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Learn security software with online courses and programs

Cyber threats pose a major risk to organizations in the digital age. Sharpen your cybersecurity skills by learning about the different types of security software that can help individuals and organizations safeguard their networks and data.

What is security software?

Security software protects information systems from unauthorized access, viruses, malicious software, hackers, and other risks. It can prevent, identify, and stop incoming threats. In case of a security breach, security software can also track the threat and repair any damage to the system.Footnote 1

Security software takes different forms and functions that correspond to the type of device and asset being protected. Some of the more common types of security software used today include malware protection, application security, firewall software, web security, network security, and email security.Footnote 2

If you’re planning a career in cybersecurity or want to learn how to keep your organization’s networks safe from prying eyes, security software knowledge is a must. Even current cybersecurity experts can benefit from staying on top of the latest methods for protecting users and businesses.

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Security software course curriculum

A security software tutorial can help you learn how to use these different types of security software and tools to perform critical security operations. Learners can complete a broader course to gain a basic understanding of security systems, common threats, and key methodologies to audit, monitor, and protect an information system from different risks. As you advance in your studies, you may learn about topics such as: 

  • Vulnerability assessments

  • Data encryption

  • Malware protection

  • Firewalls and honeypot

  • Security testing and risk assessment

  • Digital forensics and incident response

With a wide range of learning options offered through edX, you can explore security software courses that align with your professional goals. Sign up for an accelerated boot camp or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore jobs that use security software

Cybersecurity professionals, also known as IT security professionals, use a combination of security software suites to audit, monitor, and protect the critical information and data of an organization. They run risk assessments, conduct security audits, monitor incoming attacks, run incident reports, and also work with law enforcement in case of a breach.

Jobs that can benefit from knowledge of security software include:

  • IT support/tech support: IT support professionals provide technical support and assistance to people who use an organization’s system and networks.Footnote 3

  • Security analyst: Security analysts monitor the system network and devices to detect intrusions and protect systems from attack.Footnote 4

  • Security engineer: Security engineers design and implement security systems and protection measures in an organization.Footnote 5

  • Security lead/architect: Security leads and architects lead teams of security engineers and other IT professionals to protect an organization from cyber threats.Footnote 6

  • Information security manager: Information security managers work in large enterprises and manage entire security teams. They are responsible for the oversight of the entire security program, and they ensure adherence to security policy.Footnote 7

  • Chief information security officer (CISO): CISO is the highest cybersecurity role in an organization. They set the information security strategy and make sure that all departments in an organization align with the strategy.Footnote 8

Because cybersecurity continues to evolve, a career in this field requires constant skills development, including soft skills such as leadership, team management, and project management. If you’re just starting to explore potential career paths, make a list of the skills and credentials you need to obtain desired roles, then determine the coursework needed to get there. 

These specialized roles generally require a good understanding of networking concepts, system administration, and popular cybersecurity tools. edX offers cybersecurity boot camps to help you develop specialized knowledge in these areas. You can also enroll in coding boot camps to learn programming skills, which may also come in handy in this field.

How to use security software in your career

Security software is used to protect all types of connected devices, and the type you choose to use as a cybersecurity professional will depend on your needs. In fact, most online activities can leverage tailored security options for added security. Security software can come in the form of: 

  • Computer security software: Protects files on individual PCs and mobile devices with antivirus/antimalware, antispyware, password manager, and encryption software.

  • Internet security software: Protects online activities, enables safe internet browsing, and includes firewall, email protection, ransomware protection, and anti-phishing measures.

  • Endpoint security software: Protects a network of computers with additional security features including device management, threat intelligence, and data leak prevention.

  • Network security software: Includes firewalls and intrusion detection systems to protect the network traffic against online threats, malware infections, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.

Are you looking to make the jump into the field of cybersecurity? Start learning the skills you’ll need with edX.