How to Learn Network Security and Find the Best Network Security Courses
No network is flawless, and hackers are always trying to find new ways to exploit system vulnerabilities. By learning network security and taking network security courses, you can help prevent unauthorized attacks on networks and secure them from cyber threats.
This guide will drive home the importance of network security and provide you with vocational resources that you can use to become an expert.
What Is Network Security?
Network security describes the set of policies and tools implemented for the purpose of protecting confidential data and preventing unauthorized access to a computer network.
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The job of executing the policies of IT security falls to network administrators, who install software and hardware to protect the network and its traffic from outside attacks. They protect assets and resources by ensuring that only recognized users can gain access to the network, thereby making it safe for a company or organization to conduct its business.
This short description risks underselling the huge range of systems that network security encompasses, including email security systems, wireless security systems, and virtual private networks (VPN). Network security professionals safeguard data from all sorts of threats, such malware, spyware, adware, computer worms, and trojan horses.
Some of the most essential components of network security are firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), network access control (NAC), and security information and event management (SIEM).
What Jobs Use Network Security?
Every organization, no matter how big or small, will always need a security expert to fend off cyberattacks. It is predicted that by 2025 cybercrimes will cost the world $10.5 trillion dollars per year. Anybody who can outwit these criminals stands to earn a lot of money.
It should come as no surprise, then, that cyber security professionals haul in six-figure salaries on average. Since hacking methods evolve constantly, there is a high demand for those who can keep up with clever defensive maneuvers of their own.
Below is a list of roles that employ the art of network security.
- Security Architect. Just as the name suggests, a security architect designs the security system for the company they work for. Without the policies, procedures, and goals that they prepare, the company’s whole system would be at risk.
- Network Security Engineer. This is an important position within any organization. They have to make sure that an organization follows through with its security protocols to stop any and all threats. They maintain security systems and monitor firewalls, web protocols, and programs.
- Cyber Security Engineer. Like network security engineers, they keep track of security measures and controls. But unlike the engineers, the security analysts identify vulnerabilities in the security architecture before it is exposed to attacks. They conduct internal and external audits, analyze risks, and do security assessments.
- Application Security Engineer. Their job is to look after and maintain the internal and external applications of an organization. Any organization or business that uses apps would want one of these engineers.
- Chief Information Security Officer. Their job is to align an organization’s day-to-day operations with its cyber security infrastructure. They work with project managers and their teams to ensure that security protocols are being followed, and collaborate as necessary on new programs and strategies for protecting data and assets.
Steps to Learn Network Security
Network security is a vast topic that cannot be learned overnight. A lot of good information is available on the topic, and it takes time and commitment to soak in all the details. New knowledge replaces outdated knowledge all the time, so you have to be prepared to keep refreshing yourself on topics that you thought you had already mastered.
Learning network security, in other words, can be a humbling process. But never fear. Follow the formula below to build a foundation of knowledge in network security. Then wash, rinse, and repeat as many times as necessary to keep your knowledge current.
Step 1: Select Your Resources
The first and perhaps most important step is to select good learning resources. You can start by choosing a free or low-cost online course on network security. For best results, pair your course with a book on the same topic or subtopic. Video lectures and text that reinforce each other can help you develop an understanding of the fundamentals in a very short time.
Step 2: Participate in Ethical Hacking Hackathons
The second most important step is to participate in coding hackathons. These events occur all the time, and several organizations put them on. The goal of such competitions is to find the vulnerabilities and loopholes in a website or network as quickly as possible.
Since hackathons simulate real work environments, they will help you deal with the pressure you are likely to face later in your career.
Step 3: Learn Threat Hunting
Threat hunting entails regular checks and evaluations to discover the vulnerabilities in a system of any size. Threat hunting is a demanding procedure, but you must learn it if you intend to survive the daily slog of an actual job in cyber security.
Step 4: Learn Incident Response
This methodology enables an organization to manage and respond to a cyber attack.
Incident response aims to reduce the damage from a breach and helps an organization recover as quickly as possible. Learning incident response is crucial because, the faster your company detects a breach, the less chance it will have to harm the important data.
The Best Online Network Security Courses
There are a number of online courses in network security to choose from, but how do you know which one is best suited for you? To simplify your search, we have compiled five of the best options for studying network security online and listed them below.
- Provider: Udemy
- Duration: 12.5 hours of on-demand videos with lifetime access
- Prerequisites: Basic understanding of networking concepts
- Extras: Certificate provided upon completion
This course has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars and is a Udemy bestseller. By the end, you will be equipped with the knowledge necessary to provide maximum security to your network. You will be able to prevent attacks and discover vulnerabilities. Everything you ever wanted to know about being a cybersecurity specialist is covered here.
- Provider: Udemy
- Duration: 18.5 hours of on-demand videos with lifetime access
- Prerequisites: Either Windows or Linux installed on your computer
- Extras: Certificate provided upon completion
With a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, this course will help you become an expert in network security, computer networks, and everything in-between. It even has videos on advanced ethical hacking. One deliberate step at a time, it takes you into the world of network security, ethical hacking, and cybersecurity.
- Provider: LinkedIn Learning
- Duration: Variable
- Level: Beginner
- Cost: Free for one month
With a subscription to LinkedIn Learning, you will have full access to a wide range of network security courses. You can learn how to keep your system free from spam, malware, hackers, and phishers. Or you can take a course focused on the technologies used for protection, and learn about specific pieces of software and hardware.
- Provider: edX
- Duration: 8 weeks
- Level: Advanced
- Cost: Free
This course helps you learn about specific security processes like network auditing. You will also learn how to analyze the various attack and defend scenarios. If you plan to go into wireless security, this course is especially well-suited for you.
- Provider: Stanford Online
- Duration: 60 days
- Level: Intermediate
- Cost: $495
In this course, you will learn how to apply security measures, discover innovative ways to prevent cyberattacks, and identify operating system loopholes. Once you enroll, you get access to all the course materials. There’s also an online exam, which you will have to pass to earn a certificate of completion.
Why Learn Network Security?
It must be clear by now that network security is one of the most important skills to learn in our day and age. Even though no network is completely immune to cyberattacks, a well-made security system is necessary to protect sensitive client data from attackers.
Not only does network security help to protect a system, but it also reduces the effectiveness of an attack in the event that one takes place. With an eye on the network and multiple layers of protection in place, a network security specialist will be ready to handle any threat.
Network security professionals are essential gatekeepers. They provide their knowledge of potential threats to companies, look into issues, and resolve them with as minimal damage as possible. All of this reduces the chance that an organization will become a victim of data theft and sabotage. For these reasons, you should consider learning network security.