Cybersecurity Operations Fundamentals Specialization



Cisco is an industry leader in Networking and Automation. And has recently been making strides to become a top brand in Security. This blog post will review one of its Security certifications – Cybersecurity Operations Fundamentals Specialization (CyberOps) on Coursera.

Cybersecurity Operations Fundamentals Specialization

It will explore what you need to know about this certification and basic information about a career in Cybersecurity Operations Analyst. Some of the specifics are as follows;

  • What does a SOC analyst do?
  • The Cybersecurity Operations Fundamentals Specialization
  • Who is it for and what Background is needed
  • The Skills you will learn
  • How much does the Specialization cost
  • How long to complete it
  • Is there a Demand for Cybersecurity Operations Specialists?
  • Salaries of a Security Operation Center Analyst
  • Is the Cybersecurity Operations Fundamentals Specialization worth it?
  • Some frequently asked Questions

What does a SOC analyst do?

A Security Operation Center Analyst or SOC analyst is a Cybersecurity professional whose primary job is to monitor and analyze the efficacy of a company’s security systems. A SOC analyst will usually work in a Security Operation Center with other security professionals, as part of a team dedicated to detecting, evaluating, and responding to cybersecurity concerns

The Cybersecurity Operations Fundamentals Specialization

This is an online training program that teaches basic skills for working as an entry-level cybersecurity operations analyst in a Security Operations Center (SOC). It consists of 7 courses, designed and taught by Cisco Learning&Certifications, and is delivered through Coursera.

The details of each of the courses are as follows;

Course 1: Security Operations Center (SOC) -Introduction to Security Operations Center, Security Operations Center Processes and Services. SOC Deployment Models and Types, Staffing an Effective SOC Team, Security Events Data and SOC Analyst Tools, Developing Key Relationships with Internal and External Stakeholders, Understanding SOC Metrics, Understanding SOC Workflow and Automation

Cybersecurity Operations

Course 2: Endpoints and Systems – Understanding Windows OS System Basics. Understanding Linux OS System Basics, Understanding Endpoint Security Technologies.

Course 3: Network Security – Understanding Network Infrastructure and Network Security Monitoring Tools. Understanding Common TCP/IP Attacks

Course 4: Data Security – Exploring Data Types Categories, Understanding Basic Cryptography Concepts

Course 5: Threat Analysis – Understanding Incident Analysis in a Threat-Centric SOC, Identifying Common Attack Vectors, Identifying Malicious Activity. Identifying Patterns of Suspicious Behavior.

Course 6: Threat Investigation – Identifying resources for hunting Cyber Threats, Understanding Event Correlation and Normalization, Conducting Security Incident Investigations. Using a Playbook Model to Organize Security Monitoring

Course 7: Threat Response – Describing Incident Response, Understanding the Use of VERIS

Who is it for and what Background is needed

The Specialization is at the beginner’s level. It is for people kickstarting a cybersecurity career and want to pursue an entry-level job as a cybersecurity operations analyst (SOC Analyst). Some basic background or requirements will include

  • Basic knowledge and skill in Networking – IP Networking, Ethernet, Networking Protocols, etc. foundational concepts that are covered in the CCNA
  • Knowledge of Windows and Linux Operating systems
  • Familiarity with the basics of networking security concepts.

The Skills you will learn

When you complete this specialization training, you will learn the following;

  1. Learn to Identify patterns of suspicious behavior that are typical in your day-to-day job as a SOC Analyst
  2. Understanding Incident Analysis in a Security Operations Center (SOC)
  3. Understand the basics of networking Communications, malicious activities, and common attack vectors.
  4. Further your knowledge in grasping the concepts behind TCP/IP Networking Communications.

Overall, You will gain skills relevant to Network Security, Security Operations Center (SOC), Information Security (INFOSEC), Cybersecurity, etc.

How much does the Specialization cost?

The Cybersecurity Operations Fundamentals Specialization costs $39/month for the Coursera subscription. ($49/month for US/Canadian residents, UK £47/month). The Specialization cost will depend on how long it took to complete it.

A 1-2 months training on Coursera will cost $39 -117$, (or $49 -$147 US/Canada ), UK £47 – £141.

There is an option to audit the courses and access the course contents for free. However, you will not be eligible for a certificate upon completion using this option. You can enroll for a free 7-day trial at

How long does the Specialization take to Complete?

The Specialization is 100 % online and self-paced. Most people will complete it in about 1-3 months, depending on how many hours a day you devote to it. The total training is about 103 hours spread across 7 courses.

Salaries of a Security Operation Center (SOC) Analyst

According to data from Glassdoor, the Salary range for a SOC analyst in the US is about $82K – $134K/yr. The top 5 highest-paying Cities for a SOC Analyst are

  • Palo Alto, CA
  • San Mateo, CA
  • Deer Park, CA,
  • Richmond, CA
  • Bellevue, WA

The top-paying Industries were Construction, Repair and Maintenance, Telecommunications, Human Resources and Staffing, Energy Mining & Utilities, Aerospace and Defence.

Is the Cybersecurity Operations Fundamentals Specialization worth it?

The Specialization is only appropriate for foundational skills for entry-level SOC Analyst jobs. It allows you to gain some skills without the hassles of a full CCNP specialization certification or other security-focused Certifications.

Although you save on cost and time of study, you are not likely to score high on many employers’ scoreboards with just this certification. Also, there is less recognition for Certificates of completion compared to actual certifications. There are better, more comprehensive, and more recognized certifications from Cisco and other vendors.

Other certifications from Cisco for gaining similar skills are ;

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions on Network Engineering and Network Automation

Some of the frequently asked questions regarding a career in Cybersecurity Operation Specialist/SOC Analyst are highlighted below;

Does SOC analyst require coding?

Your job as a SOC Analyst will be much more efficient and easier if you have some coding skills. It makes it easier to identify threats. It also makes the transition to higher job roles much easier.

However, Coding is not an absolute requirement, especially for a beginner. There are pre-built software and tools that you rely on in your job as a SOC Analyst.

Is SOC analyst a difficult job?

The Job of a SOC analyst is very critical demanding deep technical skills, analytical skills, and attention to detail. The responsibility can be huge as a security breach can be very expensive to any business, in that sense, it is a challenging one.

But like every other tech role, knowing the basic underlying principle makes it much easier, And the day-to-day tasks may just be performing little tasks that keep the system secure.

What is the difference between a Security Operations Analyst and a Cyber Security Analyst?

There are slight variations in the job roles. A Security Operations Analyst will typically work in a Security Operations Center, alongside other Security experts as the last defense against Cybercrime.

A Cyber Security Analyst may work alone or in a small organization and is responsible for analyzing and monitoring an Organization’s network and systems for vulnerabilities or security breaches.


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