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Free Cybersecurity Courses for Beginners and Educators–Break Into Cybersecurity

Free Cybersecurity Courses for Beginners and Educators–Break Into Cybersecurity


Students who want to break into the cybersecurity realm stand a lot to gain from exploring free cybersecurity courses. You can acquire fundamental knowledge and skills in the information security domain and hone your skills while only paying through your time and effort.

The cybersecurity job market is projected to grow quickly over the next few years. Cyberattacks are a matter of concern for both private organizations and government bodies, increasing the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals. Despite this demand across multiple domains, there is a widening skill gap and many unfilled job positions due to the lack of trained personnel.

Why Choose the Essentials Series? Free Cybersecurity Courses for Beginners

According to a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), 82% of employers face a cybersecurity talent pool shortage in response to the growing talent drought. EC-Council’s Essentials Series was launched to tackle this crisis—this is a cybersecurity workforce development initiative. Experts have designed the free 3-course series to offer baseline knowledge certifications for ethical hacking, digital forensics, and network security. As part of its first MOOC series, EC-Council makes cybersecurity learning and training accessible for all. The Essentials Series was developed to help students, early-career professionals, beginners, and educators acquire entry-level cybersecurity skills and build strong foundations to start their cybersecurity careers. These free cybersecurity courses for beginners are designed by experts to enable you to acquire the most in-demand skills in the domains of:
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Network Defense
  • Digital Forensics


The Essentials Series: An Overview

The Ethical Hacking Essentials (E|HE), Digital Forensics Essentials (D|FE), and Network Defense Essentials (N|DE) are foundational courses. However, each of these courses comes with an optional hands-on lab upgrade. Learners stand to gain a range of tactical

cybersecurity skills across industry verticals, such as ethical hacking, penetration testing, threats and vulnerabilities, web application attacks, IoT and OT attacks, conducting forensic investigations, information security, data security, and more. Each course comes with a detailed course manual and expert videos that complement the curriculum. With the optional upgrade for labs, students receive the hands-on, practical experience required to prepare them for industry-ready job roles such as a cybersecurity technician.

The Essentials Series courses contain:

  • 36 expert-designed modules
  • 40+ hours of premium, self-paced learning videos
  • 30+ add-on labs mapped to the course curriculum
  • Certificate of Achievement


Table of Contents

  1. Ethical Hacking Essentials (E|HE)
  2. Digital Forensics Essentials (D|FE)
  3. Network Defense Essentials (N|DE)


Ethical Hacking Essentials (E|HE)

With this free cybersecurity course, you will gain strong foundations in ethical hacking and penetration testing that will help create your pathway to an entry-level career in cybersecurity.
  • 12 learning modules
  • Official eCourseware
  • 15+ hours of premium, self-paced video training
  • 11 lab activities in a simulated lab environment (optional add-on)
Course Modules:
  1. Information Security Fundamentals
  2. Ethical Hacking Fundamentals
  3. Information Security Threats and Vulnerabilities
  4. Password Cracking Techniques and Countermeasures
  5. Social Engineering Techniques and Countermeasures
  6. Network-Level Attacks and Countermeasures
  7. Web Application Attacks and Countermeasures
  8. Wireless Attacks and Countermeasures
  9. Mobile Attacks and Countermeasures
  10. IoT and OT Attacks and Countermeasures
  11. Cloud Computing Threats and Countermeasures
  12. Penetration Testing Fundamentals

Tools You Will Learn and Use:

L0phtCrack, Netcraft, SQL Injection Detection Tool, Web Application Security Scanner, and ARP Spoofing Detection Tools

Get Started for Free!

Job Roles:
Cybersecurity SpecialistCybersecurity Technician
Helpdesk TechnicianCyber Operations Technician
Technical Support SpecialistIntelligence Operations Specialist
Systems SpecialistIT Security Specialist
Computer Support Specialist 


Network Defense Essentials (N|DE)

With this free cybersecurity course, you will build strong foundations in network defense and information security facets that can help prepare you for a career in cybersecurity. N|DE highlights the fundamentals of network security and protocols, network security controls, understanding identity and access management, and more.
  • 12 learning modules
  • Official eCourseware
  • 14+ hours of premium, self-paced video training
  • 11 lab activities in a simulated lab environment (optional add-on)
Course Modules:
  1. Network Security Fundamentals
  2. Identification, Authentication, and Authorization
  3. Network Security Controls: Administrative Controls
  4. Network Security Controls: Physical Controls
  5. Network Security Controls: Technical Controls
  6. Virtualization and Cloud Computing
  7. Wireless Network Security
  8. Mobile Device Security
  9. IoT Device Security
  10. Cryptography and PKI
  11. Data Security
  12. Network Traffic Monitoring


Tools You Will Learn and Use:

Docker Bench for security, AWS, Miradore MDM, HashCalc, MD5 calculator, HashMyFiles, VeraCrypt, Data Recovery Wizard, and Wireshark

Get Started for Free!

Job Roles:
Network Security AnalystLocal Area Network Specialist
Network TechnicianTechnical Support Specialist
Network AdministratorCybersecurity Technician
Network Coordinators 


Digital Forensics Essentials (D|FE)

The D|FE was designed to help beginners grasp the foundations of digital forensics with hands-on skills and validate their knowledge as information security professionals. This free cybersecurity course will teach learners the steps, practices, and methodologies to follow during a digital forensics investigation.
  • 12 learning modules
  • Official eCourseware
  • 11+ hours of premium, self-paced video training
  • 11 lab activities in a simulated lab environment (optional add-on)
Course Modules:
  1. Computer Forensics Fundamentals
  2. Computer Forensics Investigation Process
  3. Understanding Hard Disks and File Systems
  4. Data Acquisition and Duplication
  5. Defeating Anti-forensics Techniques
  6. Windows Forensics
  7. Linux and Mac Forensics
  8. Network Forensics
  9. Investigating Web Attacks
  10. Dark Web Forensics
  11. Investigating Email Crime
  12. Malware Forensics


Tools You Will Learn and Use:

Linux, Windows, Sleuth Kit, Wireshark, Splunk, TOR browser, and ESEDatabaseView

Get Started for Free!

Job Roles:
Cybersecurity TechnicianIT Security Specialist
Cyber Forensic SpecialistHelpdesk Technician
Cyber Operations TechnicianTechnical Support Specialist
Intelligence Operations Specialist 


How You Can Earn the Certifications

EC-Council’s Essentials Series is an initiative to boost cybersecurity skills to meet industry demands across every spectrum. This introductory series launched as a part of EC-Council’s MOOC certification courses to offer free cybersecurity training to students, professionals, and beginners through a comprehensive curriculum in a blended-learning environment. Everyone is welcome—there are no eligibility criteria for the Essentials Series. You can get started for free through EC-Council’s CodeRed platform and start your learning journey today.

CodeRed’s Certificate of Achievement:

Exam Length: 2 Hours
Exam Format: Multiple-Choice Exam
Platform: ECC Exam Center
No. of Questions: 75
Certification: Course Specific (N|DE, E|HE, and D|FE)

According to recent data by Cybersecurity Ventures, by 2025, there will be 3.5 million job positions seeking cybersecurity skills. These three free cybersecurity courses for beginners provide comprehensive and structured learning on cybersecurity skills to meet enterprises’ job-role requirements across the globe.

Earn the right qualifications and step into the cybersecurity career of your dreams!

Get Started for Free!


Lewis, J.A. (2019, January 29). The cybersecurity workforce gap. Center for Strategic & International Studies.

Morgan, S. (2021, November 9). Cybersecurity jobs report: 3.5 million openings in 2025. Cybersecurity Ventures.

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