CyberSecurity Essentials Review

CyberSecurity Essentials is one of the courses and certifications provided by International CyberSecurity Institute (ICSI) which is an institute based in United Kingdom (UK) and has earned accreditation from Council for Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST) and National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). This course teaches the basics regarding Information Security in theoretical aspect. Students will learn the basics of Information Security, learning many concepts of the world of security.

Intro

While scrolling on Facebook’s feeds on my phone, I found a post about a free CyberSecurity Essentials course on ICSI page which make it available for people to improve their skills and CyberSecurity awareness while dealing with COVID-19. I used to learn Certified Network Security Specialist (CNSS) course with ICSI before, and you can also find my CNSS review here. I think their contents in CNSS are quite good, so I would like to see the quality of contents within CyberSecurity Essentials course also to see if it is worth to recommend to others or not.

CyberSecurity Essentials

As I have had learned and certified on some of the information security and network security courses such as Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), Certified Ethical Hacker Practical (CEH Practical), Cisco Certified Network Associate Cyber Ops (CCNA Cyber Ops), Cisco Certified Networking Associate Security (CCNA Security), Certified Secure Computer User (CSCUv2) and Juniper Networks Certified Specialist Security (JNCIS-SEC) prior to attending this course, I found that I was familiar with around 95% of contents within the course. For more information related to what are covered within this course, please refer to the Course Outline section below. I spent just a day to go through and finish the course. After completed the course, I have 2 choices, just take the course completion certificate or take the certification exam to get certified.

Certification Exam

One important thing to note about this deal is that exam is not included as part of this offer. You can however, complete the course and also receive your digital certificate of attendance. If you to want get CyberSecurity Essentials certified, you will need to purchase the certification exam voucher (valid for 6 months), you have to pay £70.00 which is around $95.

Below are the exam details.

Certification Name: ICSI | CyberSecurity Essentials
Exam Code: CSESS
Exam Type: 30 Multiple Choice Questions (Closed Book)
Time Allowed: 1 Hour
Pass Mark: 70%
Validity: Does not expire
Exam Fee: £70.00 (valid for 6 months)

For me, I decided not to take certification exam due to the fact I have had several certifications in this field already, so I don’t think that it is necessary for me to take this certification.

Final Thought

I think this course is quite good for student or newbie IT guy who would like to expand their knowledge on CyberSecurity. I would say that most of this course are focusing on the delivering theory used in CyberSecurity or Information Security. I think £70.00 certification exam fee is quite steep if we compare it to CNSS certification exam which costs £75.00 but with lab included. As a result, I would not recommend anyone to take their certification exam. However, I would recommend anyone to claim it for free, learn course and earn course completion certificate.

However, if we look at the full course and exam fee for CyberSecurity Essentials without COVID-19 deal, we can see that it is £250 which is around $330. If we take into account the full course and exam fee and compare it with similar course within this price range such as Security+ by CompTIA, we can see that Security+ has more modules, covered more domains of knowledge and way better recognition by security professional than CyberSecurity Essentials. As a result, I would recommend anyone to go with CompTIA Security+ if they have quite tight budget and would like to get a foundation certification on CyberSecurity.

Course Outline

This course has 10 modules, and each module ends with a quiz.

  1. Module 1: Information Security
    • What is Security
    • Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability triad
    • Privacy
    • Non-Repudiation
    • Types of Attacks
    • Threats, Vulnerabilities and Risk
    • Risk Management
    • Quiz
  2. Module 2: Identification, Authentication and Authorisation
    • Identification
    • Quiz
  3. Module 3Access Control
    • Access Control
    • Quiz
  4. Module 4: Law and Compliance
    • Laws and Regulations
    • Compliance
    • Quiz
  5. Module 5: Cryptography
    • History
    • Quiz
  6. Module 6: Network Infrastructure and Security
    • IP Protocols
    • Management Protocols
    • Routers and Switches
    • Firewalls, IDS / IPS, VPNS
    • Wireless Security
    • Mobile Device Security
    • Network Security Tools
    • Quiz
  7. Module 7: Microsoft Windows Infrastructure
    • Active Directory Domain Services
    • Group Policy Objects
    • Operating System Hardening
    • Operating System Security Tools
    • Quiz
  8. Module 8: UNIX / Linux Server
    • Third Party Software Updates
    • Core Operating System updates
    • Hardening a Unix/Linux Server
    • Quiz
  9. Module 9: Application Security
    • Software Development Vulnerabilities
    • Buffer Overflows
    • Input Validation Attacks
    • Authentication, Authorization and Cryptographic Attacks
    • Web Security
    • Database Security
    • Application Security tools
    • Quiz
  10. Module 10: Incident Response and Recovery
    • What is Incident Response
    • The Incident Response Process Model
    • Why Incident Response is needed
    • Business Continuity
    • Quiz

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