What is Essentials Series?

EC-Council’s Essentials Series is the first MOOC certification course series covering essential skills in Ethical Hacking, Network Defense, and Digital Forensics. These 3 domains covers the fundamentals of cybersecurity skills and are the foundational programs that help students and early career professionals choose their area of competency or select a specific interest in cybersecurity. With 3.5 million job vacancies to fill and a 0% unemployment rate, cybersecurity is lucrative and the most in-demand industry.

The Essentials Series offers free eCourseware and video training, with paid upgrades to labs, exam prep, course assessments, and exam vouchers leading to certifications across all three courses.

It empowers individuals to:

  • Gain foundational knowledge in cybersecurity
  • Practice essentials skills such as how to defend networks and investigate them
  • Challenge industry recognized exams and earn cybersecurity credentials to build and further your career

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Essentials series

Essentials Series is a Gateway for any student, fresher, or professional from any industry to enter a cybersecurity career and build that rewarding career. Learn in-demand technical skills and meet the growing demand of cybersecurity professionals with 3 all-new certifications from EC-Council. 

train & certify

Network Defense Essentials (N|DE)

The Network Defense Essentials (N|DE) – Includes 12 modules, 14+Hrs of premium self-paced video training, ecourseware and labs covering fundamental network security topics, including IoT, Cryptography & PKI and more.
Network Defense Essentials (NDE)
train & certify

Ethical Hacking Essentials (E|HE)

Ethical Hacking Essentials (E|HE) – Includes 12 modules, 15+Hrs of premium self-paced video training, ecourseware and labs covering ethical hacking topics like IoT & OT, Cloud Computing and more. It is a part of Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) Course which is world’s No.1 certification in ethical hacking and teaches you to think like a hacker.
Ethical Hacking Essentials (EHE

Digital Forensics Essentials (D|FE)

Digital Forensics Essentials (D|FE) – Includes 12 modules, 14+Hrs of premium self-paced video training, ecourseware and labs covering fundamental topics on Digital Forensics like dark web forensics, investigating web application attacks and more.
Digital Forensics Essentials (DFE)


If you’re looking to learn more about cyber security, the EC-Council Essentials Series will teach you important foundational skills to begin your journey into the cyber security field. These introductory courses cover different topics related to cyber security at no cost and will put you in an excellent position to pursue additional instruction.
Depending on the course, there may be prerequisites or prior knowledge requirements. However, some courses are intended for beginners and do not require any prior knowledge. EC-Council’s entry-level Essential Series courses do not have any prerequisites and were developed to help kickstart your career in cyber security.

The Essentials Series covers three core areas: Network Defense Essentials, Ethical Hacking Essentials, and Digital Forensics Essentials. However, the series discusses a wide range of topics including the following:

  • Ethical hacking and Penetration Testing
  • Network Security Fundamentals
  • Cryptography
  • Virtualization and Cloud Computing
  • Password Cracking
  • Data Acquisition
  • Cyber Security Risk Management
  • Dark Web & Malware Forensics

and many more…

Yes! Upon successfully finishing any of the three Essentials courses, participants will receive a certificate. This certificate validates their skills and verifies their completion of the course.
Yes, all 3 Essentials Series courses are designed for beginners and cover the fundamental concepts of cyber security. However, reading the course descriptions and reviews is always a good idea to ensure they meet your specific needs.

While free cyber security courses are an effective way to acquire knowledge and competencies, additional certification and degrees can boost your career opportunities. Recognized certifications and professional education in cyber security are highly valued by employers. It is recommended to combine free courses with additional cyber security pathways to strengthen your cyber security profile. Meanwhile, you can also go through the VAPT to explore the career path.