Udacity Security Analyst Nanodegree Review

Udacity Security Analyst Nanodegree Review
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Every day more and more companies are making the switch to digital dealings. While going digital comes with a number of benefits, there are also several reasons to be cautious, as the online atmosphere grows more and more aggressive. Not only do businesses need someone to help them prevent attacks but help them move toward safer methods and prevention that can eliminate the detriments of a data breach.


That’s why a career as a security analyst is exciting, allowing you to work with top companies to prevent attacks and stop them as soon as they start. Only thing is, you’ll need the skills and a sure way to break into the field. That’s where the Security Analyst Nanodegree from Udacity can come in handy, filled with useful info and a ton of hands-on opportunities. If you’re not sure what Udacity has to offer or if it’s right for you, follow along. We’ve got the scoop and a breakdown of the course to help you decide.


About Udacity

Udacity is an online academy with courses for everything IT. You can find free courses that cover a number of topics and certification courses that go in-depth over one topic. When they first hit the web more than a decade ago, their goal was to give everyone the chance to log in and learn advanced IT topics. Now, they have teamed up with several top names in IT, creating courses that come with projects to practice what experts in the field do. With Udacity, it’s simple to land a job after, especially with their collaborating companies that approved of the course and curriculum.


Nanodegree Extras

When you choose a certification program, you’ll score several extras, some of which are why the reason Udacity is unlike any other online academy. Udacity’s nanodegree extras include:

Flexible Learning

One of the best things about the academy is the ability to log in and learn when you want to. As long as you keep up with project deadlines, you can take as long as you want, log on any time day or night.


Hands-On Projects

Another awesome perk is the projects, some of which are developed in collaboration with top IT companies. You’ll find these projects sprinkled throughout the course, allowing you to apply what you’ve learned in each section. In addition, you’ll find some projects at the end, allowing you to test all your skills in one final project.


Career Services

Career services are there to help with everything dealing with your first interview. From cleaning up your resume to holding a mock interview, you can do it all with someone that can help you stand out in the crowd. You’ll also find help with portfolios and even someone to help you clean up your social media pages.


Technical Mentor

Just in case anything goes wrong, you’ll have someone there to help. They are available 24/7 all year, making sure that everything is available for you when you log in.


A-Class Instructors

Included with every course is a list of noteworthy instructors. You’ll find that they have both professional and academic experience, both of which they use in their teaching styles. In addition to attending some of the best schools, they’ve also worked with a number of top IT companies, able to tell students what it takes to land a job with them.

Meet your Instructors

For the Security Analyst Nanodegree, you’ll have three instructors, all of which have years of experience in the field. Before you sign up, meet your instructors.


Richard Phung

Richard is an information security analyst that has more than 10 years of experience. His studies include psychology and education, later turning to secure systems. He helps businesses reach their security goals through analysis and constantly stays up to date on the latest software threats.

Milind Adari

Milind is a security engineer that works for the Associated Press. It is his job to scour the system for threats, preventing them before they can even start. Apart from taking care of systems in his own company, he also educates students on the techniques of cybersecurity, proving both experience and knowledge to his classes.


Chris Herdt

Chris has worked with security analysis for several years starting directly after his Master’s from the University of Pennsylvania. He’s educated a whole new brand of security analysts on the best practices to keep organizations safe, with several former students in the business breaking molds and applying innovation.


Course Breakdown

This course is full of useful information that will help you break into the field of security analysis. With the growing number of attacks and their level of sophistication, businesses need someone that can help keep their information protected. Throughout the course, you’ll have a chance to apply what you’ve learned with small projects weaved in so that you finish off with experience. Below, we have a detailed look at the course, including the prerequisites andprojects.


While anyone can take this course, Udacity recommends that you have experience with the following to make it through the course:


  • Knowledge of Python
  • Know the fundamentals of security and how to apply them
  • Designing large database systems
  • Linux
  • Client-server architecture


This course has four sections, each one ending with a small project to test out your knowledge. Once you’re done, you’ll have enough insight to know what it takes to jump into the field, applying your new knowledge as you go. These sections include:

Fundamentals of Defending Systems

This part is all about building a base that you can refer back to. Strengthen your skills and learn the techniques that experts in the field use so that you can apply them on your first day on the job. Learn how to work with frameworks and even design your own network architecture.


Apply your Knowledge: Planning for Security Controls

One of the things you’ll have to do on the job is to learn how to analyze and assess a company’s risk based on its current practices. After learning how they manage their network and security, you’ll create a plan to help take their security to the next level with your help.


Analyzing Security Threats

To be effective as an analyst, you’ll have to stay up to date on all of the current vulnerabilities and cyberattacks. Learn about reporting them and searching for the top 10 with a look at OWASP’s Top 10. Analyze risks and learn how to mitigate them and prevent them in the future. Plus, see how vulnerable your system is, taking a look at all that might and could go wrong.


Apply your Knowledge: Insecure Juice Shop

Working with an application, you’ll build a threat model for the company based on your analysis, attempting to prevent attacks and creating a plan to mitigate in little time just in case.


Assessing Vulnerabilities and Reducing Risk

Knowing and understanding vulnerabilities is critical when analyzing a company’s risk. Learn about different vulnerabilities and how to classify them before going on to planning remediations and mitigations.


Apply your Knowledge: Juice Shop Vulnerabilities Report

The analysis will give you the chance to relay information to companies so that they can make an informed decision on how to proceed. After discovering vulnerabilities within an application, you’ll analyze them and create a useful report to keep track of threats. Learning how to keep reports and prevent threats could save you and your company a lot of stress, avoiding a data breach that sacrifices sensitive information.


Monitoring, Logging, and Responding to Incidents

The faster that alerts are detected, the better chance there is that there won’t be any serious damage. That’s why using automated tools and setting up alerts is key to keeping systems safe, using the help of live data to track behavior.  In this section, you’ll take a walk through the entire process, seeing how to spot a vulnerability, patch it, and then keep it from happening again.


Apply your Knowledge: Intrusion Detection and Response

Working with a network diagram, you’ll check host data and compare it, checking to see if there are any threats. Upon finding them, you’ll take measures to prevent them and keep them from breaching the system, even when you’re not around.


How Long Does This Course Take?

The amount of time the course takes depends on each student. You can take your time and take as long as you’d like however, you’ll have to keep up with the deadlines for certain projects. As an estimate, Udacity claims that students can finish the course in 4 months if dedicating about 10 hours per week. Again, this is just an estimate and will turn out differently for each student. Though it sounds great to take your time, you might want to get in and get on with the course, avoiding a high price tag.


What’s the Cost?

Speaking of price, you’re probably wondering about the cost. Udacity offers a few ways to pay which result in different final prices. They offer a deal to:


Pay as you go

This option provides you with all of the time you need to finish the course. It works by charging per month, where you’ll get access to the course and all of the extras that come along with it. The monthly price is $359, which is why you might want to get on with the course. You can score a deal if you finish fast but, you’ll also need to take time and enjoy all of the information introduced in the course.


Pay all at once

Paying all at once, Udacity offers a bit of a discount. They use the estimated time the course takes to come up with the price, which was 4 months for the Security Analyst Nanodegree. Taking this route, the final price comes to $1236, which includes the 15% discount. Taking this route, you’ll have more than enough time to complete the course plus, you won’t have to worry about beating any deadlines.


How’s the Job Market?


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for security analysts is expected to grow by 31%. Businesses are starting to put much more emphasis on security, looking for ways to add more protection to their digital databases. Not only do they need someone that can stop attacks but also someone that can help them in the development of safer practices. The cost of data breaches and malicious activity is growing year after year, getting in the way of productivity that comes from going digital.


As far as to pay, median salaries came in at $99,730 in 2019. As the online atmosphere gets more dangerous and cyberattacks more sophisticated, companies need all of the help they can get. That means that, when it comes to scoring a job, you’ll have it easy. Plus, the more you grow your skills, the better the companies you can work for and the more they will pay you to keep their systems safe.


Is It Worth It?


After reading about the job market and the salary, there’s one question left to ask, “is it worth it?” When you sign up with Udacity to get the skills you need for the field, you’re guaranteed:


  • In-depth curriculum
  • Hands-on projects
  • Help landing a career
  • The ability to take your time
  • The skills you need to break into the field


As each year passes, more and more companies are making the switch to doing more business with the world wide web. While this is a great thing to get things running more efficiently, it means that companies need much more protection than before.


So, is it worth it for you? Well, you may be thrilled to have the skills you need to break into the field but you’ll need a little more than that. Having hands-on experience is key to landing a job quickly. Plus, when you take courses with an accredited online academy, you have a better shot of getting your foot in the door. So, if you’re ready for a change, why not start today? You’ll be more than happy you did!

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