Best beginner cyber security certifications

Are you considering a career in cyber security? With so many training courses and qualifications available, it can be hard to know where to begin.

There is of course no single, right answer. It all depends on your existing skills and interests.

With that in mind, we’ve collected a handful of training courses that may suit you.

CompTIA Security+

The CompTIA Security+ qualification is widely considered to be one of the best introductions to the cyber security industry.

It was created in 2002 to meet the growing demand for qualified and specialised information professionals, and covers a range of topics, including network security, access controls, cryptography and risk management.

As a vendor-neutral qualification, it addresses a wide range of topics and makes it a suitable starting point for many different fields.

And even though it’s often associated with those holding entry-level roles, the qualification gives people the skills to complete an array of tasks.

What skills will you learn?
  • Identifying network attack strategies and defences
  • An understanding the principles of organisational security and the elements of effective security policies
  • Knowledge of the technologies and uses of cryptographic standards and products.
  • Identifying network- and host-based security technologies and practices
  • An understanding of how wireless and remote access security is enforced
  • An understanding of the standards and products used to enforce security on web and communications technologies
  • Identifying strategies for ensuring business continuity, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery
  • An understanding of application and coding vulnerabilities and identify development and deployment methods designed to mitigate them
Potential job roles
  • System administrator
  • Network administrator
  • Security administrator
  • IT auditor
  • Security analyst or security specialist
  • Security consultant

You can find out more about this qualification by taking our CompTIA Security Training Course.

This five-day session contains everything you need to know about the key CompTIA Security+ Knowledge Domains.

You’ll also receive exam preparation exercises designed to ensure that you pass the exam at the first attempt.

The course is delivered by an experienced information security consultant who has an extensive understanding of the implementation of security solutions in organisations of all sizes.

IT Governance is approved by CompTIA through the CompTIA Authorized Partner Program to provide the best instructor-led exam preparation experience.

Certified Cyber Security Foundation Training Course

Those looking for a more fundamental understanding of the cyber security threat landscape might be better suited to a foundation-level course.

Programmes such as our Certified Cyber Security Foundation Training Course equip those beginning their careers with the knowledge and skills to hone their craft.

From social engineering to security in the Cloud, you will learn about the types of risks organisations face, cyber attack methodology, legal and regulatory obligations, and incident response.

What skills will you learn?
  • An understanding of malware
  • The ability to detect and defend against phishing
  • An understanding of the human element of information security
  • How to create and manage secure passwords
  • What web application security consists of
  • An understanding of the threats associated with remote working
  • An understanding of risk management
  • What an effective incident response plan looks like
  • An understanding of business continuity
  • The fundamentals of supply chain security
Potential job roles
  • Customer support administrator
  • Desktop support manager
  • Help desk technician
  • IT support manager
  • IT systems administrator
  • Technical support engineer

You can get started by enrolling on our Certified Cyber Security Foundation Training Course.

Led by a cyber security expert, you’ll receive the tools you need to pass the Certified Cyber Security Foundation exam and take the first step in developing your career.

Certified Ethical Hacker

Unlike the qualifications we’ve discussed so far, the Certified Ethical Hacker certificate is designed for a specific field.

An ethical hacker (also known as a penetration tester) is someone who is paid by an organisation to break into its systems.

The purpose of this is to identify weaknesses and see how they can be exploited, giving the organisation an opportunity to fix their vulnerabilities before a criminal exploits them.

Ethical hackers primarily aim to exploit and leverage system vulnerabilities or target employees with scams. However, more advanced tests may involve attacks on physical security.

For example, testers may leave a removeable device containing malware in a public place near the premises to see if an employee plugs it into one of the organisation’s computers.

Although ethical hacking is popular entry-level position, you need two years’ experience in IT and an understanding of operating systems, TCP/IP and working before you can take a training course.

What skills will you learn?
  • Footprinting and reconnaissance
  • Scanning networks
  • Enumeration
  • Vulnerability analysis
  • System hacking
  • Sniffing
  • Social engineering
  • Denial-of-service
  • Session hijacking
  • Evading IDS, firewalls, and honeypots
  • Hacking web servers, applications, wireless networks, mobile platforms and Internet of Things devices
  • SQL injection
  • Cryptography
Potential job roles
  • Penetration tester
  • Ethical hacker
  • Security consultant

You can get started by taking our Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Training Course.

This five-day course gives you practical, hands-on experience with ethical hacking. You’ll be shown the strategies, tactics, technologies, tools and motivations of criminal hackers, and be given the opportunity to replicate their methods.

Those who pass will receive the CEH (Practical) certification, which is globally recognised as the vendor-neutral qualification of choice for developing a senior career in ethical hacking and penetration testing.

Looking for more qualifications?

The courses we’ve listed here are only the start for entering the cyber security industry. You can find more courses, qualifications and advice by reading our Cyber Security Careers Guide.

We look at a wide variety of cyber security professions and explain the skills and experience you need.

You’ll also discover which training courses can help you advance in each career path and how IT Governance can help.

Our training courses offer a structured learning path from foundation to advanced level, helping IT, privacy and security practitioners develop the skills needed to deliver best practice and compliance in organisations of all sizes.

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