Home Features Embark on a Cybersecurity Career with the Top Three Free Online Cybersecurity...

Embark on a Cybersecurity Career with the Top Three Free Online Cybersecurity Courses


Free online cybersecurity courses are a great place to start your learning journey if you’re considering a career in this field. Enrolling in a cybersecurity course will build a strong foundational base, and you will gain highly advanced technical skills.

With the unprecedented rise in data breaches and theft, cybersecurity has become one of the top priorities for organizations and governments. Cyberattacks can cost companies millions and even disrupt economies and business operations. With these incredibly high stakes, the demand for skilled security professionals is increasing every day.

The growing intensity and sophistication of the threat landscape has forced companies to spend a fortune on strengthening their defenses. According to a Markets and Markets report, the cybersecurity market is estimated to rise from USD 240.27 billion in 2022 to USD 345.38 billion by 2026 (Markets and Markets). EC-Council’s Essential Series offers free online cybersecurity courses to help cybersecurity aspirants break into this field and prepare them for real-world industry challenges.

This blog explores how the top 3 free online cybersecurity courses offered as a part of the Essentials Series by EC-Council can help kickstart your cybersecurity career.

What Is the Essential Series?

The Ethical Hacking Essentials (E|HE), Digital Forensics Essentials (D|FE), and Network Defense Essentials (N|DE) teach students a range of baseline cybersecurity skills across industry verticals; this essential knowledge includes ethical hacking, penetration testing, conducting forensic investigations, data security, threats and vulnerabilities, web application attacks, IoT and OT attacks, information security, and more.

These foundational courses contain detailed manuals, expert videos, and lab tutorials. Each Essentials Series course includes 12 modules with learning exercises and lab ranges (optional add-on) that provide practical, hands-on experience to help you gain proficiency in network defense, ethical hacking, and digital forensics. The series prepares students for entry-level job roles such as a cybersecurity technician. The Essentials Series courses include:

  • 36 expert-designed modules
  • 40+ hours of premium, self-paced training videos
  • 30+ virtual lab exercises mapped to the course curriculum
  • Certificate of achievement

Why the Essential Series Is the Go-To Choice for Cybersecurity Aspirants

Industry experts have designed EC-Council’s Essential Series with the goal of training students in the best industry practices, tools, and methodologies to enable them to defeat threat actors from a theoretical and tactical perspective. This initiative includes three free online cybersecurity courses with certifications to educate learners in network security, digital forensics, and ethical hacking.

The curriculum offers an unbiased learning approach and exposure to industry standards. The courses are tailored for IT and early-career professionals and cybersecurity enthusiasts looking to build their skills and get first-hand experience using the technologies and techniques of the trade. Students can expect to receive industry-recognized certifications with each course.

Free Online Cybersecurity Courses With Certifications

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

Network Defense Essentials (N|DE)

Network Defense Essentials (N|DE) provides a holistic view of network defense and information security concepts. The interactive labs will enable you to gain foundational knowledge in cybersecurity and core competency in defending networks and investigating them.

  • 12 expert-designed modules
  • Official eCourseware
  • 14+ hours of premium, self-paced video training
  • 11 virtual lab activities (optional add-on)

Course Outline:

  • Network Security Fundamentals
  • Identification, Authentication, and Authorization
  • Network Security Controls: Administrative Controls
  • Network Security Controls: Physical Controls
  • Network Security Controls: Technical Controls
  • Virtualization and Cloud Computing
  • Wireless Network Security
  • Mobile Device Security
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Device Security
  • Cryptography and PKI
  • Data Security
  • Network Traffic Monitoring

Tools You Will Learn and Use:

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

Job Roles:

Network Security Analyst Network Administrator
Network Technician Network Coordinators
Local Area Network Specialist Technical Support Specialist
Cybersecurity Technician

Digital Forensics Essentials (D|FE)

Boost your resume by gaining expertise in digital forensics fundamentals and the digital forensics investigation process. Digital Forensics Essentials (D|FE) will enhance your knowledge base, and the add-on labs will prepare you for industry-ready jobs.

  • 12 expert-designed modules
  • Official eCourseware
  • 11+ hours of premium self-paced video training
  • 11 virtual lab activities (optional add-on)

Course Outline:

  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, Wireshark, Sleuth Kit, TOR browser, Splunk, ESEDatabaseView

Job Roles:

Cyber Forensic Specialist Cybersecurity Technician
Cyber Operations Technician Intelligence Operations Specialist
IT Security Specialist Helpdesk Technician
Technical Support Specialist

Ethical Hacking Essentials (E|HE)

Gain a comprehensive understanding of ethical hacking and penetration testing fundamentals with Ethical Hacking Essentials (E|HE). Master fundamental ethical hacking concepts such as threats and vulnerabilities, password cracking, web application attacks, IoT and OT attacks, and cloud computing.

  • 12 expert-designed modules
  • Official eCourseware
  • 15+ hours of premium self-paced video training
  • 11 virtual lab activities (optional add-on)

Course Outline:

  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:

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

Job Roles

Cybersecurity Specialist Helpdesk Technician
Technical Support Specialist Cyber Operations Technician
Cybersecurity Technician Systems Specialist
IT Security Specialist Intelligence Operations Specialist
Computer Support Specialist

Exam and Certification Details

The Essentials Series is EC-Council’s massive open online course (MOOCs) initiative to fill the cybersecurity skills gap for entry-level job roles. The series aims to train tomorrow’s cybersecurity workforce and equip them with industry-relevant knowledge. These self-paced, free online cybersecurity courses teach students the latest security standards and how to apply best practices while remaining up to date on changes and trends in the field. With the Essentials Series, you will develop the skills you need for a successful cybersecurity career. Everyone is welcome—there are no eligibility criteria to enroll in the Essentials Series.

CodeRed’s Certificate of Achievement

  • Exam Length: 2 Hours
  • Exam Format: Multiple-Choice Exam
  • Platform: ECC Exam Center
  • Number of Questions: 75
  • Certification: Course Specific (N|DE, E|HE, or D|FE)

Your Pathway to a Promising Career in Cybersecurity


MarketsandMarkets. (2021, June 21). Cybersecurity market by component (software, hardware, and services), software (IAM, encryption, APT, firewall), security type, deployment mode, organization size, vertical, and region (2022 – 2026). https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/cyber-security-market-505.html