Learning about Cybersecurity is a requirement of the modern world

We live in an internetworked world, and cyber risks are now discussed by governments, companies, and individuals. We feel uneasy when it comes to security breaches since it might affect our personal information, our resources, and country’s security. The annual damage brought by cyber crimes to the global economy costs billions of dollars. Almost every day we are reading reports about stolen customer data, credit card information, industrial espionage, social and political interference, and other activities initiated by cybercriminals.

Learning about Cybersecurity is a necessity for everyone, and it is driven by our active use of online services, social communication platforms, online education, and entertainment.

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There is much work to be done since cybersecurity has become a matter of urgency. Cyber attacks cause commercial loses, public relations problems, and disruption of operations and cybercriminals can also expose sensitive information which might lead to loss of trust, damaged personal and professional reputations.

Unfortunately, companies and individuals don’t report on most of the cyber crime cases. Many cybercrime cases are undetected since it is difficult to spot and prove such activities as industrial espionage. It is expected that cybercrime will increase because of expansion of online services and wide implementation of new technological advances: cloud technologies, big data, e-commerce, mobile solutions, and many others. For example, the Internet of Things enables communication between different types of devices and it opens new opportunities for cybercriminals.

It is critically important to know what are your cyber risks and how to implement respective procedures to deal with them – it applies not only to companies but to each individual Internet user. Cybersecurity literacy should be taught as a subject at school along with netiquette. Every person must be aware of the potential cyber risks. Individuals and businesses should know how to protect their information and communication platforms and what standard security measures need to be implemented and maintained. These are valuable skills which might help to fight cybercriminals successfully.

If you are interested to gain cybersecurity skills, you can join online courses offered by Coursera.
Learn Cybersecurity Fundamentals in 5 online courses from University of Maryland on Coursera. Enroll today!

Cybersecurity Specialization. Cybersecurity Fundamentals. Construction of Secure Systems.

General information.

The Cybersecurity Specialization covers the fundamental concepts of secure systems:

  • the hardware;
  • the software;
  • the human-computer interface;
  • the use of cryptography;
  • secure interactions.

These concepts are explained using examples drawn from real-life practice, and supported by hands-on exercises using relevant tools and techniques. Course participants develop a way of thinking that is security-oriented, understanding how to think about security violations and how to build systems that protect against them.

  • Specialization is created by University of Maryland;
  • Duration of each course: 6-7 weeks.

Teaching approaches:

  • Online reading;
  • Prerecorded videos;
  • Quizzes;
  • Exams;
  • Practical exercises;
  • Projects.

Course 1. Usable Security.

Course rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

This course focuses on how to design and build secure systems with a user-centric focus. Learners explore basic principles of human-computer interaction and apply these principles to the design of secure systems. The course teaches how to develop security measures which respect human performance and business goals within a system.

Course 2. Software Security

Course rating: 4.6 out of 5.0

This course explores the foundations of software security. Learners identify important software vulnerabilities and the attacks that exploit them: such as buffer overflows, SQL injection, and session hijacking. The course teaches how to prevent or mitigate these attacks, including advanced testing and program analysis techniques.

Course 3. Cryptography

Course rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

This course introduces the foundations of modern cryptography. Students learn Private-Key Encryption, Message Authentication Codes, Number Theory, Key Exchange, Public-Key Encryption, and Digital Signatures.

Course 4. Hardware Security

Course rating: 3.9 out of 5.0

In this course, learners study security from the hardware perspective. On completion of the course, students understand the vulnerabilities in current digital system design flow and recognize the physical attacks to these systems. They learn that security starts from hardware design. Learners are using the tools and skills to build secure and trusted hardware.

Course 5. Cybersecurity Capstone Project

Course rating: 4.1 out of 5.0

This is a practical course, and it provides students with an intensive experience during which they build a secure software system. Students also attempt to prove that other students’ projects are not secure by finding flaws in them.

Learners’ feedback (summary):

  • Course – Usable Security
    • Good course to learn at beginner level about usable security;
    • The teacher was great at explaining the topic and in a fun way.
  • Course – Software Security
    • Very good course to understand threats for applications;
    • Useful interviews;
    • Amazing course material.
  • Course – Cryptography
    • Pretty though at some points, but very interesting;
    • Teacher succeed well to present complex concepts;
    • Good material.
  • Course – Hardware security
    • While the course had great material, but the overall level of this course was way above “intermediate” level;
    • The presentation style is dry but straightforward;
    • Material is excellent, and the lecturer can speak authoritatively about it.
  • Course – Cybersecurity Capstone Project
    • This is one of the best project-based courses;
    • This project gives you insights into how to build secure applications;
    • It has three different rounds including a built-it round, break-it round and fix-it round and each of them were equally challenging and fun.
    • Recommended to everyone to take this capstone project and you won’t regret your investment ever.

If you are interested to get the skills in the area of cybersecurity, click the link below.
Learn Cybersecurity Fundamentals in 5 online courses from University of Maryland on Coursera. Enroll today!

Benefits of having cybersecurity skills

Because of the importance of the topic, there are multiple benefits of having cybersecurity skills:

  • Cybersecurity specialists are in high demand – it is projected by Symantec that workforce demand will rise by 6 million professionals globally;
  • Cybersecurity skills are universal – since it is an universal problem, the skills in this area are in demand everywhere in the world;
  • Highly paid jobs – the salary scale is much higher than for the most of IT jobs in any country, it reflects the importance of the skillset in cybersecurity;
  • Opportunities to work in the most prestigious governmental and international organizations;
  • It’s never too late to start – your previous experience in any industry will be a great help when taking training courses or degree in cybersecurity;
  • You will learn very interesting stuff about the latest gadgets and respective software.


With the technology affecting all the areas of our life, cybersecurity becomes the most urgent issues to be solved. Technology has always been targeted by criminals, and it is predicted that the danger of cyber security breaches will increase in the future. With the right level of knowledge and skills, it is possible to assess risks, plan security measures, control damages, and recover from a cyber breaches and its consequences.

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6 thoughts on “Learning about Cybersecurity is a requirement of the modern world”

  1. Thanks for sharing. I agree cyber security is a real issue. Today we live in a society that shares everything, if it’s not on the internet, it didn’t really happen. To me this is a bit worrying and it is important to protect ourselves.
    Please continue creating informative content.

    1. Thank you very much for stopping by my post and for your encouraging comments. I sincerely believe that security and privacy issues are very important in the modern society. I will be creating more posts about technology impact on our daily lives. We have to be ready for the necessity to adjust our lives accordingly.
      Thank you for your support,

  2. Hi Nadja,
    Your article is a real eye-opener. We cannot live without the Internet anymore and yet need to address al the security issues linked to it. I think starting in the school at an early age is very important. Even for me, after reading your article I’m very tempted to engage in a cybersecurity education as I love IT and like you say it is never too late.
    Very good article and very educative. I will share with my teenage son who always online and definitely needs more education about cybersecurity.
    Thank you

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments. I appreciate your time and your contribution. I am happy that you find this post useful. I spent 35+ years in IT industry and IT education and I feel that I have to share the issues of technology intervention on the society. It is an important topic – with so many positive things brought by technology, we need to be aware of the negative aspects of  it.  Thank you again for your input.

  3. Hi Nadja. This is a unique article and it addresses an important issue worldwide. It is indeed the most important topic for countries, governments, companies, and individuals. We’ve heard news about hacking of TV channels, credit score agencies, banks..etc., and we’ve heard news that now governments are spending billions from their GDP on cyber security infrastructure. Now, about the course, does someone need to have any IT background? Any pre-requisite to enroll for this course? Thank you for this great informative article.

    1. Thank you very much for stopping by my post.
      It seems that all we spend on cybersecurity goes for patching purposes. It serves to cover the damages done already. We need to educate population. It is a social issue already. The course I was referring to requires some experience. I will be creating a post about the courses for general audience which will be suitable for people with different educational background. Every person needs to have some basic skills to protect our digital resources.
      It is a serious issue in the modern world, and, ideally, it has to be addressed globally.
      Thank you again for your valuable input.

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