Enrolments: 432,327

Master Degree and Graduate Certificate Course Enrolments: 8,865

The total number of Master degree and Graduate Certificate enrolments since Charles Sturt University and IT Masters launched our first qualification in 2003.

Short Course Enrolments: 423,462

The total number of enrolments in our free short courses that we offer as a taster of what it is like to study via Distance Education with Charles Sturt University.

Free Short Course: Phishing Countermeasures

Join cyber security educator and author Bianca Wirth for a course about how to protect against phishing attacks — an increasingly vital task for both management and technical teams.

Australians lost more than $80M to scams in 2017, and easily the most commonly reported scam method was phishing. But these figures don’t include the cost to businesses, who typically don’t report phishing or scam results publicly. The opportunity for scammers, hackers and phishers to infiltrate the corporate environment and exfiltrate corporate data, as well as money, is immense.

This course is designed to introduce you to phishing from a people, process and technology perspective, and provide you with a high-level view of some phishing countermeasures you can implement in a business environment to help reduce the risks associated with malicious phishing activity.

We’ll use some freely available tools, as well as provide you with templates and weekly hands-on labs to help you take what you learn and put it into practice.

Enter your details below to register:

■■■■ Intermediate
More Info
Moderate-level short course where some prior knowledge or concepts may be assumed. Content may be aimed at late-undergraduate or early-Masters students
Duration4 Weeks
Enrolled5,838 students

Course Schedule

Module 1:

Introduction to Phishing

  • What is phishing
  • The phishing variants – email phishing, smishing, vishing, USBishing
  • Phishing types – mass, spearphishing, whaling
  • Brief history of phishing
  • Phishing problem scale
  • Phishing ecosystem
  • Phishing impacts – personal, economic, political, national, societal & commercial
  • Phishing costs
  • How much does phishing cost society?
  • How much does phished data sell for?
  • Lab: Email & Dark Web Treasure Hunt

Module 2:

Countermeasure #1: Technology – Email

  • The basics of mail servers
  • Spam Vs phishing emails
  • Spam Act 2003 (Cth)
  • Practical analysis of a phishing email
  • Lab: Phishing email intelligence gathering and email header analysis

Module 3:

Countermeasure #2: People – Phishing Simulations

  • Why do we need to change user behaviour?
  • Model of a common phishing attack – end-user and technical view
  • Introduction to phishing simulations
  • Phishing simulation process
  • Introduction to phishing simulation tools (free and paid)
  • Designing an effective phishing simulation
  • The metadata
  • The content
  • The education
  • Lab: Design a phishing simulation end to end

Module 4:

Designing a Phishing Education & Simulation Strategy

  • Education risk-based strategy development process and education principles
  • Success metrics and reporting
  • Best practices
  • Exam prep discussion



  • Exam pass mark: 50%
  • Time limit: 1 Hour
  • Attempts allowed: 1
  • Format: 40 multiple choice questions

Course Information Q&A

Who presents the webinars?

These webinars are all presented by Bianca Wirth, an author and cyber security educator. Bianca has previously worked in executive roles in non-profit and commercially focused organisations and is currently responsible for increasing awareness of cyber security risk for a multi-national insurance company.

In her previous roles as a technology engineer, consultant & company director, Bianca has worked with & consulted to over 100 of Australia’s best and brightest companies including those in banking, insurance, retail, media, government, technology & telecommunications.

You can connect with Bianca on Twitter: @bcybersec

Why a Phishing Countermeasures short course?

As touched on earlier, phishing attacks account for 1 in 7 reported scams in Australia. An ability to defend individuals or organisations from these attacks is an important competency in our Master degrees in Cyber Security and Cyber Investigation, not to mention its usefulness to employers. This course will ground students in security theory, and also allow students to hone their skills by participating in virtual labs.

Will the course include any labs?

Yes — students will be set increasingly complex labs throughout the short course. However, we need to provide you with a caution: some lab activities you undertake may expose your computer to potentially malicious activity. You are studying phishing and the results of phishing can be malicious. Without care, your machine and your data may be compromised.

Is there a final exam?

Yes — the short course exam will be a timed, open book exam that you will sit at your computer.

Do I get a completion certificate if I complete the course?

Yes — provided you receive a pass mark (50% or over) for course assessment, which comprises the exam and any available participation marks.

Will the course qualify me for university credit?

Yes — successful completion of three or more of our short courses will qualify you for one credit for an industry elective subject in our postgraduate courses. Click here for further details.

Will I need to purchase any study materials to complete the course?

No — all essential materials will be supplied.

Will the webinars be recorded?

Yes — all webinars are recorded and you will be able to access them, and all other free course materials, by registering for the course.