Customer Reviews: CASP: CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner Study Guide Authorized Courseware: Exam CAS-001
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on February 28, 2012
The CASP is CompTIA's first advanced test -- designed to verify a person's skills in the field of information security and ability to protect a company's vital assets, data-wise at least. The recommendation that someone worked in this field for a minimum of 5 or so years isn't for fluff -- the test touches on practically every area of security. This is new -- most other tests I've taken (Microsoft, other CompTIA ones) have usually focused in on a specific area of security -- either at a client's computer, server-side, or the web. This test looks at ALL of them - so it's important that you at least have some of the concepts of security in all those areas before attempting this exam. And if that isn't difficult enough -- the exam tests you on other facets as well. Things like SLAs (Service Level Agreements), creating TCOs (Total Cost of Ownership), and being able to work and understand different IT departments -- all these are touched on. Again -- something that a more experienced professional in the field would've done before, but not necessarily someone new to the field.

With that being said, this book does an exceptional job at testing and expanding one's knowledge of these areas. The part I appreciate most is near the end -- the book has about 20 labs, designed to help you especially in the field of Enterprise Security. They're well laid out, designed to be done in order, and progressively getting deeper and deeper into security issues and things one should be aware of. Unfortunately -- one can only learn and do so much through labs and test questions -- there is no parallel to actual experience. Especially with trying to teach things like SDLC (System Development Life Cycle) or ROI (Return of Investment) -- it's difficult to teach those things by a book alone. It gives it a nice shot - no doubt about that, but in the end - I put my understanding of it at more of actually having to plan projects at my job, and having to create things like TCOs, or calculate ROI.

Something I wanted to note: usually the reason I purchase the book over the Kindle version is that the book comes with a CD, filled with goodies like test exams and flashcards that do really help one to study, and see where one might need to focus their efforts. This book does NOT come with a CD - seems they've caught on to the phenomenon called "the Internet", whatever that is....

To download the test questions and flashcards, look at my comment section below...

So if you're debating whether to get one or the other, if you want -- I see no reason not to get the Kindle version. I still prefer printed paper, but the Kindle version is cheaper. All in all, the book is a great learning material, but I wouldn't feel comfortable taking the test on it alone. I highly recommend using this in conjunction with some actual project experience, because, as Dwight Schrute says, "Experience is the best teacher...."
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on March 10, 2012
I passed this exam yesterday and found the format of the exam very challenging. DO NOT underestimate this exam ! I have completed 5 other comptia exams (Security+, Project+, A+, Network+, Server+ ) and this exam is not like any of the others.

This book is extremely well written and I will use it as one of my reference books, especially for the suggested software tools for validating IT security. It covers all the objectives of the CASP exam with a easy read format. Make sure to download the sample questions and exam from Wiley's website. The questions are the same as the ones at the end of each chapter,but the exam engine helps simulate the real exam.

How to study for the Exam:

1. first go right to Appendix A and use the CASP LAB Manual and set up your virtual test environment.All instructions are included. Then depending on how comfortable you are with the material, spend an evening on 1 or 2 of the labs. You will need to use some of these tools on the simulation part of the exam.

2. After spending a week or so the practical part move into the chapters in the book. The chapters are very well structured and they are a very easy read. BUT then again don't underestimate them. They are packed with plenty of take-away content. What I suggest is you look over Comptia's objectives for the chapter before reading. As you read Highlight the pertinent information that matches the objectives, and other information that you know you "dont know". Then go back and take the Comptia objectives as an outline and fill in the details under each heading for that section. This will take some time but it pay's off big time for the final study days before the exam. What I did was scanned in the objects to OCR software and converted the info to word to edit. Maybe Comptia will publish the objectives in text format in the future for a study template.

The exam is an applied exam with lots of questions in the "Select all that apply" format with more then 4 choices. I had 73 questions with 4 simulation questions that I spent 15 minutes on each.
My suggestion is to read over the 4 simulation questions at the beginning and see how comfortable you are with them. If you are not then, I would answer the rest of the exam and come back the these questions.

Be comfortable with the format of HTML, PHP, firewall log files and network design.

Again this exam is applied and tests you knowledge based more on your experience in the IT security area.
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on January 19, 2013
Of course this is a certification guide, so it will read like one. That said, it is well-written and comprehensible. It provides good coverage of the material, from what I can tell (having not yet taken the exam). I purchased it having read some Security+ exam guides and wanting something a bit deeper. While this gives more depth, there are still areas the authors tend to skip over, because they are not heavily covered in the exam (thus four, rather than five stars). Many of these things while perhaps not directly present on the exam would have been very helpful in understanding and better recalling the things that are on the exam.

Target audience: The test is supposedly targeted at long-time security professionals with five years or more of experience. I have found that I am doing pretty well with just a year or so of fairly indirect experience. It is certainly targeted more at system administrators or those managing them though. You will need a fair amount of technical knowledge as some of the topics covered include cryptography algorithms and networking. Software developers may find less to interest them, as much of the focus is on security principles and securing systems than on best practices for software you are writing.

I found the Kindle version (on Kindle Fire, to be specific) to be well-done, and easily usable. I have not seen any formatting issues.
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on December 1, 2013
This was the only book I used to study for and pass the test. It gave plenty of labs to preform so that you have real life experience if tasks that you may otherwise not have. My advice to anyone buying this book is to actually do the labs. The test was tough and failing a $400 test due to lack of experience would be terrible.
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on October 27, 2012
Great book, and an easy read. Covers Security+, then builds with more detail and new concepts. The authors did a wonderful job of keeping things simple and providing real-world examples, and the chapter summary/quizzes are great reviews. Having plenty of experience with CompTIA, I believe you could pass the CASP exam solely from this guide - that is, if you truly understand the concepts and learned the information, instead of just reading it like a novel.

The only problem I have/had with this book is the spelling errors. I'd be very focused on a chapter, and misspelled words would totally ruin the paragraph. There are several, and they seem to come in bunches. Had those mistakes not slipped through, the book would be much more credible, and rated a high 4, or 5 stars.
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on February 6, 2014
The CASP exam is tough and much like the CISSP, requires study preparation. Book is only a guideline and misses a lot of content that was in the actual exam. I did use the 10% coupon. I would recommend other study material as this book needs to be updated or a supplement. It is good if you are just learning the basic content. IT industry is moving very fast and book needs an upgrade. Check out the McGraw Hill book Wm Arther Conklin as it is newer and more complete.
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on April 29, 2013
This is a good book for preparing to CASP certification. I've used this book to prepare myself for CASP exam. In addition to the book I have used Wikipedia to expand on some material provided in the book. As the result I've got my CASP certification.

What I really like is that this book has a lot of links to the online content and I found it very useful and entertaining. The labs at the end of the book provide one with hand on scenarios. Overall the book gives one a very good skill set in order to pass CASP exam.

Personally I would recommend this book as a study material for CASP exam. However, CASP very depends on ones experience.
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on May 18, 2013
If you need to pass your CASP exam, this is a great study guide to have. The CompTIA Authorized study guide provides the technical knowledge and skills you need to conceptualize, design, and engineer secure solutions across complex enterprise environments. The book prepares you for aspects of the certification test that assess how well you apply critical thinking and judgment across a broad spectrum of security disciplines. If you need to get certified, you need to pick up this book.
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on June 19, 2013
The CASP gives individuals the necessary qualifications for higher-level positions, meeting the requirements for jobs in Information Assurance Technical Level III, IS Manager Level II and IA Systems Architect and Engineer Levels I and II.

This book is an exceptionally concise, well thought-out study guide for a new certification ( CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner ) which is currently taking the US security sector by storm.

It leads in well from the Sybex Security+ book by Dulaney, and provide excellent material for those wishing to bridge the chasm between Security+ and the ferocious CISSP.

Personally, I feel its the labs that really distinguish this study guide from others.
The labs provided are all top notch stuff, with everything provided, taking you from a relative beginner to ITSec proficient with nothing more than hard work on your part. . . no magic stuff, its all clearly laid out and explained, comprehensive and up to date.
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on January 29, 2014
<kind of joking> You know the game where you drink every time someone does or says something? Well, if I took a sip for every incorrect security statement in this "book" I would die of alcohol poisoning in the first 50 pages.</kind of joking>

Download the SP800 series from NIST and you will be much better off. And yes I did pass my exam on the first try because I ignored everything in this book. This book will not help you for the exam.
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