How to Learn Information Security: The Best Online Infosec Training
The data that we share online, whether it’s our social security number or credit card details, is under constant threat. The need for better cybersecurity measures to combat these threats is rising. Learning information security can set you up for some of the best tech jobs available, including information security analyst.
If you keep up with the latest computer science news, you will have heard that demand for information security professionals is growing. Businesses, banks, and government agencies are looking to hire skilled security specialists to protect the sensitive information that is crucial to their daily operations.
In this article, we will help you decide whether information security should be part of your future. To do this, we’ll go over the basics of information security, and some of the best courses on the subject.
What Is Information Security?
Information security is the process of protecting sensitive data from cyber threats and unauthorized access. This field follows three primary principles known as the CIA triad.
- Confidentiality: This principle ensures data is protected. All data is susceptible to hacking, so organizations must shield their clients from data leaks.
- Integrity: Data without integrity is of no use. Information security is used to ensure that data is authentic and has not been altered by an outside source.
- Availability: Part of keeping information secure is making sure it is available to those who need it. This means keeping systems running so that the owner of the information can access it.
What Is Information Security Used For?
Information Security is used to protect private, corporate, and user data. A variety of methods are used to make sure information is kept safe. Below are some of the most common.
Information security isn’t only for protecting data. Pre-emptive risk assessment is also a key part of security. Most companies will employ an information security analyst to scan their systems for potential threats.
The analyst will then consult with the others in the company’s IT department to seek solutions that could mitigate risks. This is an ongoing process, as technology is continually updated, which leads to new risks.
Information Security Audit
Information security principles are also used to perform audits on a company’s infrastructure and digital servers. These audits check for vulnerabilities and compliance using penetration testing.
System Security Standards
Information security also involves testing system security standards. For example, if your company needs to add an updated software feature from a third party, it must first be assessed to make sure it meets standards.
Learn Information Security: Step-by-Step
By learning information security, you can improve your chances of getting a career in tech. You need to have a background in IT to understand the security system processes. Learning information technology is a good way to get started.
Below is a beginner’s guide to learning information security.
1. Learn Programming Languages
Before starting your journey in information security, you must first learn the programming languages that are used to analyze system security and conduct risk assessments. You can start by learning the top programming languages in computer technology.
C, C++, Java, and Python are some of the most common languages used in information security. You can study them by enrolling in a coding bootcamp or by learning to code for free through online resources.
2. Learn the Basics of Information Security
Now it’s time to learn the basics of information security. Take courses, watch tutorials, or read articles to find information on how information security systems work. You may also want to check out a book, such as the Beginner’s Guide to Information Security.
3. Download and Install Open-Source Information Security Systems
Download an open-source system to practice what you have learned so far. Systems like Security Onion, KeePass, and Kali Linux are great cybersecurity software options. With them, you can apply information security principles as you practice.
4. Enroll in Advanced Information Security training
You can now enroll in advanced infosec training. Take courses that include project-based learning in cryptography, access management, and security techniques. You might want to join InfoSec Institute’s training courses to learn about cloud security, data integrity, and how to create incident response plans. Many of these classes also come with certificates of completion.
5. Join Information Security Networks
A great way to enhance your knowledge of information security is by meeting like-minded people. Join online groups and communities to network and learn more about information security. Possible groups include the Association for Information Security Professionals (AiSP) and the Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Security (AEHIS).
The Best Information Security Courses
There are lots of online options to choose from if you want to learn information security. However, the available courses offer many different areas of specialization. Below we have compiled a list of the best information security and cybersecurity courses.
Network and Security Foundations
This beginner’s course in network security offered by Western Governors University will teach you how to securely protect a company’s computer network and look for any holes in the system. You will learn network classifications, network topologies, and security procedures.
Cybersecurity Risk Management
Although cybersecurity and information security are considered to be different, many modern information security jobs are intertwined with cybersecurity. In this course by the Rochester Institute of Technology and edX, you will learn risk management strategies. The class is aimed at students with a solid background in cybersecurity fundamentals.
Information Security in Python
This course by Udemy will teach you how to operate information security systems using Python. You will be expected to have a background in programming to apply. If you don’t meet the prerequisites, you can enroll in a coding bootcamp to acquire them. This course is currently priced at $12.99 and contains 10 hours of on-demand video.
Throughout the coursework, you will learn the three goals of information security and how to fulfill them. The course will also teach you cryptography, ciphers, asymmetric encryption, and cyber awareness. You will earn a certificate of completion at the end of the course.
Information Systems MicroMasters Program
If you are looking for a longer course, this MicroMasters Program by Indiana University is a good option. This is a nine-month program that will teach you how information security is used by online businesses.
In the classes, you will learn how to use machine learning to create business solutions. This is an intermediate course, so we recommend enrolling only after you have nailed down the basics of IT security.
Unlocking Information Security 1: From Cryptography to Buffer Overflows
This course by Tel Aviv University on edX covers the fundamentals of information security. In it, you will study real examples of how information security processes have been used to eliminate bugs and design flaws. You will learn how to apply mitigation technologies to buffer overflow.
This is a free course that takes four to six weeks. A certificate is available upon completion for $149.
Information Security Management Fundamentals for Non-Techies
If you don’t know much about technology, learning information security might be intimidating. However, this course by Udemy will make protecting a business’s IT infrastructure easy to understand. The class provides 10.5 hours of on-demand content.
Introduction to Corporate Information Security
This short course by Udemy teaches the fundamentals of information security and how to implement them in a corporate setting. It is a great course for anyone wanting a more corporate-related IT role.
The lessons cover common vulnerabilities and risks, and how to mitigate them. You will get a certificate of completion at the end of the course.
Managing Network Security
This Coursera course by the University System of Georgia is an introductory program that teaches the basics of network security management. In it, you will learn how to identify and describe any threats that an information technology system may be facing. You will also learn the right tools and methods to identify and mitigate these threats.
This free course takes around 15 hours to complete, and you can choose whether you want to buy a certificate at the end of the course.
Information Security: Context and Introduction
This Coursera course by the University of London teaches the fundamentals of information security, cryptography, cybersecurity, and security management. According to Coursera, around 41 percent of the students who attended this course started a career in cyber security. You have the option, for a fee, to obtain a certificate at the end of this course.
Is Learning Information Security Right for You?
Yes, learning information security is right for you if you’re interested in helping individuals feel safe in how companies are managing their data. Today, technology rules most of our lives. We have self-driving cars, face recognition, advanced robotics, and automated digital marketing. But with these tech advancements comes a high risk of hacking.
Learning information security can open up many lucrative job opportunities. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for information security analysts is expected to increase by 31 percent by 2029. So, by learning information systems, you can feel secure that you will have a future in IT.