The course on Cybersecurity is the third and last course developed within the framework of Digital SkillUp: the brand name of the outputs created under the European Digital Academy project, funded by the European Commission with support of the European Parliament. The project is dedicated to making basic knowledge on emerging technologies available and accessible to all citizens and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The course on Cybersecurity targets absolute beginners to offer a foundational perspective of the fundamental aspects and elements linked to cybersecurity today. While no prerequisite knowledge is required, the course builds upon the material of its two predecessors - the Digital Revolution and Emerging Technologies to offer a comprehensive picture of the various ways in which emerging technologies are intertwined - and their precise security requirements. Structured in 5 chapters, the course is further broken down into sections, which dive in deeper into specific issues related to cyber and network security. Major themes include:
Identity and privacy
The course offers an introduction to cybersecurity using non-technical language: what it is, and what its essential elements are. Building on the general notion of risk online and associated concepts (asset, vulnerability, threat, impact), identity and privacy remain central concepts to the course's objective - of equipping users with the knowledge they need to recognise, identify and address threats online. Learners will also have an opportunity to reflect on the privacy risk of digital activities and improve their awareness of protecting themselves against common risks, such as data theft, identity theft, cookies, profiling, tracing and others. They will also understand and learn to identify common hacking threats (malware, phishing, social engineering, hardware failure, theft or loss) and discuss their implications on a broader level. Other themes include: various rights and existing standards when it comes to privacy, as well as real-life examples and practical tips on protecting one's identities and making sure passwords are secure.
With more and more connected devices and more and more data being generated each second, the need for secure communication is shared by individuals and businesses alike. One chapter of this course is therefore dedicated to the practice of securing communications: why these exist, what are the needs and prerequisites of establishing a secure communication channel, and what are the types of online attacks likely to impact security of information online? The course explores subjects such as messaging and end-to-end encryption to help users identify appropriate security measures and position them along the different activities of defence (protection/prevention, detection, recovery).
Networks and hardware
Networks and hardware is another chapter within the course, which aims to build links between various technologies and their implications on industrial and societal level. Learners will dive deeper into networks and hardware, from cryptography services to key public infrastructure. Within this chapter, learners can put the start towards their own simple and personal cyber-safety action plan, identifying threats and vulnerabilities and implementing solutions.
With each section of the course taking around 45 minutes to complete, Digital SkillUp's course is a good introduction to anyone interested in learning about cybersecurity at the time that suits them best and offers a sound theoretical understanding of the evolution of emerging technologies and the impact this could have on cybersecurity in general. Completely self-paced and fully online, the course deploys real-life-examples and exercises to support responsible personal and professional use and foster an improved awareness of online risks and problem-solving strategies.