Can I Learn Ethical Hacking for Free?

Ethical Hacking

Do you picture hackers as those bad guys who wear a hoodie, type something on the keyboard and their screen displays a green colored falling matrix to bypass the firewall? Well, the job may seem interesting for you but you don’t have to necessarily be someone with malicious intent. There are ethical hackers too – people who gain access to a company’s systems and networks and find loopholes, but with the permission of concerned authorities. Such professionals are in high demand these days owing to the alarming rate of cyberattacks happening across the world.

Ethical hacking basically refers to the practice of penetrating the digital systems of an organization and finding the vulnerabilities and loopholes before they can be exploited by malicious hackers. The organization that owns the computer systems and networks allows ethical hackers to bypass the firewall in order to test the system’s defenses. Thus, ethical hacking is a planned, approved, and legal activity that helps organizations deal with any kind of cyber threat before it can cause any serious impact.  

Professionals in the IT industry are now looking up to ethical hacking as a promising career option. They are not only learning the ethical hacking basics but gaining practical knowledge as well to become job-ready. The growing popularity of this field has led to the emergence of various online courses that help learners understand the subject well. Many online training providers now offer free and paid courses and have flexible learning options for working professionals. If you are a beginner, you may be skeptical about taking a paid course directly and would prefer to take a free course instead.

So, in this article, we have listed down some of the top courses in ethical hacking where you get registered for free and start learning. 

Here goes the list!

Ethical Hacking for Beginners

Training provider – SkillUp by Simplilearn

Simplilearn is a leading certification training provider and offers a range of online courses on cybersecurity. Its SkillUp initiative is popular among beginners where courses are available for free. This ethical hacking basics course makes you familiar with different types of hackers, ethical hacking tools, and gaining access to a network, and identifying vulnerabilities in the system. The three hours of comprehensive video lectures cover a wide range of skills like cryptography, Linux and databases, trojans, backdoors, IDS firewalls, honeypots, and network packet analysis. 

The course is suitable for network security officers, IS/IT auditors, IT operations managers, site administrators, IT security officers, and anyone who wishes to understand the ethical hacking fundamentals. 

Introduction to Ethical Hacking

Training Provider – LinkedIn Learning

This course is designed to help you become aware of the present-day threat landscape and dissect the top attack vectors and motives for attacks. The instructor for this Ethical hacking for beginners course is highly qualified and makes you familiar with a variety of ways to secure an organization, explore policies that help enforce security objectives, and more. The syllabus is divided into the following sections:

  • Ethical Hacking overview
  • Information Security controls
  • Data protection in a digital world
  • Supporting ethical hacking

Though the course is not free, LinkedIn allows a one-month free trial for every new user, and you can get registered to access the course without paying any amount. 

Penetration Testing – Discovering Vulnerabilities 

Training Provider – The New York University on edX

You can learn the basics of penetration testing, its methodologies, recognizance, and enumeration with this online course on edX. The program is a part of the Cybersecurity Fundamentals Micro Bachelors program by NYU. It begins the development of ethical hacking skills by offering a complete overview of penetration testing. Learners will gain hands-on experience scanning for targets and vulnerabilities. The concluding lesson is on the threat modeling and vulnerability identification phase. 

The course duration is 5 weeks when you spend around 8 to 10 hours per week. You can access the course for free but the course completion certificate is only given to those who pay the course fee. 

Hacking and Patching Course

Training provider – the University of Colorado on Coursera

This course incorporates hacking web apps with command injection vulnerabilities in a web site of AWS Linux instance as its main topic. It also explores concepts like searching valuable information on a typical Linux system with LAMP services and depositing and hiding Trojans for future exploitation. The program is a part of the Fundamentals of Computer Network Security Specialization on Coursera. You can complete the course in 15 hours and learn at your own schedule.  

The syllabus is as follows:

  • Injection web app attacks and their defenses
  • Hack SQL databases and patch web apps with SQL injection vulnerabilities
  • Memory attacks and defenses
  • Penetration testing

If you haven’t already enrolled in the Coursera platform, you may get a limited free trial time to access the course. There is financial aid also available that you can check on the website. 

Ethical hacking is one of the fastest-growing IT careers and you should definitely consider this option. Digital transformation has led to increased cyber breaches and companies need professionals who can think as smartly as malicious hackers to protect their systems. Enroll in any of the above courses and take charge of your career.  


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