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### Top 5 Cybersecurity Courses for Beginners

If there were any doubts regarding the significance of cybersecurity, one need only look at the infamous Target breach of 2013. During that year, the retail behemoth faced a major security breach when a third-party HVAC provider fell prey to an email phishing scheme. Exploiting the fact that Target’s HVAC systems had internet-accessible remote controls, hackers infiltrated the company’s payment network using the vendor’s login credentials. This breach resulted in the compromise of sensitive data belonging to 40 million credit and debit card holders, prompting Target to provide reparations to the affected customers.

In the present day, educational institutions have responded to the escalating cybersecurity challenges by introducing specialized courses. Some of these courses focus on cyber warfare and offensive cybersecurity tactics, equipping students with the necessary skills to combat evolving threats. Additionally, there are offerings that delve into the investigation of cybercrimes and the strategic management of cybersecurity within organizations.

Noteworthy Cybersecurity Courses Currently Available:

Cyber Warfare

At the University of Arizona, an undergraduate course on Cyber Warfare familiarizes students with the tools, techniques, and procedures employed in offensive cyber operations. Through hands-on labs, students gain practical experience in executing cyber attacks. This course aligns with the academic standards set by the National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations program.

  • Cost: $1,500 (may vary by campus)
  • Duration: Seven weeks
  • Curriculum: Covers offensive cyber operations, ethical considerations, network and vulnerability scanning, Metasploit framework, and various cyber attack methodologies.

Enterprise Cybersecurity Management

Georgia Tech offers a course designed for individuals aspiring to lead cybersecurity initiatives within organizations. Emphasizing the dynamics of cybersecurity teams and their interaction with other departments, this course provides insights into corporate cybersecurity structures and practices.

  • Cost: $930
  • Duration: Equivalent to three credit hours
  • Curriculum: Explores cybersecurity strategy, organizational roles, cyber risk management, and governance.

Investigating Online Crimes

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s online course on Investigating Online Crimes introduces students to cyber investigative techniques, including email and website analysis, evidence preparation for cybercrime cases, and legal considerations related to digital evidence.

  • Cost: \(1,104 to \)2,973 (varies by student type)
  • Duration: 15 weeks
  • Platform: Canvas
  • Curriculum: Focuses on practical cyber investigative skills and legal aspects of cybercrime investigations.

Modeling, Simulation, and Military Gaming

Part of a specialized program, this course at a university involves computer-based modeling and simulation to analyze international warfare scenarios. Students collaborate to explore historical events and test hypotheses using simulation tools.

  • Cost: $540
  • Duration: Equivalent to three credit hours
  • Curriculum: Teaches students to formulate and test hypotheses through computer simulations, incorporating historical data for wargame scenarios.

Offensive Cyber Security

Regis University offers a master’s level course focusing on offensive cybersecurity tactics such as malware deployment, reconnaissance, and vulnerability exploitation. Students gain practical experience in tactics utilized by cybersecurity professionals.

  • Cost: \(3,198 (\)2,928 tuition, \(210 general fee, \)60 technology fee)
  • Duration: Eight weeks
  • Curriculum: Covers a range of offensive tactics, including scanning, cracking, hijacking, and incident handling.

As the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve, the demand for skilled professionals in this field is expected to rise. With an estimated 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions globally, the industry presents lucrative opportunities for those equipped with the requisite expertise. Despite challenges such as workforce reductions, the cybersecurity sector is projected to reach a revenue of $181.1 billion this year, underscoring the critical need for adept professionals to address the ever-growing cyber threats.