A few weeks ago I finished up my most recent online course, “How to Build a Cyber Lab at Home”. I built this course because I believe that in order to be a great cyber security engineer or analyst you have to have the mindset of constant learning. The technology moves so quickly that if you are not learning something new all the time then you are falling behind. Because I believe this so deeply I have decided to make this course free forever. But before we talk about the course let’s talk about why it’s important to have a lab.
I work with a lot of really talented engineers and cyber security professionals. One thing I’ve noticed about the best of them is that they come in to work and do their job to the best of their ability. However when they go home, they continue to practice their skills. Not because they have to, but because they want to. This on not just a career for them, it’s a hobby and for some people I’d say it’s a lifestyle. This is what separates a good cyber professional from an excellent cyber professional.
Another observation of mine is that these excellent cyber professionals is that they have some sort of lab where they are able to test new products and learn new technologies. Some may want to just learn the new IDS/IPS systems others want to dabble in malware reverse engineering. By having their own lab, they are able to practice and make mistakes with out compromising critical systems. If they screw something up, all they have to do is rebuild the lab machines and they are able to continue testing.
This is why I believe that having a cyber lab is of great importance to the general cyber security community. So a little about the class, I’ve broken this class in to three sections, 1) Plan Your Lab, 2) Build Your Lab and 3) Use Your Lab. Each of these sections has lectures designed to get you thinking about how to best use a lab once you have build yours. Because I have decided that this course will be free for life, I’ve uploaded the entire video lecture series on YouTube here. Though I highly encourage you to sign up for the course on Udemy here, the benefit over YouTube is that Udemy offers a place for the instructors and students to interact and it’s my hope that there will be a lot of collaboration there.