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Palo Alto Networks Academy Cybersecurity Foundation

Palo Alto Networks via Coursera

This course may be unavailable.


Course Overview:
In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of cybersecurity and identify the concepts required to recognize and potentially mitigate attacks against enterprise networks as well as mission critical infrastructure. Course 1 of 5 in the Palo Alto Networks Security Operating Platform Cybersecurity Specialization.

Course Structure – 7 Modules
Each module has the following components: Reading, e-learning, Discussion, and Assessment. E-learning components either direct students to online resources or deliver audio transcriptions of the module reading component. Assessments are quizzes that are designed as learning activities, and allow students two attempts for each quiz. At the end of the course there is a hands-on lab activity.

Supporting Materials
The CyberSecurity Survival Guide is a downloadable pdf file that presents information included in both the Foundation and Gateway classes as well as glossary ‘key’ terms and figures. The Foundation course maps to Chapter 1 of the Survival Guide.


  • Foundation - Module 1: Course Information
    • Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Specialization begins with this Foundation course. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of cybersecurity and identify the concepts required to recognize and potentially mitigate attacks against enterprise networks as well as mission critical infrastructure. Foundation Module 1 contains the important course information - syllabus, objectives, tools and resources - that students will reference as they successfully complete the course.
  • Foundation Module 2: Cyber-Landscape Careers and Common Attacks
    • Foundation Module 2 examines the vulnerabilities and risks associated with Modern Computing trends such as Web 2.0 / Enterprise, Cloud and integrated apps and services. The module details how specific risks can easily lead to exploits. The Module also describes some of the recent high profile cyber attacks that have significantly affected a vast array of data and service architectures.
  • Foundation Module 3: Cyber-Threats
    • Module 3 identifies common attacker profiles and breaks down a typical attack into 7 identifiable stages. The chapter provides in depth descriptors of the tools and processes used at each attack stage, and importantly outlines strategies at each stage for defeating the attack.
  • Foundation Module 4: Malware and Spamming
    • Module 4 introduces different attacker utilizations of Bots and Botnets, including Command and Control (CnC), Spamming and DDoS implementations. The module contains detailed explanations of Malware types and categories, and explains how attackers identify vulnerabilities and perform exploits.
  • Foundation Module 5 - WiFi and Advanced Threats
    • Module 5 delivers a deep-dive analysis of common WiFi protocols, their specific vulnerabilities, and attacker strategies for exploits. Further discussions include details on DDoS and Advanced Persistent Threat modeling.
  • Foundation Module 6 - Network Security Models
    • Module 6 importantly discovers the relationships and differences between regulatory compliance and security. Many current industry compliance standards are identified. The module delivers an in-depth analysis of the Zero Trust (employing the least-privilege best practices) and Perimeter-based network security models, architectures and designs.
  • Foundation Module 7 - Cloud and Data Center Security
    • Module 7 explicitly defines virtual data center architectures and their data communications pathways. Core cloud security principles such as server consolidation, trust levels, selective security virtualization and dynamic computing fabric resource implementations are identified as critical components of effective cloud computing security architectures.
  • Foundation Module 8 - Best Practice and Principles
    • Module 8 presents security anti-malware strategies including signature-based, container-based, application whitelisting, and anomaly-based techniques. It further discusses the application of firewalls, mobile device management, patching and configuration management as strategies to implement to minimize vulnerabilities. Module 8 also provides detailed descriptions of network security devices including firewalls types (packet filtering, stateful inspection, application), Intrusion Detection and Prevention, VPN designs and protocols, Data Loss Prevention, Unified Threat Modeling and Security Information and Event Modeling.

Taught by

James Dalton


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