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Online course

Introduction to Cyber Security

Our lives depend on online services. Gain essential cyber security knowledge and skills, to help protect your digital life.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Introduction to Cyber Security

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Why join the course?

We shop online. We work online. We play online. We live online. As our lives increasingly depend on digital services, the need to protect our information from being maliciously disrupted or misused is really important.

This free online course will help you to understand online security and start to protect your digital life, whether at home or work. You will learn how to recognise the threats that could harm you online and the steps you can take to reduce the chances that they will happen to you.

With cyber security often in the news today, the course will also frame your online safety in the context of the wider world, introducing you to different types of malware, including viruses and trojans, as well as concepts such as network security, cryptography, identity theft and risk management.

Your guide for the course is Cory Doctorow, a visiting professor at The Open University.

“If you want an introduction to the subject that provides an overview or to improve your own personal information security, it is an excellent course - enjoyable, informative, engaging and authoritative.”
- Tony Morbin, Editor-in-Chief, SC Magazine

Double accredited course

This GCHQ Certified Training course is also accredited by the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP).

It has been developed by The Open University with support from the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Programme and can be accessed free of charge.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Threat landscape: terminology, cyber security threats, keeping up to date
  • Authentication: access control, passwords, two-factor authentication
  • Malware: types of malware, attack vectors, preventing infection
  • Networking and communications: fundamentals, security challenges, standards
  • Cryptography: symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, applications
  • Network security: firewalls, virtual private networks, intrusion detection / prevention
  • When your defences fail: cyber security laws, recovering from attacks
  • Managing security risks: risk analysis and management

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explain basic cyber security terminology; have skills for keeping up to date on cyber security issues; and be able to identify information assets.
  • Describe basic authentication mechanisms; have skills to improve their password security; and be aware of alternative authentication methods.
  • Identify main malware types; awareness of different malware propagation methods; and skills for preventing malware infections.
  • Explain basic networking concepts; be aware of network security challenges; and have knowledge of key networking standards.
  • Describe cryptography terminology; be able to use cryptography for email; be aware of applications of cryptography.
  • Demonstrate understanding of firewalls, virtual private networks and network intrusion detection and prevention technologies.
  • Describe legal and regulatory issues relating to cyber security; and understand how to recover from security failures.
  • Apply basic risk analysis and management techniques.

Who is the course for?

The course does not assume any prior knowledge of computer security and can be enjoyed by anyone interested in improving the security of their digital information.

Who will you learn with?

Arosha K. Bandara

Arosha is a software engineer with research interests in engineering adaptive systems that can improve information security. He also teaches network security at the OU. Twitter: @arosha & @OUCyberSec

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

Who is this accredited by?

GCHQ Certified Training: This course is accredited by the National Cyber Security Centre, the UK authority on cyber security. The Certificate of Achievement meets the awareness level requirements of GCHQ Certified Training.

The Institute of Information Security Professionals: The Certificate of Achievement for this course demonstrates awareness of cyber security issues across 12 of the IISP skills groups.

Supporters

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $84 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

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  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

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  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.

Upgrade


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