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Top-rated MOOCs in Cyber Security - learn how to stay safe online

Carolyn

Founder at MoocLab
Staff member
Group Manager
October 2017 is the fifth European Cyber Security Month. The European Cyber Security Month is the EU’s annual awareness campaign that takes place each October across Europe. The aim is to raise awareness of cyber security threats, promote cyber security among citizens and organizations; and provide resources to protect themselves online, through education and sharing of good practices.

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Mark The European Cyber Security Month with one of these top rated online courses:

Cybersecurity and Its Ten Domains
By The University System of Georgia via Coursera
This course is designed to introduce students, working professionals and the community to the exciting field of cybersecurity. Throughout the MOOC, participants will engage in community discourse and online interaction. Participants will gain knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity and its domains. They will engage with expertly produced videos, gain insight from industry experts, participate in knowledge assessments, practice assessing their environmental awareness, and gain access to materials that address governance and risk management, compliance, business continuity and disaster recovery, cryptography, software development security, access control, network security, security architecture, security operations, and physical and environmental security. Learning will be assessed using strategies aligned to knowledge and understanding.

You do not need prior experience in IT security to do well in this course. All you need is a willingness to learn. We will point you to relevant open and free resources to assist you.

At the end of this course, you will have the option of applying for undergraduate level course credit at Kennesaw State University (dependent on admission to Kennesaw State University as a degree seeking or a non-degree seeking student). More information is available in final module "Receive Course (undergraduate) Credit at Kennesaw State University".

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Cybersecurity: Developing a Program for Your Business
By The University System of Georgia via Coursera

Learn to assess cyber threats and protect business information assets.
Cybersecurity is an essential business skill for the evolving workplace. For-profit companies, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations all need technologically proficient, business-savvy information technology security professionals. In this Specialization, you will learn about a variety of processes for protecting business assets through policy, education and training, and technology best practices. You’ll develop an awareness of the risks and cyber threats or attacks associated with modern information usage, and explore key technical and managerial topics required for a balanced approach to information protection. Topics will include mobility, the Internet of Things, the human factor, governance and management practices.

Beginner Specialization. No prior experience required.

This is a Specialization Program made up of 3 Courses and a Capstone Project. You can take the full Specialization program or select from the course list below:
  1. Cybersecurity and Mobility
  2. Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things
  3. Cybersecurity and the X-Factor
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Cybersecurity for Business Specialization
By The University of Colorado via Coursera

Identify what threatens your business and master how to practically defend against those threats.
It seems anymore that you can't listen to the news without hearing of a data breach. You may have heard it said before that there are 2 types of companies out there, the ones who have been breached and those who will be breached. Defending against attackers who want to compromise assets can seem like an arduous task, but learning how attacks work and more importantly how to defend against those attacks can be very fulfilling. This specialization is designed to introduce you to practical computer security by teaching you the fundamentals of how you use security in the business world. This course is for those who want to understand how to defend computer systems and assets from attackers and other threats. It is also for those who want to understand how threats and attacks are carried out to help better defend their systems. This specialization is designed for senior business leaders to middle management and system administrators, so they can all speak the same language and get a better handle on their organization's security. Additionally, the course material may help you in passing some industry leading computer security examinations such as Security+ and CISSP.

Beginner Specialization. No prior experience required.

This is a Specialization Program made up of 4 Courses. You can take the full Specialization program or select from the course list below:
  1. Introduction to Cybersecurity for Business
  2. Cyber Threats and Attack Vectors
  3. Detecting and Mitigating Cyber Threats and Attacks
  4. Proactive Computer Security

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Cyber Security for Small and Medium Enterprises: Identifying Threats and Preventing Attacks
By Deakin University via Futurelearn
Discover what common cyber threats and attacks face small and medium enterprises, and what you can do to prevent them. Almost daily we hear about cyber attacks on large organisations, but we rarely hear much about similar attacks on small and medium enterprises. This doesn’t mean that they’re not happening.

In this course, you’ll explore some of the common cyber threats facing small and medium enterprises, what a cyber attack means, and what practical tools and strategies you can put in place to prevent them.

Learn from cyber security experts
Deakin University has been providing cyber security education since 2007. Our experts are active researchers and engaged in partnerships with leading industry bodies such as Dimension Data Learning Solutions, which ensures we develop our students’ real-world cyber security knowledge and skills.

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International Cyber Conflicts
By The State University of New York via Coursera
By nature, cyber conflicts are an international issue that span across nation-state borders. By the end of the course, you will be able to apply the knowledge gained for analysis and management of international cyber incidents and conflicts including for activities such as development of policy related to cybercrime and cyberwarfare. Management of cyber incidents and conflicts requires an interdisciplinary perspective including an understanding of: 1) characteristics of the cyber threats and conflicts themselves, 2) international efforts to reduce and improve cyber security, and 3) psychological and sociopolitical factors.

The course is designed to reach an international audience and will encourage discussion on relevant current events among participants to enrich the experience with various personal and cultural perspectives on cutting-edge issues. In addition, assignments and other assessments will supplement video lectures and selected readings to ensure application of the material.

After taking this course you will be able to:
• Identify different types of actors involved in cyber threats (individuals, organizations & nation-states)
• Distinguish between different types of threats and issues in cyber security including, data theft, political espionage, critical infrastructure protection, and propaganda
• Detail the basic characteristics of the Internet infrastructure and international efforts to address Internet governance
• List several international efforts to address cyber crime and espionage
• Evaluate how principals that govern international conflicts might be applied in context of cyber security
• Apply different psychological theories of human motivation and cooperation and communication and political theories in analysis of different international issues related to cyber security including censorship, media operations and role of social technologies.

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Cybersecurity Specialization
By The University of Maryland via Coursera

The Cybersecurity Specialization covers the fundamental concepts underlying the construction of secure systems, from the hardware to the software to the human-computer interface, with the use of cryptography to secure interactions. These concepts are illustrated with examples drawn from modern practice, and augmented with hands-on exercises involving relevant tools and techniques. Successful participants will develop a way of thinking that is security-oriented, better understanding how to think about adversaries and how to build systems that defend against them.

Intermediate Specialization. Some related experience required.

This is a Specialization Program made up of 4 Courses and a Capstone Project. You can take the full Specialization program or select from the course list below:
  1. Usable Security
  2. Software Security
  3. Cryptography
  4. Hardware Security
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Information Security: Context and Introduction
By The University of London via Coursera

In this course you will explore information security through some introductory material and gain an appreciation of the scope and context around the subject. This includes a brief introduction to cryptography, security management and network and computer security that allows you to begin the journey into the study of information security and develop your appreciation of some key information security concepts.

The course concludes with a discussion around a simple model of the information security industry and explores skills, knowledge and roles so that you can determine and analyse potential career opportunities in this developing profession and consider how you may need to develop personally to attain your career goals.

After completing the course you will have gained an awareness of key information security principles regarding information, confidentiality, integrity and availability. You will be able to explain some of the key aspects of information risk and security management, in addition, summarise some of the key aspects in computer and network security, including some appreciation of threats, attacks, exploits and vulnerabilities. You will also gain an awareness of some of the skills, knowledge and roles/careers opportunities within the information security industry.

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Computer Security and Systems Management
By The University of Colorado via Coursera

Learn how to securely design and manage enterprise systems utilizing mainstream operating systems.
The Computer Security and Systems Management Specialization focuses on computing in an enterprise environment. Combining both theory and real world experience and architecture, the courses will prepare you to design and audit secure enterprise systems. The courses will cover practical use of major server operating systems in an enterprise environment and how to design and operate them securely.

Beginner Specialization. No prior experience required.

This is a Specialization Program made up of 4 Courses. You can take the full Specialization program or select from the course list below:
  1. Enterprise System Management and Security
  2. Windows Server Management and Security
  3. Linux Server Management and Security
  4. Planning, Auditing and Maintaining Enterprise Systems
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Introduction to Cybersecurity
By The University of Washington via edX
An introduction to cybersecurity, ideal for learners who are curious about the world of Internet security and who want to be literate in the field.This course serves as an introduction to the exciting field of cybersecurity.

As our daily lives become more and more dependent on Internet-based tools and services, and as those platforms accumulate more of our most sensitive data, the demand grows for experts in the field of cybersecurity.

In this course, you will gain an overview of the cybersecurity landscape as well as national (USA) and international perspectives on the field. We will cover the legal environment that impacts cybersecurity as well as predominant threat actors.

This course is part of the Essentials of Cybersecurity Professional Certificate Program

By the end of this course, you will be able to:
  • Define and use key terms and concepts in the field of cybersecurity;
  • Identify and distinguish threat actors and their motivations;
  • Match appropriate types of controls to the actions of different threat actors;
  • Describe the differences and interactions among international agencies related to cybersecurity;
  • Describe at least two potential legal challenges to cybersecurity in your country.
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Introduction to Cyber Security
By The Open University via Futurelearn
Our lives depend on online services. Gain essential cyber security knowledge and skills, to help protect your digital life. 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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Cyber Security: Safety at Home, Online, in Life
By Newcastle University via Futurelearn
This three-week online course explores practical cyber security including privacy online, payment safety and security at home. In the modern world, information security has an influence on all of us: at home, at work, online and in life in general. Like many inventions that have gone before, the internet and the web, the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) bring with them many advantages, but also open up new possibilities for criminal activity.

So should you avoid all contact with this brave new world? This free online course presents an alternative, providing you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

Understand key topics in cyber security
The course will introduce you to some of the current key topics in cyber security research and show how they relate to everyday life. We’ll look at how the move to online storage of personal data affects privacy, how online payments can be made safely, and how the proliferation of “smart” devices affect security.

Over the three weeks of the course we will look at these topics from different perspectives: the user’s, a potential attacker’s and a business’s. We’ll also discuss how research underway at Newcastle University addresses these topics.
  1. Privacy online: What is privacy? We begin by looking into our own beliefs and practices when it comes to giving out our data online. What is the value of our personal data to businesses? And how can you find out what information about you is readily available online?

  2. Payment safety: We make payments everyday, we purchase items at the store and we purchase items online, but how secure are these payments? How safe is our money? All of the different methods of payment cash, credit/debit card, cheque and bitcoin are a trade-off between security and convenience. We will look at constantly evolving race between the payment fraud and the security measures employed to prevent fraud.

  3. Security at home: With increasing numbers of autonomous, internet-enabled devices in our homes and cars, on our wrists and in our clothes, how could they be misused? And what can we do about understanding and responding to the risks and threats?
Learn from cyber security researchers and practitioners
The course is presented by researchers and practitioners from Newcastle University’s School of Computing, an acknowledged Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR).

The team conduct research in areas such as cryptography and information assurance with a focus on understanding the human element of cyber security - victims, investigators and attackers. Each topic is led by a research expert in that field.

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Building a Cybersecurity Toolkit
By The University of Washington via edX
Develop a set of skills and characteristics that expand beyond technical proficiency to become a successful cybersecurity professional. Technologies are always being defeated. If you own an information asset that’s valuable enough to the right adversary, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a breach. Today’s technologies attempt to keep adversaries out, but the sad fact is they will inevitably be defeated. This means a successful cybersecurity professional needs to have an expanded arsenal in their toolkit that extends far beyond technical proficiency.

Cybersecurity professionals need to be agile, multifunctional, flexible, and dynamic given how quickly things can change. They need to be able to adapt to change and problem solve quickly, have diverse knowledge to perform many activities, respond to new threats and shift priorities to meet the challenge of the day.

The purpose of this course is to give learners insight into these type of characteristics and skills needed for cybersecurity jobs and to provide a realistic outlook on what they really need to add to their “toolkits” – a set of skills that is constantly evolving, not all technical, but fundamentally rooted in problem-solving.

Students will learn from thought leaders from both the academic and practitioner communities.

This course is part of the Essentials of Cybersecurity Professional Certificate Program

By the end of this course, you will be able to:
  • Identify what tools and skills are necessary to form today’s Professional Cybersecurity toolkit;
  • Match appropriate tools to different purposes in the cybersecurity management process;
  • Synthesize insights gained in course exploration of toolkit skill sets, working toward self-evaluation of talents and interests aligned to cybersecurity’s array of roles
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Cybersecurity: The CISO's View
By The University of Washington via edX
Learn about cybersecurity operations and the role played by the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) in the industry. The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) in any given organization serves a leadership position, protecting the data and digital systems that a company’s employees as well as its customers depend upon.

This course delves into the role that the CISO plays in cybersecurity operations.

Throughout the lessons, learners will explore answers to the following questions: How does cybersecurity work across industries? What is the professionals' point of view? How do we keep information secure?

Coursework will fully explore the CISO’s view from the top, as well as the position’s toolkit, which includes policy, procedures and practices, technologies, awareness training, and audit. It will also dive into the approaches taken in private industry, government, academia, and the military.

This course is part of the Essentials of Cybersecurity Professional Certificate Program

By the end of this course, you will be able to:
  • Identify the four domains of cybersecurity and the differences between their rules, regulations, and desired outcomes;
  • Explain the role of the CISO across all domains, and the differences between CISO roles among the domains;
  • Identify cybersecurity specific tools for their appropriate domains and situations.
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Finding your Cybersecurity Career Path
By The University of Washington via edX
Learn about different career pathways in cybersecurity and complete a self-assessment project to better understand the right path for you. In this course, you will focus on the pathways to cybersecurity career success. You will determine your own incoming skills, talent, and deep interests to apply toward a meaningful and informed exploration of 32 Digital Pathways of Cybersecurity.

You will complete a self-assessment comprised of elements needed to determine essential next steps on your career path.

This course is part of the Essentials of Cybersecurity Professional Certificate Program.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:
  • Understand a multitude of cybersecurity career path opportunities
  • Apply problem-solving skills toward self-evaluation of compatibility with career pathways
  • Narrow your exploration to the most compatible job path(s) in cybersecurity
  • Assess knowledge, skills, and abilities in relation to the specific (and emerging) requirements for those paths
  • Discover and identify training and other next steps needed to satisfy requirements and meet goals in cybersecurity pathways
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Cybersecurity Fundamentals
By The Rochester Institute of Technology via edX
Learn cybersecurity fundamentals, including how to detect threats, protect systems and networks, and anticipate potential cyber attacks. In this introduction to the field of computing security, you will be given an extensive overview of the various branches of computing security. You will learn cybersecurity concepts, issues, and tools that are critical in solving problems in the computing security domain.

You will have opportunities to learn essential techniques in protecting systems and network infrastructures, analyzing and monitoring potential threats and attacks, devising and implementing security solutions for organizations large or small.

This offering is part of the RITx Cybersecurity MicroMasters Program that prepares students to enter and advance in the field of computing security.

What you'll learn
  • Network and system administration fundamentals
  • Information assurance fundamentals such as confidentiality, integrity and availability, etc.
  • Basic cryptography concepts
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Cybersecurity Risk Management
By The Rochester Institute of Technology via edX
Learn key principles of risk analysis, risk assessment and risk mitigation for information security using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Cybersecurity risk management guides a growing number of IT decisions. Cybersecurity risks continue to have critical impacts on overall IT risk modeling, assessment and mitigation.

In this course, you will learn about the general information security risk management framework and its practices and how to identify and model information security risks and apply both qualitative and quantitative risk assessment methods. Understanding this framework will enable you to articulate the business consequences of identified information security risks. These skills are essential for any successful information security professional.

The goal of this course is to teach students the risk management framework with both qualitative and quantitative assessment methods that concentrate on the information security (IS) aspect of IT risks. The relationship between the IT risk and business value will be discussed through several industry case studies.

First, you will learn about the principles of risk management and its three key elements: risk analysis, risk assessment and risk mitigation. You will learn to identify information security related threats, vulnerability, determine the risk level, define controls and safeguards, and conduct cost-benefit analysis or business impact analysis.

Second, we will introduce the qualitative and quantitative frameworks and discuss the differences between these two frameworks. You will learn the details of how to apply these frameworks in assessing information security risk.

Third, we will extend the quantitative framework with data mining and machine learning approaches that are applicable for data-driven risk analytics. You will explore the intersection of information security, big data and artificial intelligence.

Finally, you will analyze a series of extended case studies, which will help you to comprehend and generalize the principles, frameworks and analytical methods in actual examples.

This offering is part of the RITx Cybersecurity MicroMasters Program that prepares students to enter and advance in the field of computing security.

What you'll learn
  • Information security risk management framework and methodologies
  • Identifying and modeling information security risks
  • Qualitative and quantitative risk assessment methods
  • Articulating information security risks as business consequences
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Network Security
By The Rochester Institute of Technology via edX
Learn the process of network security, including intrusion detection, evidence collection, network auditing, and contingency planning against attacks. In this course, you will examine the various areas of network security including intrusion detection, evidence collection and defense against cyber attacks.

The issues and facilities available to both the intruder and data network administrator will also be examined to illustrate their effect.

You will learn the principles and concepts of wired and wireless data network security. You will be guided through a series of laboratories and experiments in order to explore various mechanisms for securing data networks including physical layer mechanisms, filters, applications and encryption.

You will analyze attack/defend scenarios and determine the effectiveness of particular defense deployments against attacks.

This course is a part of the RITx Cybersecurity MicroMasters Program.

What you'll learn
  • How to identify when attacks are happening inside networks
  • How to collect evidence of network intrusions
  • How to test networks and systems for vulnerabilities
  • How to prepare for and defend against network attacks
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Computer Forensics
By The Rochester Institute of Technology via edX
Learn the process, techniques and tools for performing a digital forensics investigation to obtain data related to computer crimes. Digital forensics involves the investigation of computer-related crimes with the goal of obtaining evidence to be presented in a court of law.

In this course, you will learn the principles and techniques for digital forensics investigation and the spectrum of available computer forensics tools. You will learn about core forensics procedures to ensure court admissibility of evidence, as well as the legal and ethical implications. You will learn how to perform a forensic investigation on both Unix/Linux and Windows systems with different file systems. You will also be guided through forensic procedures and review and analyze forensics reports.

This offering is part of the RITx Cybersecurity MicroMasters Program that prepares students to enter and advance in the field of computing security.

What you'll learn
  • Court admissibility investigative procedures
  • Attributes of various Windows and Unix/Linux file systems and file recovery processes
  • To identify and apply appropriate forensics tools to acquire, preserve and analyze system image
  • Review and critique a forensics report
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Cyber Security Economics
By Delft University of Technology via edX
Learn how to make better decisions about security and IT by using state-of-the-art economic tools, security metrics and data analytics. This economics course provides an introduction to the field of cybersecurity through the lens of economic principles. Delivered by four leading research teams, it will provide you with the economic concepts, measurement approaches and data analytics to make better security and IT decisions, as well as understand the forces that shape the security decisions of other actors in the ecosystem of information goods and services.

Systems often fail because the organizations that defend them do not bear the full costs of failure. In order to solve the problems of growing vulnerability to computer hackers and increasing crime, solutions must coherently allocate responsibilities and liabilities so that the parties in a position to fix problems have an incentive to do so. This requires a technical comprehension of security threats combined with an economic perspective to uncover the strategies employed by cyber hackers, attackers and defenders.

The course covers five main areas:
  1. Introduction to key concepts in security economics. Here, we provide an overview of how information security is shaped by economic mechanisms, such as misaligned incentives, information asymmetry, and externalities.
  2. Measuring cybersecurity. We introduce state of the art security and IT metrics and conceptualize the characteristics of a security metric, its challenges and advantages.
  3. Economics of information security investment. We discuss and apply different economic models that help determine the costs and benefits of security investments in network security.
  4. Security market failures. We discuss market failures that may lead to cybersecurity investment levels that are insufficient from society’s perspective and other forms of unsafe behaviour in cyber space.
  5. Behavioural economics for information security, policy and regulation. We discuss available economic tools to better align the incentives for cybersecurity, including better security metrics, cyber insurance/risk transfer, information sharing, and liability assignment.
After finishing this course, you will be able to apply economic analysis and data analytics to cybersecurity. You will understand the role played by incentives on the adoption and effectiveness of security mechanisms, and on the design of technical, market-based, and regulatory solutions to different security threats.

What you'll learn
  • Sound understanding of the economics of cybersecurity as a systems discipline, from security policies (modelling what ought to be protected) to mechanisms (how to implement the protection goals)
  • How to design security metrics to capture information security issues
  • How the design of effective policies to enhance and maintain cybersecurity must take into account a complex set of incentives facing not only the providers and users of the Internet and computer software, but also those of potential attackers
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Understanding the General Data Protection Regulation
By The University of Groningen via Futurelearn
Get to grips with the General Data Protection Regulation and take the first steps to ensuring that your organisation is compliant. Understand what the GDPR means for you as data subject, controller or processor.
In 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aiming to improve data protection for individuals across the EU will become directly applicable. Organisations will need to be compliant with the new rules and should act immediately.

By developing good knowledge of the GDPR and understanding how it will affect you, you will learn about the first steps for making your organisation compliant and can immediately start taking them. You will explore data subjects’ rights, data controllers’ and processors’ obligations, and enforcement and compliance notions in the context of the Regulation.

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Secure Android App Development
By The University of Southampton via Futurelearn
Get an introduction to mobile app security and learn how to develop secure Android applications, with this free online course. 84% of security breaches are at the application layer, according to Gartner research. With mobile devices and their applications holding more and more sensitive data – from people’s locations to their personal information and financial data – ensuring that they are secure is essential, if people and companies are to trust them, and prevent the reputational and legal damage of a data breach.

Make security a priority during Android app development
On this free online course, you’ll learn about the common vulnerabilities found in Android apps, and how to detect and mitigate them. These skills are increasingly in demand as mobile applications proliferate in the workplace, and increasingly proof of secure code is required before companies will use them. Make security a priority during your Android app development to protect yourself, and the users of your application.

Over four weeks, the course will explore three aspects of developing secure apps in Android:
  1. Why should you care about mobile app security? We’ll cover common application flaws, the cyber risk these expose, and how to control and mitigate this risk.

  2. Security architecture on Android. We’ll examine the way the Android operating system compartmentalises code and uses permissions. We’ll demonstrate how to secure interprocess communication (IPC).

  3. Static analysis of code. Finally, we’ll use the world’s most-adopted toolset, Fortify SCA from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, to identify and fix common vulnerabilities in Android apps. This is used by the majority of the largest IT companies, banks, pharmaceuticals, software vendors and telecommunications companies.
Learn with app security researchers and industry leaders
Secure Android App Development has been created by the Cyber Security Academy (CSA) at the University of Southampton, which facilitates use-inspired and multi-disciplinary research, education, training and outreach in cyber security.

The course has been developed in association with Hewlett Packard Enterprise as part of its mission to address the significant global skills shortage in cyber security and secure app development.

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