby hiding your digital trail from hackers who are endlessly prowling digital currency markets for vulnerable transactions.
  • Use the anonymizing network platform The Onion Router (Tor), which is the focal point of the course, to conceal your PII from opportunistic advertisers and ISPs.

However, the course focuses on an older version of the TOR browser, which differs slightly in terms of functionality layout depending on your OS. It is still one of the best cyber security courses on Udemy though as the core TOR principles traverse these cross-platform issues. 

11. Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks [Coursera]

This is an excellent overview of cyber security basics and how you can put these to use with real-world assignments. 

Some course benefits include: 

  • Completing this course also counts towards the IBM cyber security analyst professional certification, thereby saving you time. 
  • This is the best cyber security course on Coursera for cyber security investigation. It tackles actors, motives, and how to better understand the criminal mind to prevent attacks. 
  • A lot of additional course material that’s built on practical knowledge. Consequently, you get access to complimentary topics as well. 

The audio is a little patchy in some parts of the course and may slow down learning. Fortunately, only a few topics are affected and you can easily refer to the transcript to clear any doubts in such cases. 

12. Cybersecurity for IT Professionals [LinkedIn Learning]

If you’re an IT professional looking for better ways to protect your networks against evolving threats, this is an excellent option for you.  

Course highlights entail: 

  • 2 continuing education units toward CompTIA Security+ certification, and 4.4 continuing professional education credit. This makes it the best cyber security course on LinkedIn Learning for professional growth. 
  • Using Nmap to properly scan and eliminate hidden network threats on both Linux and Windows.
  • Little-known tips on using basic OS features in Linux iptables and Windows firewall to detect intruders via packet inspection. 

The section of the course on Netcat and Windows 7 may be unappealing as this version of Windows is obsolete because Microsoft no longer supports it. Regardless of that, it is still the best cyber security course online because there’s still plenty of coursework on Windows 10.

13. Security Awareness Training, Internet Security for Employees [Udemy]

This is one of the best cyber security courses online if you’re a hiring manager keen on integrating internet security into your employee onboarding process

Here’s what to expect from this course:

  •  A breakdown of common social engineering tactics, complete with a quiz and sample scenarios, so you can identify phishing scams before the damage is done.
  • Data leakage aftermath strategies to avoid compliance problems in the event of a data breach.
  • The instructor has an infectious way of teaching, and it’s especially satisfying how he draws practical examples from his work experiences.

As a result of this class being geared toward the common office worker, it may not be the best cyber security course on Udemy for technical operational security. Be that as it may, the security awareness tips and strategies make it a nice-to-learn, quick class for all.  

14. Cybersecurity for Everyone [Coursera]

For the best cyber security course online regardless of your profession and background, this class by the University of Maryland is perfect. 

Some course benefits include: 

  • An excellent course delivery that excels in both simplicity and clarity. It, therefore, makes for a good entry point into cyber security.
  • 7 chapter quizzes in total after each week’s topic, which makes for a great applied learning formula to quickly bring you up to speed. 
  • A deep dive into hacking processes and techniques and how the evolution of the internet has impacted cyber security. This way, you’ll learn about network protection ideas from a unique perspective. 

If you’re an advanced learner, this may not be one of the best cyber security courses on Coursera to grow your technical expertise as it’s mostly an introductory course. Conversely, with little to no technical background, this is an excellent starter. 

15. Risk Management for IT and Cybersecurity Managers [LinkedIn Learning] 

Are you having trouble getting approvals for project funding? 

It could be because of improper risk management, which is why this is one of the best cyber security courses online for IT managers if you’d like to achieve better success with your project proposals. 

You’ll get to learn about: 

  • Common terms and subtext used by executives, so you have a better understanding of the important factors that make up good risk assessment techniques. 
  • A real-life case study featuring Amazon Web Services, which is excellent because it adds practical context to make the concepts discussed more actionable. 
  • How to calculate both qualitative and quantitative risk so you can make compelling project proposals to convince your superiors. It is because of these robust assessment strategies that it is one of the best cyber security courses on LinkedIn Learning for uncovering how to mitigate and even completely avoid risk in some cases. 

While risks in the Amazon Web services scenario are clearly explained, it remains unclear what risk management strategy would have prevented the problem in this case. The good thing is that you can find details of such unresolved issues in the discussion forum. 

Conclusion

Are you interested in cyber security certification? 

Many of the best cyber security courses and classes to take online in 2021 that we’ve discussed today contain important working knowledge to help you get certified.

In particular, I suggest the IBM Cybersecurity Analyst for CompTIA certification by a reputable organization.

So what if you’re already certified? 

If you’re certified and would just like to upgrade your cyber defense arsenal, you’ll find The Complete Cyber Security Course: Hackers Exposed! very enlightening on current threats. 

The above course covers a huge range of modern threat detection mechanisms based on the zero-trust security model. 

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