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Learning Kali Linux: Courses, Practice, and Other Resources

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By: Tatianna

February 18, 2019

The Cost to Learn Kali Linux

Information security professionals are in demand. As noted by Forbes, companies are struggling to fill 40,000 infosec jobs every year — so it’s no surprise that average salaries have been steadily climbing and companies have been looking for new ways to recruit prospective staff even before they complete post-secondary education.The result? It’s tempting to see infosec as a seller’s market: Professionals with above-average skills and field experience should be able to get whatever job they want, wherever they want it, right? Not quite. As organizations face increasingly sophisticated threats — everything from advanced malware to cryptocurrency mining and IoT bot attacks — they’re looking for the IT expert trifecta: Professionals with the real-world experience to handle in-situ issues, reputable certifications to verify their experience and unique skill sets that make them must-haves to help defend corporate networks.One way to stand out from the crowd? Learn Kali Linux.

What is Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is based on the Debian Linux distribution. It’s an open source offering that’s been heavily customized to help security professionals conduct penetration testing of network systems. As noted by Techopedia, Kali is designed to run on “a wide spectrum of devices” — combined with its open source code, this makes it a great choice for enterprises looking to increase their pen testing and vulnerability detection abilities. Maintained by security training firm Offensive Security, Kali is regarded as a top-tier solution for improving corporate infosec posture.

The Kali Caveat

The general infosec consensus is that Kali isn’t easy to learn or master — beginners are cautioned to steer clear of this complex distribution, which includes single root user privilege design and allows users to disable network services by default. This isn’t a generalized Linux distro: It has been purpose-built to help identify, mitigate and remediate security flaws.As a result, only infosec professionals with substantial industry experience and above-average Linux knowledge should consider deploying Kali. Given the benefits offered by the distribution, it’s no surprise that companies are now looking for information security professionals with the requisite expertise to not simply deploy Kali but customize this open source code to meet unique business needs.

Learning Kali

While Kali recently announced its first certification — the KLCP — it remains the exception rather than the rule for companies to expect this certification from prospective information security staff. As uptake of Kali increases, however, this certification will likely feature alongside other common infosec training such as CEH and CISSP. Although no requirements exist to begin learning Kali, it’s recommended that information security pros have at least five years experience in the field along with penetration testing and Linux OS familiarity. When it comes to structured Kali training, the most popular options include:
  • Free Online Training — Cybrary offers free online Kali training courses to help you master the new Linux distribution. This four-module course can be completed anytime, anywhere and makes it easy for you to learn Kali on your schedule, at your own pace — for free.
  • Scheduled Live Session Training — Looking to go deeper with Kali? Cybrary’s scheduled session training (coming soon in 2019) provides in-depth training that includes live lessons, lab work, assessments, and mentorship to ensure you’re getting the most from your educational investment. Classes run several times per week, dedicated times for Q&A periods. Participants get the benefit of expert instruction from the comfort of their own home or office for a single monthly subscription fee (or discounted annual membership).
  • Bootcamps — Quick-hitter Kali boot camps are becoming more popular as infosec pros look to shore up their knowledge ASAP. While we at Cybrary always believe there’s a better, more cost-effective and efficient way to learn, with boot camps, you can expect to pay thousands of dollars to train off-site for a week. If this works for your budget and schedule, it’s a great way to learn Kali in a hurry but can also put substantial pressure on participants to ensure perfect attendance.

The Kali Combination

Kali offers a robust set of tools for penetration testing and vulnerability detection but requires more expertise than most other infosec solutions. Knowledge of this Linux distribution can help IT experts stand out during the recruitment process and provide significant value to resumes over the long term.What’s your best bet if Kali is on your radar? Combine this new Linux offering with the completion of complementary certifications such as CEH, CISSP, CISM or Security+. This both cements your reputation as an infosec expert and empowers you to compete for new careers across the IT Industry. And if you’re a Cybrary Insider Pro or Business member, you’re able to tackle multiple live training courses at once, helping you prepare for CEH or CISSP exams even as you learn the latest Kali developments.

Calculating Your Kali Cost

Want free Kali training? Start with Cybrary’s online courses. Need to know Kali right now? More costly boot camps may be your best option. Looking to boost your Kali knowledge while preparing for other infosec certifications? Cybrary’s subscription-based live sessions offer the best value.
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