Information Security (IS) is “the practice of exercising due diligence and due care to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical business assets.” An ideal IT security program looks at the organization’s security needs as a whole, and implements the correct physical, technical, and administrative changes to fulfill those objectives.
Security personnel adhere to industry best practices to steer clear of cybercriminals who aim to harm the business, or to lessen the amount of damage that is caused by successful attacks. The old school IT administrators would use a predominantly technical approach and bank heavily on systems and tools to create a wall that protect an organization’s network: Devices such as firewalls and content filters, combined with concepts such as network segmentation and restricted access, were the usual stronghold of IT professionals. Although the said safeguards are still reliable today, new and emerging threats take advantage of much more complex strategies that quickly defeat the traditional technical controls. Threats such as social engineering, remote code execution, and vendor-created backdoors need security personnel to be completely thorough and aggressive in implementing IT security.
Why eLearning Works for IT Security
IT professionals are busy. They manage multiple products, both hardware and software. They take care of infrastructure design, and at the same time ensures that all components of this design work seamlessly with each other to form a robustly secure network. When issues arise, they are responsible for creating tickets with vendors, following up with support on each ticket until it is resolved. They deal with outages, and have to answer to multiple stakeholders throughout the organization. These individuals barely have time to comply with all of the demands of their job, let alone attend a training for hours.
eLearning makes it easier for IT professionals to get the certification they need, and update their skill set without having to leave their job behind for so long. Because eLearning courses are modular, IT professionals can consume what they can in the time they have and simply pick up where they left off. They won’t have to travel or spend money on lodging to attend face-to-face training and instead learn at their own pace, at their own space and their own time.
The eLearning Training Package
To ensure a complete learning experience, most IT security courses come with several hours of video material, technical modules and laboratory exercises. The courses are self-paced in PDF format and are available online or offline. Learners can access the training or start where they left off using multiple devices, such as PCs, tablets and smartphones.
Top eLearning Courses on IT Security
There are thousands of IT courses that a professional can enroll to. The selection of courses depend on the career path they would like to take, or the demands of their current role in the organization. Some IT professionals take initiative to learn on their own accord while others are sponsored by their organizations to acquire certification.
One of the most popular IT security courses is Incident Handling & Response. This course covers the very basics of IT security all the way to the most complex incident response activities. Learners will be taught how to correctly analyze, handle and react to security incidents on heterogeneous networks and assets. It includes a module on understanding the dynamics of modern cyber-attacks and how to detect them using Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Intrusion Detection System (IDS).
Another popular choice among IT security courses is Network Defense. It gives learners the ability to close the gap between network attack and defense. It also teaches IT professionals to put up a defense strategy that works for both the defense team and the offense team, including full practical setup manuals. A portion of the course is dedicated to configuring features to control, identify and prevent threats and focuses on secure network design concepts and configuration of network appliances. This course typically includes lab exercises with practical examples to help learners visualize and apply what they have learned. A complete course on Network Defense also includes Windows configuration policies, domains, and AD.
Practical web defense is also a sought after course in the field of IT Security. Courses cover the relationship between Web application attack and defense, mitigation advices for various platforms and languages, and Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) testing guide. The course also details the techniques and methodology to make Web application simple. Optional topics include business logic flaws, data validation, cryptography, denial of service, Webservices, client side and phishing, error handling and logging and applied secure coding principles.
IT security professionals may also be interested in the digital forensics path. Digital forensics courses include an overview of digital forensics, data acquisition, data representation and file examination, digital forensics on discs and files systems, Windows forensics, network forensics, log analysis, timeline analysis as well as reporting. This course is a must for IT security professionals who would like to become digital investigators, incident responders and threat hunters.
Another course that is relevant in the IT security field is threat hunting. Threat Hunting courses provide IT professionals with the knowledge and skills to preemptively hunt for malicious files in their environment. The course covers establishing a proactive defense strategy, learning how to look for threats in a proactive manner, using threat intelligence and hypotheses, confidently check their network traffic and spot malicious traffic, and perform memory analysis. Topics such as hunting webshells, endpoint hunting, event IDs , logging and SIEMS may also be added for a more thorough discussion of threat hunting.
Senior IT security professionals may opt for a more advanced course such as ARES or Advanced Reverse Engineering Software. This course includes lab activities on string references and basic patching, exploring a stack, algorhythm reversing, Windows registry manipulation, file manipulation, anti reversing tricks, code obfuscation and analyzing packers and manual unpacking. Learners will also be taught how to debug multi-thread applications. This course is for reverse engineers who have none to two years of experience in the field, malware analysts, as well as penetration testers.