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Connecting With Free Online Cybersecurity Tools and Educational Resources

Many of the major data breaches of 2014 affected large businesses and corporations, though a number of small- and medium-sized businesses also experienced malicious attacks on company data. Regional chains, municipal government agencies, and even non-profit organizations have had to tighten their security protocols in order to prevent similar breaches from occurring. A whole new population of business owners and security managers are exploring the most modern solutions to the ever-evolving problem of data security.

Learning From the Best

Major online corporations like Google are at the forefront of electronic security. Their on-going research helps raise the standard of data integrity for everyone, not just the people they directly serve. The Google security team has helpfully made available a number of lessons used for internal training. This information can be used by other agencies to improve their own security protocols. Other organizations can also follow Google’s example by fostering a company culture of security.

Along with video lessons, Google has also shared research on a number of topics related to electronic security, such as:

  • Browser security
  • Authentication
  • Privacy and its preservation
  • Cloud authorization
  • Secure data outsourcing
  • Account hijacking
  • Access control

Exploring Free Security Resources

Every dollar makes a difference, especially to small and growing businesses. Luckily there are a number of free lessons and training courses in data security available for anyone to use. These lessons will introduce company employees to many essential subjects related to current electronic safety and security.

Infragard Awareness is a resource with tools and educational materials aimed at increasing overall workplace security through positive shifts in company culture. Infragard specifically offers tools that help businesses increase their resistance to identity theft and general cyber crime though customized training courses are also available. These tools make it easy to introduce essential topics regarding electronic workplace security to employees and other agents.

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To begin using the training tools designed by Infragard Awareness, simply create an account on the website. You can begin using the educational modules and course materials right away

Another free online resource worth exploring is a series of webcasts offered by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. The MS-ISAC National Webcast Initiative is a collection of educational materials developed by the cyber security division of US Homeland Security. These webcasts are intended to provide users with the means to protect themselves and their information on the Internet. This material is ideal for people without a technical background. The educational tools, videos, and other material can be used by businesses to begin essential conversations about company cyber security. Various technical subjects are also covered, so employees without a technical background as well as those responsible for implementing cyber security protocols will also find a great deal of relevant information.

SANS Cyber Aces Online offers a broad collection of training courses appropriate for technical and non-technical users interested in improving electronic security.  The SANS Institute is widely recognized as one of the leaders in modern global computer security and aims to help raise the standard of this important aspect of personal and company safety. The educational modules offered on this website include networking, system administration, and operating systems.

These learning modules are excellent for individuals, schools, businesses, and educators. The information presented is specific to cyber security and introduces key concepts to users in an engaging way. Additionally, courses are updated periodically to preserve the accuracy and relevance of the educational materials. Explore this resource; you are sure to find many helpful learning tools.

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Especially for Small Businesses

The US Small Business Association has several online video lessons specifically designed to address the security concerns of small and growing businesses. These can be viewed at your convenience right in your Internet browser. The lessons are approximately half an hour long and can be easily used to augment an existing training program. The material is geared to non-technical users in particular though some technical users will find these tools helpful, especially when seeking ways to communicate complex issues to people without a technical background.

You will find it worth your time to explore the US SBA website to discover other security-related tools and resources. The Small Business Association maintains a directory of local resources, too. There may be several relevant agencies not far away that can connect you with other free and low-cost training and educational materials that will help increase your business’s electronic security.

Lessons From Educational Experts

Cyber security degree programs are offered through many colleges and universities; a few of these institutions have made certain educational materials available for free to the public. Stanford University has a series of business and technology lectures on video that can be streamed instantly. These lectures are offered by university professors in classroom settings. Not only will these videos provide viewers with a comprehensive understanding of various technology-related subjects, they can be used to augment training materials obtained from other organizations. Additionally, the videos can be downloaded for later viewing.

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And finally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers a non-credit version of their Network and Computer Security course that can be taken online for free.  The course covers all essential aspects of computer security, including software protection, operating system security, cryptography, authentication, and risk assessment. This is a great course for anyone interested in the technical side of cybersecurity. Simply follow the steps on the website to register for the non-credit class.

Other Security Resources to Explore

There is a wide range of cost-based security courses and training programs that are worth exploring, too. Cost-based programs tend to involve more time investment and so may not be the right fit for every organization. Still, a few security courses stand out from the crowd; you may find these worth exploring at a later time.

Texas A&M Engineering offers several web-based training programs in cybersecurity. These can be taken for college credit; courses specific to the needs of technical and non-technical users are offered. Carnegie Mellon University can boast of its computer science program, which is currently ranked as one of the top five in the world. Educational materials and course offerings can be explored in more detail in their CyLab.

Enhancing Security Through Education

Education is a key part of security enhancement. Non-technical employees have to understand the relevance of cybersecurity in order to properly support the efforts of technical security measures. These free resources will help begin this important training dialogue and can be used to introduce this complex, yet essential, topic.

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