Google Cyber Security Course: A Comprehensive Overview for Beginners in 2023

 Google Cyber Security Course

Cyber security has become one of the most crucial issues facing individuals, organizations, and governments in the digital age. As more sensitive data is stored online and systems become increasingly interconnected, the risk of cyber attacks continues to rise. Developing cyber security skills and knowledge has never been more important for those looking to protect themselves and others from cyber threats.

Google offers a range of cyber security courses through its IT Support Professional Certificate program on Coursera. These courses provide a solid introduction to core cyber security concepts and skills for beginners. Whether you’re looking to start a career in cyber security, build cyber security knowledge for your current IT role, or gain skills to better protect your personal data, Google’s cyber security courses offer an accessible and valuable learning experience.

 Introduction to Google’s Cyber Security Course Curriculum

Google’s cyber security course curriculum consists of five courses that make up the IT Support Professional Certificate program. While all five courses provide valuable IT skills training, two focus specifically on core cyber security topics:

 Technical Support Fundamentals

This course introduces foundational IT support skills including computer components and architecture, operating systems like Windows and Linux, networking, system administration, troubleshooting, and customer service. These form a base of technical knowledge for other cyber security topics.

 The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking

This course dives deeper into computer networking concepts like the OSI model, IP addresses, LANs, WANs, TCP/UDP, SSH, HTTP/HTTPS, DNS, and how the internet actually works. Understanding networking is crucial for cyber security roles.

 Operating Systems and You: Becoming a Power User

Students learn about popular operating systems like Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android in terms of usability, operations, managing software/hardware, control panels, file systems, user accounts, permissions, and data encryption. These OS security features are vital knowledge.

 Systems Administration and IT Infrastructure Services

This course explores system administration, directory services like Active Directory, server management, storage solutions, IT infrastructure monitoring, backup, disaster recovery, and service management. System administration skills enable cyber security tasks.

 IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to cyber security topics including security threats, defense methods, cryptography, public key infrastructure, authentication, malware, viruses, phishing, firewalls, and more. It’s a core course for cyber security.

Beyond these courses, Google also offers a 6-course Professional Certificate in Cybersecurity Analytics which provides further intermediate skills. However, the IT Support Professional Certificate delivers all the core knowledge needed to start learning cyber security.

 Key Topics Covered in Google’s Cyber Security Course

Google’s IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts course covers the most important introductory cyber security topics. Here are some of the key topics included:

 Common Cyber Threats

  • Malware like viruses, ransomware, spyware, Trojans, and worms
  • Phishing attacks via email, phone calls, SMS, or fraudulent websites
  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks
  • Drive-by download attacks
  • Password cracking attacks like brute force attacks
  • Data breaches
  • Insider threats
  • Ransomware attacks

 Cryptography Concepts

  • Symmetric-key algorithms like AES, 3DES, RC4
  • Asymmetric-key algorithms like RSA, Diffie-Hellman
  • Hashing algorithms like MD5, SHA-1
  • Digital signatures and digital certificates
  • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

 Authentication Methods

  • Password-based authentication
  • Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
  • Biometric authentication
  • Single Sign-On (SSO)

 Network Security Controls

  • Firewalls
  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)
  • VPNs and encrypted tunnels
  • Network segmentation
  • Honeypots/honeynets
  • DLP solutions

 Security Best Practices

  • Least privilege and separation of duties
  • Defense of in-depth strategies
  • Password policies and password managers
  • Principles of least privilege
  • Zero trust model
  • Securing endpoints
  • Patch management
  • Access management
  • Data encryption, tokenization, masking
  • Logging and monitoring
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Incident response

This provides a high-level overview of the core cyber security topics included in Google’s IT Security course. Students gain conceptual knowledge as well as practical skills to start applying these concepts immediately.

 Learning Format: Video Lectures, Readings, and Hands-On Labs

Google’s cyber security courses use an engaging and effective learning format combining short video lectures, supplemental readings, knowledge checks, and hands-on labs.

  •  Instructional Videos: Each module features professionally produced instructional videos explaining concepts clearly through animations, on-screen demos, and lectures from experienced instructors. Videos range from 2-10 minutes to optimize engagement.
  •  Readings: Selected readings allow students to dive deeper into module topics. These expertly-curated readings from top cyber security sources provide additional context.
  •  Knowledge Checks: Short multiple choice quizzes during and after each module encourage comprehension checks and reinforce new knowledge.
  • Qwiklabs: These live cloud labs give students hands-on experience with cyber security tools in real environments. Students get practical experience with Linux, cryptography tools, Wireshark, security utilities, DDoS mitigation, and more.

This blended learning approach caters to different learning styles and maintains high engagement levels. The hands-on labs are a particularly big advantage, allowing learners to immediately apply their new cyber security skills.

 Instructor Profiles: Real-World Cyber Security Experts

The Google IT Support Professional Certificate program features highly experienced cyber security instructors who lend their real-world expertise. Key instructors include:

  •  Google employees: Many instructors come directly from Google’s own IT support and cyber security teams, bringing insider knowledge.
  •  Veteran IT support professionals: Some instructors have 10-20+ years working in technical support and cyber security roles before teaching.
  •  Certified cyber security experts: Instructors hold credentials like CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker, and more.
  •  Experienced trainers: In addition to subject matter expertise, instructors are seasoned technical trainers adept at breaking down complex topics.

Students learn from a rotation of talented, qualified instructors who make concepts relatable through real-life examples. The instructors’ profiles showcase their credentials and experience to establish authority.

 Skills Gained: Core Cyber Security Knowledge & Proficiency

Google designed its IT Support Professional Certificate program to equip learners with immediately relevant skills for tech jobs. After completing the cyber security courses, students gain well-rounded proficiency in core cyber security domains:

  •  Threat analysis: Identify and assess common cyber threats like malware, phishing, MitM attacks, insider threats, and data breaches.
  •  Risk management: Reduce attack surfaces through best practices like defense in depth, least privilege, patching, encryption, monitoring, access control, and backups.
  •  Incident response: Understand effective incident response plans involving detection, containment, eradication, and recovery steps.
  •  Cryptography: Use symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms and hashing functions to provide confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation security services.
  •  Network security: Implement firewalls, IDS/IPS systems, VPNs, proxies, and network segmentation to protect infrastructure.
  •  OS security: Apply OS hardening techniques like disabling unnecessary services/ports, account management, permissions, encryption, and updates.
  •  Security operations: Gain familiarity with day-to-day security operations including monitoring, alerting, analysis, escalation, and tech/user education.

The applied, hands-on nature of the courses allows learners to begin applying these skills immediately to make systems and data more secure.

 Certification: Earn a Professional Certificate from Google

Upon successfully completing all five courses and passing the module assessments in the IT Support Professional Certificate program, students earn an official certificate of completion from Google.

This professional credential verifies one’s knowledge and proficiency in essential IT support and cyber security skills. Given Google’s industry reputation, this certificate strongly signals job readiness to employers.

Many IT support and entry-level cyber security roles list Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate as a preferred qualification. Earning this certificate can give job applicants a competitive edge.

 Related Cyber Security Certifications

  • While Google’s certificate provides a quality introductory cyber security education, learners can expand their skills further with related certifications like:
  •  CompTIA Security+: Considered the gold standard for cyber security certs, the CompTIA Security+ validates core knowledge across security domains.
  •  EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): CEH training develops hacking skills used to identify vulnerabilities from an attacker’s viewpoint.
  •  ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): CISM certifies advanced IT security management expertise for those leading infosec teams.
  •  ISC2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): The CISSP is the pinnacle cyber security certification covering managerial and technical topics.
  •  (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP): As a more accessible alternative to the CISSP, SSCP still validates robust security skills.

Google’s program offers an excellent starting point before pursuing more advanced cyber security certifications like these.

 Learning Paths: Pursuing a Cyber Security Career with Google

Beyond Google’s introductory courses, learners can continue advancing their cyber security skills with Google Cloud’s more comprehensive learning paths:

 Associate Cloud Engineer:

This learning path expands cloud computing skills with security topics like Cloud IAM, VPC service controls, Cloud KMS, Chronicle security analytics, and more advanced use cases.

 Professional Cloud Security Engineer:

This advanced path includes security courses around compliance, network security, workload security, incident response, OS hardening, attack detection, forensics, and other topics.

 Professional Collaboration Engineer:

For a collaboration technology slant, this path teaches secure configuration, access controls, encryption, threat prevention, monitoring, and recovery for tools like Workspace and Chat.

 Professional G Suite Administrator:

Build expertise in securing Google Workspace through deployment, access controls, auditing, device management, data loss prevention, retention/disposition, and integrated threat prevention.

With cyber security roles in such high demand, Google’s robust course offerings and recognizable brand provide a strong launchpad for an exciting career protecting critical systems and data.


Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate delivers an impactful entry point into the cyber security field. Through Coursera, the program makes introductory cyber security education accessible to anyone.

The curriculum explores security topics ranging from common threats to cryptography concepts, network defenses, best practices, and beyond. Video lectures, readings, knowledge checks, and hands-on labs keep learning interactive. Experienced instructors also lend their real-world expertise.

Upon completing the five courses and passing assessments, students earn an official Google certificate. This professional credential validates one’s core proficiency in IT support and cyber security roles. Given Google’s reputation, the certificate strongly signals job readiness.

For beginners, Google’s program provides tremendous value through its quality curriculum, prestigious brand, and affordable cost. It offers an ideal first step before pursuing more advanced cyber security certifications and job roles. Whether looking to break into the cyber security field or expand existing IT and security skills, Google’s program delivers a technical education with immense ROI.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is the Google IT Support Professional Certificate suited for?

This program works well for beginners pursuing careers in fields like IT support, system administration, cyber security, networking, cloud computing, and related roles. Some professional job experience is helpful, but not required.

What are the prerequisites for enrolling in the certificate?

There are no strict prerequisites. Basic computer literacy, problem solving skills, willingness to learn technical concepts, English language proficiency, and high school level math skills will provide a good foundation. Prior IT and cyber security exposure is helpful but not assumed.

How long does it take to complete the full certificate program?

At a 5-10 hour weekly commitment, most learners complete the 5-course certificate in 4-6 months. Accelerated options allow finishing in as little as 3 months. Self-paced enrollment allows custom timelines.

What is the cost of enrollment in Google’s cyber security program?

The total program cost is approximately $49/month. Individual courses can also be purchased from $39-59 each. Financial assistance options make costs affordable for most learners.

What are the grading criteria for the courses?

Students must achieve an overall score of 80% by passing all graded assignments and assessments. Assignments apply real-world technical concepts explored in lessons.

Do I earn continuing education units (CEUs) or college credits?

Currently, the courses do not offer formal CEUs or college credits. However, you receive a certificate of completion from Google that affirms your new skills.

Can I get a tuition refund if unsatisfied?

Coursera provides full refunds within the first two weeks, no questions asked. Partial refunds are available up to four weeks after purchase to accommodate life circumstances.

Google’s cyber security courses through Coursera provide an extremely accessible yet high quality introduction to information security. The program is flexible for individuals looking to start or advance their cyber security career.

READ MORE: Best Cybersecurity Courses 2023

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