IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts Course Reviews

The course IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts, authored by Google Career Certificates and available on Coursera, provides a comprehensive overview of essential concepts in the field of information technology security.

 IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts Course Reviews
IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts Course Reviews

The course is designed to equip learners with the necessary knowledge and skills to defend against various digital threats and cyberattacks. Covering a range of topics, the course delves into key areas such as network security, cryptography, secure coding practices, and incident response.

Learners are introduced to fundamental concepts related to securing computer networks, understanding vulnerabilities, and implementing protective measures. They explore encryption techniques, authentication protocols, and methods to ensure data confidentiality and integrity. The course also emphasizes the importance of secure coding practices to prevent common vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.

Furthermore, the course equips participants with insights into the evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats and trends. It highlights the significance of staying up-to-date with emerging attack vectors and techniques used by malicious actors. Through hands-on exercises and practical examples, learners gain the experience needed to identify, assess, and respond to security incidents effectively.

By the end of the course, participants will have a solid foundation in IT security principles and practices, enabling them to better protect digital assets, maintain the integrity of systems, and contribute to safeguarding sensitive information in both personal and professional contexts.


Course Content:

This course covers a wide variety of IT security concepts, tools, and best practices. It introduces threats and attacks and the many ways they can show up. We’ll give you some background of encryption algorithms and how they’re used to safeguard data. Then, we’ll dive into the three As of information security: authentication, authorization, and accounting. We’ll also cover network security solutions, ranging from firewalls to Wifi encryption options. The course is rounded out by putting all these elements together into a multi-layered, in-depth security architecture, followed by recommendations on how to integrate a culture of security into your organization or team.

The course IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts by Google Career Certificates on Coursera is divided into 7 modules. Here is a detailed breakdown of the modules:

Module 1: Understanding Security Threats

Welcome to the IT Security course of the IT Support Professional Certificate! In the first week of this course, we will cover the basics of security in an IT environment. We will learn how to define and recognize security risks, vulnerabilities and threats. We'll identify the most common security attacks in an organization and understand how security revolves around the "CIA" principle. By the end of this module, you will know the types of malicious software, network attacks, client-side attacks, and the essential security terms you'll see in the workplace.

What's included

10 videos  10 readings  4 quizzes

10 videosTotal 32 minutes
  • Course Introduction5 minutesPreview module
  • The CIA Triad2 minutes
  • Essential Security Terms3 minutes
  • Malicious Software4 minutes
  • Malware Continued2 minutes
  • Network Attacks3 minutes
  • Denial-of-Service3 minutes
  • Client-Side Attacks2 minutes
  • Password Attacks2 minutes
  • Deceptive Attacks3 minutes
10 readingsTotal 100 minutes
  • Navigating Coursera10 minutes
  • How to Use Discussion Forums10 minutes
  • Get to Know Your Classmates10 minutes
  • Antimalware Protection, Malware Removal10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Malicious Software10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Network Attacks10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for DDoS Attacks10 minutes
  • Deceptive Attacks10 minutes
  • Physical Security10 minutes
  • Module 1 Glossary10 minutes
4 quizzesTotal 93 minutes
  • Understanding Security Threats65 minutes
  • Malicious Software14 minutes
  • Network Attacks8 minutes
  • Other Attacks6 minutes


Module 2: Pelcgbybtl (Cryptology)

In the second week of this course, we'll learn about cryptology. We'll explore different types of encryption practices and how they work. We'll show you the most common algorithms used in cryptography and how they've evolved over time. By the end of this module, you'll understand how symmetric encryption, asymmetric encryption, and hashing work; you'll also know how to choose the most appropriate cryptographic method for a scenario you may see in the workplace.

What's included

16 videos  10 readings  5 quizzes

16 videosTotal 75 minutes
  • Cryptography7 minutesPreview module
  • Symmetric Cryptography4 minutes
  • Symmetric Encryption Algorithms7 minutes
  • Rob: The work of a security engineer1 minute
  • Asymmetric Cryptography3 minutes
  • Symmetric Cryptography, Part Two3 minutes
  • Asymmetric Encryption Algorithms5 minutes
  • Hashing3 minutes
  • Hashing Algorithms4 minutes
  • Hashing Algorithms (continued)5 minutes
  • Public Key Infrastructure5 minutes
  • Certificates3 minutes
  • Cryptography in Action8 minutes
  • Securing Network Traffic5 minutes
  • Cryptographic Hardware6 minutes
  • Rejection0 minutes
10 readingsTotal 100 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for The Future of Cryptanalysis10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Symmetric Encryptions10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Asymmetric Encryption Attack10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for SHA1 Attacks10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for the X.509 Standard10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for PGP10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Securing Network Traffic10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for TPM Attacks10 minutes
  • Module 2 Glossary10 minutes
  • Qwiklabs Introduction10 minutes
5 quizzesTotal 58 minutes
  • Symmetric Encryption10 minutes
  • Public Key or Asymmetric Encryption6 minutes
  • Hashing8 minutes
  • Cryptography Applications6 minutes
  • Pelcgbybtl (Cryptology) 28 minutes


Module 3: The 3 A's of Cybersecurity: Authentication, Authorization, Accounting

In the third week of this course, we'll learn about the "three A's" in cybersecurity. No matter what type of tech role you're in, it's important to understand how authentication, authorization, and accounting work within an organization. By the end of this module, you'll be able to choose the most appropriate method of authentication, authorization, and level of access granted for users in an organization.

What's included

14 videos  5 readings  3 quizzes

14 videosTotal 46 minutes
  • Best practices for authentication6 minutesPreview module
  • Multifactor Authentication5 minutes
  • Multifactor Authentication Options5 minutes
  • Certificates, Part Two3 minutes
  • RADIUS1 minute
  • Kerberos7 minutes
  • TACACS+1 minute
  • Single Sign-On3 minutes
  • Rob: My path to IT1 minute
  • Authorization and Access Control Methods1 minute
  • Access Control4 minutes
  • Access Control List1 minute
  • Tracking Usage and Access2 minutes
  • Rob: Important skills in security1 minute
5 readingsTotal 50 minutes
  • Physical Privacy and Security Components10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Authentication10 minutes
  • Mobile Security Methods10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Authorization10 minutes
  • Module 3 Glossary10 minutes
3 quizzesTotal 87 minutes
  • Authentication, Authorization, Accounting Quiz 55 minutes
  • Authentication26 minutes
  • Authorization and Accounting6 minutes


Module 4: Securing Your Networks

In the fourth week of this course, we'll learn about secure network architecture. It's important to know how to implement security measures on a network environment, so we'll show you some of the best practices to protect an organization's network. We'll learn about some of the risks of wireless networks and how to mitigate them. We'll also cover ways to monitor network traffic and read packet captures. By the end of this module, you'll understand how VPNs, proxies and reverse proxies work; why 802.1X is a super important for network protection; understand why WPA/WPA2 is better than WEP; and know how to use tcpdump to capture and analyze packets on a network. That's a lot of information, but well worth it for an IT Support Specialist to understand!

What's included

12 videos  10 readings  4 quizzes

12 videosTotal 63 minutes
  • Network Hardening Best Practices8 minutesPreview module
  • Network Hardware Hardening8 minutes
  • Network Software Hardening4 minutes
  • Joe: My personal obstacle0 minutes
  • WEP Encryption and Why You Shouldn't Use It7 minutes
  • Let's Get Rid of WEP!6 minutes
  • WPA26 minutes
  • Wireless Hardening2 minutes
  • Heather: The impact of social engineering1 minute
  • Sniffing the Network4 minutes
  • Wireshark and tcpdump6 minutes
  • Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems6 minutes
10 readingsTotal 100 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Network Hardening Best Practices10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading on IEEE 802.1X10 minutes
  • Supplementary reading on HAProxy, nginx and Apache HTTP server10 minutes
  • Supplementary reading for WEP Encryption and Why You Shouldn't Use It10 minutes
  • Supplementary reading on WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) PIN brute force vulnerability10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Promiscuous Mode10 minutes
  • Supplemental reading for Intrusion Detection/Prevention System10 minutes
  • Unified Threat Management (UTM) 10 minutes
  • Home Network Security 10 minutes
  • Module 4 Glossary10 minutes
4 quizzesTotal 66 minutes
  • Secure Network Architecture14 minutes
  • Wireless Security8 minutes
  • Network Monitoring10 minutes
  • Securing Your Networks34 minutes


Module 5: Defense in Depth

In the fifth week of this course, we're going to go more in-depth into security defense. We'll cover ways to implement methods for system hardening, application hardening, and determine the policies for OS security. By the end of this module, you'll know why it's important to disable unnecessary components of a system, learn about host-based firewalls, setup anti-malware protection, implement disk encryption, and configure software patch management and application policies.

What's included

9 videos  6 readings  3 quizzes

9 videosTotal 41 minutes
  • Intro to Defense in Depth1 minutePreview module
  • Disabling Unnecessary Components4 minutes
  • Host-Based Firewall4 minutes
  • Logging and Auditing6 minutes
  • Antimalware Protection7 minutes
  • Disk Encryption6 minutes
  • Heather: Self-learning is the key to success1 minute
  • Software Patch Management6 minutes
  • Application Policies3 minutes
6 readingsTotal 60 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Logging and Auditing10 minutes
  • Windows Defender Guide10 minutes
  • Supplemental Readings for Antimalware Protection10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Disk Encryption10 minutes
  • Browser Hardening10 minutes
  • Module 5 Glossary10 minutes
3 quizzesTotal 64 minutes
  • Defense in Depth40 minutes
  • System Hardening20 minutes
  • Application Hardening4 minutes


Module 6: Creating a Company Culture for Security

Congratulations, you've made it to the final week in the course! In the last week of this course, we'll explore ways to create a company culture for security. It's important for any tech role to determine appropriate measures to meet the three goals of security. By the end of this module, you will develop a security plan for an organization to demonstrate the skills you've learned in this course. You're almost done, keep up the great work!

What's included

16 videos  14 readings  6 quizzes

16 videosTotal 55 minutes
  • Security Goals6 minutesPreview module
  • Measuring and Assessing Risk5 minutes
  • Privacy Policy3 minutes
  • User Habits5 minutes
  • Third-Party Security3 minutes
  • Security Training3 minutes
  • Alex: Qualities of an IT candidate1 minute
  • Incident Reporting and Analysis6 minutes
  • Incident Response and Recovery5 minutes
  • Mobile Security and Privacy3 minutes
  • Amir: Tips for interviews 1 minute
  • Ari: Tips for interviews1 minute
  • Interview Role Play: Security4 minutes
  • Final Assessment0 minutes
  • Framing yourself1 minute
  • Congratulations!0 minutes
14 readingsTotal 140 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Risk in the Workplace10 minutes
  • Data Destruction10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for User Habits10 minutes
  • Supplemental Reading for Vendor Security Assessment Questionnaires10 minutes
  • Incident Response10 minutes
  • Supplemental Readings for Mobile Security and Privacy10 minutes
  • Bring Your Own Device10 minutes
  • Invitation to Sign Up for Big Interview10 minutes
  • Final Project - Sample Submission10 minutes
  • How to Add Google IT Support Certificate to Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile10 minutes
  • Common Job Search Terms10 minutes
  • Module 6 Glossary10 minutes
  • Course 5 Glossary10 minutes
  • Information and FAQs about badges10 minutes
6 quizzesTotal 108 minutes
  • Creating a Company Culture for Security55 minutes
  • Creating a Company Culture for Security - Design Document30 minutes
  • Risk in the Workplace10 minutes
  • Users4 minutes
  • Incident Handling4 minutes
  • Your Access to Google Job Search Resources5 minutes


Module 7: Prepare for Jobs in IT Support

You will engage in a series of interactive activities based on concepts you’ve explored and skills you’ve gained throughout the program. You’ll also explore job readiness skills, develop your resume, and practice interviewing for jobs.



As a former learner who has completed the IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts course offered by Google Career Certificates on Coursera, I am pleased to share my evaluation of the program. This course proved to be an invaluable journey into the realm of cybersecurity, equipping me with essential knowledge and practical skills that have had a profound impact on my understanding of IT security.

The course content was expertly curated, covering a wide range of topics crucial to modern cybersecurity. The material was presented in a well-structured manner, progressively building on foundational concepts before delving into more advanced areas. The inclusion of real-world case studies and examples enriched my learning experience, as they demonstrated the practical application of the theories discussed.

One of the standout aspects of the course was its emphasis on hands-on learning. The interactive exercises and simulations allowed me to engage directly with security tools and techniques, fostering a deeper understanding of how to defend against various digital threats. The practical assignments not only challenged me to apply the concepts I learned but also provided me with a tangible sense of accomplishment upon completion.

The instructors were clearly experts in the field, delivering the content with clarity and enthusiasm. Their ability to convey complex ideas in an accessible manner was truly commendable. Additionally, the discussion forums facilitated meaningful interactions with fellow learners, enabling the exchange of insights, questions, and perspectives that further enriched my understanding.

Furthermore, the course's relevance to real-world scenarios was evident throughout. I appreciated the focus on current cybersecurity challenges and emerging trends, which ensured that I was well-prepared to address contemporary threats. The inclusion of industry best practices and guidance on staying up-to-date with the evolving threat landscape was invaluable.

Upon completing the course, I felt a heightened sense of confidence in my ability to contribute effectively to IT security efforts. The skills I acquired have been instrumental in my professional growth, allowing me to implement secure practices in my organization and enhance the overall cybersecurity posture.

In summary, the IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts course by Google Career Certificates is a comprehensive and engaging program that offers both theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary for anyone interested in the field of cybersecurity. The course's structure, hands-on approach, and commitment to real-world relevance make it a standout choice for individuals seeking to fortify their understanding of IT security in today's digital landscape.


What you'll learn:

After completing the IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts course authored by Google Career Certificates on Coursera, learners will acquire a range of valuable skills in the field of information technology security. These skills include:

  1. Network Security Knowledge: Learners will gain a solid understanding of network security principles, including how to identify vulnerabilities, implement secure configurations, and protect networks from unauthorized access.

  2. Cryptography Expertise: Participants will be well-versed in cryptographic techniques, understanding how encryption and decryption work, and how to use cryptography to secure data and communications.

  3. Secure Coding Practices: The course will equip learners with the ability to implement secure coding practices, ensuring that software and applications are developed with security in mind, reducing the risk of common vulnerabilities.

  4. Incident Response Abilities: Learners will be prepared to effectively respond to security incidents, including identifying the scope of attacks, containing the breach, and initiating recovery processes.

  5. Understanding of Threat Landscape: Participants will be familiar with the evolving threat landscape, recognizing various types of cyberattacks, understanding attacker tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), and staying current with emerging threats.

  6. Authentication and Authorization Skills: Learners will know how to implement strong authentication and authorization mechanisms, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to systems and resources.

  7. Risk Assessment and Mitigation: The course will provide skills in assessing security risks and implementing strategies to mitigate potential vulnerabilities, helping to safeguard digital assets.

  8. Data Confidentiality and Integrity: Participants will learn how to protect the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data through encryption, access controls, and data protection measures.

  9. Security Best Practices: Learners will become familiar with industry best practices for maintaining a secure computing environment and staying proactive against potential threats.

  10. Hands-on Experience: Through practical exercises and real-world examples, participants will gain hands-on experience in applying security principles, which will enable them to effectively secure systems and respond to security challenges.

These skills collectively prepare learners to contribute to IT security efforts in various roles, ranging from network administrators and cybersecurity analysts to software developers and IT managers. The course aims to empower individuals with the knowledge and abilities needed to defend against the digital dark arts and protect digital assets in an increasingly interconnected world.



Description of Google Career Certificates:

Google Career Certificates is a comprehensive program offered by Google that provides individuals with practical, job-focused training in various high-demand fields. These certificates are designed to equip learners with the skills they need to enter or advance in specific industries, even if they don't have a traditional college degree. The program aims to bridge the gap between education and employment by offering accessible, affordable, and relevant training that aligns with the needs of today's job market.

The Google Career Certificates cover a range of disciplines, including IT support, data analytics, project management, user experience (UX) design, and more. Each certificate program includes a series of interactive, hands-on modules that are developed in collaboration with industry experts and employers. These modules focus on practical skills, real-world scenarios, and industry-specific tools, ensuring that learners gain relevant experience that can be immediately applied in their chosen field.

Professional Assessment:

Google Career Certificates have garnered significant attention and positive feedback within the education and employment sectors. These certificates are well-regarded for several reasons:

  1. Industry-Relevant Skills: The programs focus on teaching skills that are directly applicable to today's job market, helping individuals develop the practical abilities needed to excel in their chosen field.

  2. Accessibility: The program is accessible to a wide range of learners, irrespective of their educational background. This inclusivity helps address workforce diversity and inclusion challenges.

  3. Affordability: The certificates are priced at a fraction of the cost of a traditional degree, making quality education more accessible and affordable to a broader audience.

  4. Job Placement Support: Google collaborates with employers and industry partners, offering resources for job placement assistance and networking opportunities, potentially improving graduates' chances of finding relevant employment.

  5. Recognized by Industry: Many employers recognize and value Google Career Certificates as indicators of practical skills and job readiness, which can give graduates a competitive edge in the job market.

  6. Flexibility: The online nature of the programs allows learners to study at their own pace and fit their education around their existing commitments.

  7. Positive Impact: Google Career Certificates play a role in addressing the skills gap by training individuals for roles that are in high demand, helping to bridge the gap between education and employment.

Overall, Google Career Certificates are a well-regarded and impactful initiative that contributes to workforce development and provides individuals with a pathway to meaningful and gainful employment in various industries.



The IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts course, authored by Google Career Certificates, lays out several requirements for participants to successfully engage in and benefit from the program. These requirements include:

  1. Basic Computer Literacy: Participants should possess a fundamental understanding of computer operations, including using operating systems, browsing the internet, and managing files and folders.

  2. Internet Access and Computer Equipment: Learners must have access to a computer or device with a reliable internet connection to access course materials, participate in discussions, and complete assignments.

  3. Language Proficiency: As the course content is delivered in English, a reasonable level of proficiency in the language is essential to comprehend the instructional materials and interact with the course content effectively.

  4. Study Commitment: The course requires a certain time commitment for reading, watching videos, completing assignments, and participating in discussions. Learners should allocate sufficient time to engage with the course content regularly.

  5. Basic Understanding of Networking: While not mandatory, having a basic understanding of networking concepts can be beneficial, as the course covers network security principles and practices.

  6. Problem-Solving Skills: A willingness to engage in critical thinking and problem-solving is crucial, as the course involves identifying security vulnerabilities, analyzing threats, and devising protective strategies.

  7. Motivation and Self-Discipline: Online courses demand self-discipline and motivation to stay on track and complete assignments within specified timeframes.

  8. Comfort with Online Learning Platforms: Participants should be comfortable using online learning platforms, navigating course websites, submitting assignments, and participating in virtual discussions.

  9. Interest in Cybersecurity: While not a strict requirement, a genuine interest in IT security and a desire to learn about protecting digital assets will enhance the learning experience.

  10. Access to Practice Environment (Recommended): Having access to a testing or practice environment where learners can experiment with security tools and concepts can significantly enhance hands-on learning.


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