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Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP Exam ((ISC)2 Press)

3.8 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0849317071
ISBN-10: 084931707X
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Editorial Reviews


Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP Exam is an encyclopedic tome filled with a dizzying array of security information. The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 has designed this book to help you study and pass the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) test. … The chapters are concise digests that systematically review each CBK domain. … Excellent. Buy the study guide if you can only choose one book. If they save you the cost of retaking the CISSP exam, then it is money well spent.
- Technical Support, Dec. 2004

This book is an excellent guide to prepare [for] the CISSP exam. It is the only official study guide in the world. It provides detailed security analysis and it is totally characterized by sample questions and answers and explanations…I definitely suggest this book…
Rossano Ferraris on ITSecurity.com

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Product Details

  • Series: (ISC)2 Press
  • Hardcover: 902 pages
  • Publisher: Auerbach Publications (December 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084931707X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849317071
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,270,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover

I finally took the CISSP exam, and passed *not* using this book alone. I ordered this book 1 month before taking the CISSP exam, since someone recommended me to buy it, saying that it's an advantage to go through the material in the book prior to the real exam. While that is generally true, some of the sad facts are not :).

The book was written by 3 authors, and reviewed by Hal Tipton (a very well respected and knowledgeable security professional); therefore, the content in the book is superior. And since it was written by 3 authors, it also means you will experience 3 different writing styles throughout the whole book. The format of the book is consistent, but tough luck, the writing style is so inconsistent--making it very unpleasant to digest the presented material.

I found some chapters are easy to digest with, and some are not (because of the 3 different writing styles from 3 authors). The book doesn't present the CBK material in a good way for you to memorize, it acts more like a reference book. I have read All-in-One and Prep Guide Gold Edition, and those 2 books are GREAT to start with. I do like the Official (ISC)2 Guide because it covers material that the other books DON'T. Especially the Physcial Security and Operations Security domain. After reading the Physical Security domain I had a feeling like "Great, I know how to pick a lock now ;)". This book also tells you what you need for the CISSP exam and what you don't, which is a really good thing. It clearly states that "this information is not needed for the CISSP exam... it's being included here for your reference" and I find that's very helpful, saving me from memorizing superfluous information.

The Physcial Security domain also covers the CCTV camera, very nice material indeed.
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Format: Hardcover
Honestly folks, the exam is designed for somebody with 3 - 5 years of experience in security. All of the low reviews apply to the ability of this book to serve as a training guide for security - a task for which it is not designed. The book did an excellent job of isolating how the test would ask questions and how ISC2 expects a CISSP candidate to understand and answer questions about security as a security professional. Highly recommended for both a study review and a professional reference.

{For the curious, yes, I passed the test with the assistance of this book.}
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Format: Hardcover
I've been using this book for over three months now in preparing for my own CISSP exam. Being the official guide, this book is always your best source for determining the "correct" answer on a topic. Different study materials will not always agree on some material, but you can trust that what's in the official guide reflects what you will be tested on.

The book itself is easy to read, clearly delineating chapters and sections, and has very few typos or other printing errors. There's some doublespeak thanks to authors not being able to articulate things simply (i.e. "Host awareness seminars and consider having an awareness day with seminars on the appropriate topics"), but the material is presents in a pretty direct fashion.

Some people will undoubtedly find the book unclear or difficult to follow. This is, IMO, often going to be because some of the material presented is by nature quite abstract. Business Continuity Planning and Security Architecture Models are not easy to follow for those who are used to thinking in hard technical terms.

The biggest flaw with this book is the practice test software included on CD. While it takes over 300 megs to install the full software to your PC, it only provides a few hundred questions. I'm at a loss to understand why 250 questions requires 300 MEGABYTES of storage, especially since there is no sound, animation or image involved.

Much worse, however, are the multiple questions that the software incorrectly grades. I've found no less than SEVEN questions that the program will claim you answered incorrectly, when in fact it explicitly states the correct answer is what you chose. But the grader component will highlight a different, obviously bogus answer as incorrect.
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Format: Hardcover
I sat for and passed the CISSP test in January 2006. I used the following resources to help in passing the CISSP:

Shon Harris - All-in-One - 3rd Edition - 30%

Official ISC Guide to the CISSP Exam - 15%

Kurtz - CISSP Prep Guide - Gold Edition - 10%

CISSP for Dummies - 5%

Cccure.org - 25%

Other resources - 15%

"Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP Exam" by Hansche, Berti and Hare is an excellent resource to help prepare for the CISSP. The presentation of each CBK is fairly balanced. Please note, this book should not be used as an introduction to the topics covered on the CISSP, but rather used at the later stages of preparing for the exam. I also do not believe this book should be read cover-to-cover, rather referenced to help understand individual topics.

The book has it's benefits and it's pitfalls. In particular, the book does present some material that I simply could not verify in other books. For example, on page 107, when discussing the Biba Security Model, exhibit 7 was great at easily demonstrating the lattice of integrity levels. On the other hand, the book also had poor formatting, and different material may just be clumped together. For example, on page 129, when discussing the Orange Book's four evaluation classes, unlike other material, this book does a poor job at showing the importance and differences of operational vs lifecycle assurance.

I do not believe I would have passed the CISSP without the aid of the "Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP Exam". It's not an easy read, but a great resource.

I give this book 4 pings out of 5:

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