Computer security courses exist in a variety of sectors, but they most commonly take place in universities, often in conjunction with information security degree programs; by industry and trade organizations, as a way of certifying information technology professionals for work on larger networks; and within companies, as a means of training employees about proper data protection and network safety techniques. All three center on a shared goal of educating people about how networks operate and how they are vulnerable. In most places, students of all levels can find computer security courses in their communities relatively easily. Computers are essential to worldwide commerce, which makes keeping their core infrastructure strong and secure a matter of utmost importance.
The most in-depth computer security courses usually are found on university campuses. Many schools offer degrees in information security, computer science and electronic engineering, all of which depend at least in part on knowing how to secure computer-based infrastructures. These programs usually require students to learn not only the mechanics of networks and computer storage but also the science of keeping the information that is housed in these electronic strongholds safe. Students study theories of computer vulnerabilities, often including case studies of how hacking operations happen and the internal architecture of a data breach.
Earning a degree in computer technology allows students to go on to look for jobs in data protection and network security. Simply holding a degree is not always enough to find work, however. Professionals usually must also hold some sort of respected certification and must commit to keeping up with current trends and developments in information protection. Computer crimes adapt and evolve, often growing stronger and more complex with new technology. Techniques and prevention measures usually remain “cutting edge” for only a finite period of time, which means that constant coursework and studying are required for people who want to maintain computer security.
Many organizations offer computer security courses for professionals. Some of these take place in “certification tracks,” where completion will qualify a person to sit for industry-created certification exams. Others are designed to keep professionals up to speed, often allowing them hands-on exposure to the newest web threats and computer security issues worldwide. This kind of course is frequently offered at dedicated security conferences, most of which are designed to take place over a weekend or across the span of a few days. Conferences also provide opportunities for professional networking and demonstrations of computer security software, antivirus programs and other up-and-coming security-related projects.
Computer security courses also are mainstays of most corporate training programs. The majority of businesses rely on computer networks for communication and the creation of work products. Most employees have their own workstations that are connected to both internal and external infrastructures, for instance. Each Internet connection is, in some sense, a vulnerability, because it is a “way in” for malicious content.
To keep networks safe and to prohibit employees from taking undue risks, many corporations offer mandatory computer security courses for all staff members. Data sharing, virus protection and any company-specific rules governing personal use of the machines or their connections usually are covered in these courses. These kinds of courses are often a part of new employee orientation but might also be required at recurring intervals, just to be sure that everyone remains aware of the need for computer security and the measures that must be taken to ensure it.