Getting cyber security systems set up can be intimidating. But there’s never been a better time to get started. We take a look at the best resources to help you get up to speed
If you are working from home then now may be a good time to think about taking an online training course or two to fill the time that you would have spent commuting to your charity’s offices.
A good study area to consider might be cyber security, and that’s because cyber criminals are known to target charities because charities often lack in-house cyber security skills. That means any digital skills you gain from an online cyber security course are likely to be very valuable to your charity and things that you can put to work straight away.
Many online cyber security training courses are available free. Here are some of the best:
Although this free online cyber security course is pitched at complete cyber security beginners, it covers a great deal in its almost four and a half hours of video tuition. The emphasis is on the cyber security of whole organisations, and the key areas covered include penetration testing, network engineering, systems administration, and offensive security: learning how to use the tools and techniques that cyber criminals employ to hack networks so that you can defend against them.
Cybrary offers over 500 cyber security-related courses, so if there’s a particular area of the introductory course that interests you you can learn about it in greater detail in a follow-up course.
Heimdal’s free online course is aimed more at personal cyber security – the essential digital skills you need to ensure that your own computer and data are safe from cyber threats – than at organisational security, so it neatly complements Cybrary’s course above.
The course can be started at any time and lasts for five weeks, with new lessons delivered every two days by email so you have a chance to learn and absorb the new knowledge before moving on to the next topic.
Heimdal Security is a well established cyber security company with good teaching credentials: the company won a "Most Educational Security Blog" award in 2016.
This is a free organisational cyber security beginner’s course from the well established SANS Institute training outfit and it covers three core areas: operating systems, networking, and systems administration.
The course is presented in a series of videos, each with an accompanying downloadable handout which includes the key material in written format, alongside copies of the slides and charts used in the videos. Course material is updated regularly to keep pace with changes in technology, as well as to take account of new types of cyber threats that emerge on the threat landscape.
On completion of the course SANS intends that students should have a solid foundation of cyber security knowledge for building a career in cybersecurity or just for strengthening the network security in their home or small workplace.
Cisco is one of the biggest internet technology companies that you have probably never heard of, and its Networking Academy has been running for twenty years. This free introductory course for cyber security beginners takes a two pronged approach. Firstly, it provides the digital skills needed to protect yourself and your computer while online. Secondly, it provides an insight into the most common threats, attacks and vulnerabilities that organizations including charities face today, and what they can do to protect themselves.
In total the course includes fifteen hours of material which you can take as long as you like to make your way through at your own pace.
The US National Emergency Library was set up by the Internet Archive on March 24, 2020, offering over 1.4 million online books that anyone can borrow for free during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The cyber security section contains a good selection of titles for people interested in learning more about the topic, including books on computer network security and cyber ethics, advances in cyber security, and how to enhance computer security with smart technologies.
The National Emergency Library is free to join, and most books can be borrowed immediately for up to 14 days. It will remain open until June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.