Cybersecurity for Business via Coursera

Saturday February 10, 2018

I’ve been working on some cybersecurity issues lately. While I was a network jockey a couple of lifetimes ago, it has been 15 years. While the methods have changed, the motivations have also changed and the risks are higher today than they ever have been.

So all of the sudden, cybersecurity is hot. This is especially true in the government space. A surprisingly large number of my students at UMUC are cybersecurity majors. I can probably talk theory, because that hasn’t changed much. But, specifics…ya got me.

Coursera comes to the rescue! At this point, Coursera’s course listing is more daunting than a major university’s. But buried in the course list are not one, but two specialization tracks dedicated to cybersecurity. Specialization tracks are collections of related courses that provide a deeper and more coherent learning experience than just one four-week course.

Coursera offers many courses and at least eight cybersecurity specializations, provided by different institutions. One specialization is provided by University of Colorado Colorado Springs is dedicated to cybersecurity for business. This specialization focused on the basics and is designed to give the learner a basic vocabulary and ideas of how modern cybersecurity works and is designed to last 20 weeks.

I chose this program and completed it last month. You can view my certificate on Coursera’s website. The final project was by far the most interesting part because they give you access to a fairly insecure webserver and expect you to determine information and if possible, take control of the system. There’s also a file they’d like you to find the contents of leading to a “capture the flag” kind of game. If you’re looking for a cybersecurity primer and are not planning on becoming a fully-fledged cybersecurity expert, this is a great program and I recommend it.