The demand for credible and qualified security professionals is increasing with the rising sophistication of hackers and cyber criminals. The International Information Security Certification Consortium or (ISC) ² is the organization that has been offering state-of-the-art certifications in the field of information security for decades now. Their flagship CISSP credential is one of the leading certifications that can help a security professional stand out against their competition by garnering the most necessary skills of the domain. So have you recently decided on clinching the prestigious honor of being a CISSP certification holder? Do you now want to know how you proceed with the preparation? Which topics need your utmost attention and which ones can be overlooked slightly? Planning for an exam of the stature of CISSP can be an uphill task; therefore, in this article, we will share the most important CISSP resources (like the CISSP practice exams) that every applicant should know about.
Whilst preparing for CISSP, you should try to gather as much reading material as you can. Here is a list of books that we believe you need to go through if you want to ace your preparation:
- Official (ISC)² Guide to the CISSP CBK, Fourth Edition [(ISC)² Press]
The list is in no particular order but we are starting with our favorite: the (ISC)²’s official guide. This book is the sole official preparation guide that you are going to find on the market. As you might be aware, the administration made changes to the CBK in 2015 and this book incorporates all those alterations.
All the 8 domains (Security and Risk Management, Asset Security, Security Engineering, Communications and Network Security, Identity and Access Management, Security Assessment and Testing, Security Operations and Software Development Security) are comprehensively covered in the book. The book’s content has been endorsed and approved by many practitioners and experts from all over the world.
In addition to the good things though, there are some drawbacks to the book as well:
- It is not formatted professionally. The recently released edition has serious design flaws including missing pages, monotonous content and language errors etc.
- The book is sometimes too verbose for an applicant’s liking. This depicts an absence of literary prowess in the author.
All in all, the book might have verbosity issues and can give you a hard time with its poor formatting, but it’s still one of the finest pieces of CISSP literature available in the market.
You can find the book here.
- CISSP Study Guide
The study guide written by Seth Misenar, Eric Conrad and Joshua Feldman is a brilliantly written book which is extremely popular among the aspirants.
Just 600 pages long, the book is, for starters, a lot briefer than its counterparts.. Seth, Eric and Joshua are connoisseurs of the information security field and their insight and experience allowed them to create a highly dependable book for the preparing applicants. The book is a great choice simply because it’s highly comprehensive and still not intimidating at all. It is not verbose and doesn’t go into unnecessary depths of the technical concepts.
However, not all believe that brevity is the soul of wit; many aspirants are of the viewpoint that the book doesn’t encompass all the topics extensively and they consider other guides along with it while preparing. The book has recently been updated to encompass the alterations made in the CBK in 2015. You can order the book here.
- CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional Study Guide (Sybex)
This book has been authored by Mike Chapple, Darril Gibson and James Stewart jointly. For those aspirants that are just trying to start their preparation, this book is the optimal choice.
The Sybex guide’s latest edition incorporates the updates made in 2015; the book encompasses all the CISSP bulletin objectives of 2015 (Application development security, disaster recovery planning, cryptography and access control etc.) When you buy the package, you get an unprecedented access to the online learning environment set up by Sybex, which includes:
- Searchable key-term glossary.
- An interactive test simulating engine.
- More than 1400 practice questions.
- More than 1000 electronic flashcards.
- Extensive guide to help you prepare for the CISSP certification.
The book has 1080 pages and can give you a great head-start in your bid to prepare comprehensively for the CISSP. Get the book here.
- CISSP Cert Guide
Robin Abernathy and Troy McMillan are 2 IT certification experts and their book, the CISSP Cert Guide is as uncomplicated as a CISSP exam guide book can get.
The book is written in a very easy-to-understand manner and explains the personal, cryptographic and operational security topics comprehensively. However, the book doesn’t cover all the domains concretely, so it’s not recommended to consider it as the only exam preparation resource. You can get the book here.
- CISSP for Dummies
Lawrence C. Miller wrote this book as part of the for dummies series. The book is easy to read and provides aspirants with access to the test engine and the online portal. The book however hasn’t been updated since 2012. You can get the book here.
- The resources library at Simplilearn
The resources available at the Simplilearn website have some of the highest quality articles, practice tests, video clips and eBooks that can be found beneficial by the CISSP aspirants. You can access the repository without any registration and browse through it to explore.
- The Sunflower CISSP study guide
The Sunflower CISSP study guide is a concise and neatly organized collection of study cards that help you prepare for the CISSP exam. The cards are divided into categories depending on the domain and every section describes the topics that are explained under given headings. The “Things to know” summaries available at the end of sections makes the guide a lot more beneficial. You can download it from here.
- The free test at Yasna.com
Many aspirants take the free sample test available at Yasna.com. It’s free and every IP gets one day to complete a test. You can check it out here.
The INFOSEC Institute also offers free CISSP training and study guide that has been found incredibly beneficial by the applicants over the years. Check out their website for more details.
- Reddit community
There is a widespread community on Reddit where CISSP experts and aspirants interact with each other to find answers to intriguing questions among other things. If you are looking to get your doubts cleared or have something to ask, go ahead and make your first post.
- YouTube guide videos
There are many certified professionals who have made comprehensive videos to help out the aspirants with their preparations. You can check this video out but there are many others for you to benefit from as well.
PRACTICE EXAM RESOURCES
There are many practice exam resources available on the internet and in the market as well. Some of the most worth-mentioning ones are:
- CISSP practice exams (2nd edition)
The CISSP practice exams is an excellent booklet that covers all ten of the (old) domains that (ISC)² used to have in the CBK. It provides aspirants with the ability to enhance their preparations by attempting practice tests. Around 1000 questions are available on the online portal, the access to which will be granted to people who purchase the book. The book also provides 30 hours of audio training by the author, Shon Harris. However, the book hasn’t been updated after the changes were made in 2015. You can find it here.
Skillset is an exam prep test engine with some of the key highlights including.
- Thousands of CISSP test questions and explanations – free for everyone.
- A certification readiness score so you’ll know when you’re ready to take the exam
- A breakdown of questions by subject area
- EXAM PASS GUARANTEE (with PRO membership)
- CISSP Exam Prep Questions, Answers & Explanations: 1000+ CISSP Practice Questions with Detailed Solutions
SSI Logic also published a book that tries to offer the aspirants with a plethora of practice tests to analyze their preparations with. There are over 1000 questions and around 19 condensed mock exams available in the book. The book’s ultimate objective is to enhance the aspirants’ preparations to such an extent that they are able to clear their exam in their first try. The book has also been updated after the CBK changes made in 2015.
The book, however is only a resource for you to find practice tests in and will only be beneficial when it’s used alongside a more comprehensive text book. Also, many aspirants and experts have claimed that some of the questions covered in the book are outside the scope of the CISSP CBK. You can purchase the book here.
The 3 practice CISSP exams (each has 250 questions) available at Boson cost 40 dollars each. However, we recommend (based on public opinion) that exams no. 2 and 3 are the only ones worth taking; don’t take the exam no. 1. Know more by clicking here.
If you are a devout CISSP aspirant then you must have heard about CCCure by now; but if you haven’t, then it’s indeed your lucky day. CCCure is a must-visit website for all of the CISSP candidates. There are thousands of practice questions and resources available that can be considered indispensable. The quiz portal on the website allows you to select the difficulty level of the practice questions along with the CBK resources that you want them to be from. Visit the official website for more.
- Cram sessions at Quizlet.com:
There are many cram sessions available at Quizlet that can help you a lot during your preparation. These sessions are often accompanied by tests and/or practice exams. Click here to try a session.
If you’re looking for a CISSP course overview, check out InfoSec Institute’s training boot camp. Just fill out the form below for course pricing.
Preparing for CISSP can often be a steep mountain to climb, but if you go through the resources mentioned above rigorously and manage your time smartly, then you can be hopeful of acing the CISSP exam in the first attempt!