We often get asked, “What is the difference between Secure Code Warrior and HackEDU?” This is a very good question because both Secure Code Warrior and HackEDU offer similar secure coding training products, and so we understand the need to know the difference.
HackEDU may not be the best fit for you. In fact, Secure Code Warrior might be a better option depending on what you are looking for. This article is going to explain the differences between Secure Code Warrior and HackEDU in an honest and transparent manner so that you can identify which training platform is the best fit for you before making your final decision.
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior was one of the first online, hands-on platforms for secure coding training, and they currently cover C# .NET MVC, C# .NET Web, Java EE, Java Spring, Node.js, Ruby Rails, Scala Play, iOS Swift, iOS Objective C, Koltin Android, Java Android, Angular 1, Angular 4, React, Java Struts, Python django, Python Flask, and C++. Most of the languages have 100’s of challenges and they also have video based lessons as well. The challenges consist of reviewing code and finding the vulnerabilities in multiple choice exercises. They cover the Top 10 Most Critical Security Risks defined by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) in addition to other vulnerabilities. The topics are taught through challenges to look through code samples and multiple choice exercises. Secure Code Warrior does have 3-5 minute videos if a hint is needed. Secure Code Warrior works hard at trying to make it feel like a game. They even have challenges and tournaments where developers can compete with each other and view scores on their leaderboard. They do not have challenges where developers need to code, but instead go with multiple choice selection of code.
Secure Code Warrior has a “Play Demo” button where you can try out their training.
HackEDU develops interactive cybersecurity training using real applications, real vulnerabilities, and real tools. HackEDU covers Java, .NET, C#, PHP, Node.JS, Ruby, React, Python, C/C++, and Go. The lessons for each programming language follow the same pattern, HackEDU covers the OWASP’s Top 10, API Top 10, Mobile Top 10 for both iOS and Android, and some general security topics including threat modeling and Docker security. There are currently over 115 lesson modules that take between 20–30 minutes to complete, and more lessons are currently being developed. The training has real running applications and tools in sandbox environments within the browser so that developers can freely explore solutions in these real environments. Moreover, HackEDU classes can be scheduled and challenges are offered to test competency. There is a leader board where developers can compare scores on multiple challenges.
HackEDU takes a combined offensive/defensive approach to training, which has been shown to be more effective at keeping developers motivated and in helping them learn the material than a purely defensive approach. All lessons start with vulnerability discovery so developers gain an understanding of how attackers look at their applications. Then, there is vulnerability exploitation where developers learn the impact of vulnerabilities. Finally, there is a focus on defense and how to fix vulnerable code. Code can be updated in real-time so that developers can see how their code fixes affect the application vulnerabilities -these are not multiple choice exercises, but developers have to actually find and fix code, which helps cement their understanding of the topics.
HackEDU’s lessons can be scheduled over time to fit the needs of your development team. There is a free SQL injection lesson available at https://hackedu.io/demo.
Both Secure Code Warrior and HackEDU offer strong secure coding training. Hands-on development training tends to be more effective because it keeps developers engaged. However, HackEDU covers both the offensive and defensive sides of security, has 100% hands-on learning, and has tools and applications that are real environments, whereas Secure Code Warrior focuses on defensive security with learning through videos and multiple choice code reviews, with lots of challenges in detailed categories.
Depending on your needs, either of these solutions may be right for you. You should try the free demos of each to get a better idea of how the training is structured before determining which will be best for your team. Secure Code Warrior offers free lessons on their website and HackEDU offers a free SQL injection lesson at https://hackedu.io/demo.