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5.0 out of 5 stars Passed CISSP Test by Using This Book and Boson Practice Test
I Passed CISSP Test by Using This Book and Boson Practice Test 3.
I had spent 4 weeks studying them while working full time.
I had not attended any CISSP training course.
I had not even looked at the ISC2 study guide.
The "Advanced Sample Questions" at the end of each chapter are very useful too.
Some questions are not covered in the textbook, but...
Published on Feb. 26 2003

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much information
I just took the CISSP exam after three weeks of studying, with The CISSP Prep Guide: Gold Edition as my main study guide. Unfortunately, Krutz & Vines have included a wealth of information that I didn't need to know, meaning I spent hours memorizing superfluous information. For example, they delve into the gory details of the various cryptographic algorithms. I was...
Published on July 2 2003 by Thane Williams


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4.0 out of 5 stars Good information but not necessarily on-target, June 2 2004
This review is from: The CISSP Prep Guide (Hardcover)
I studied for the CISSP exam using this book, parts of other books, and some online resources. I also took the seminar offered by ISC^2. A month after completing the seminar, I took the exam. And about a week or so after that, I was relieved to find out that I had passed. Based on my experience, here are some words to the wise about this book in reference to the actual exam.
A review of any preparatory book has to be done in comparison with other books that attempt to do the same. It is no use criticizing a particular book only to find out that no better resource exists. However, it is important to highlight how a particular book compares with the actual goal of preparing the student for the particular exam that has to be taken. With that in mind, I will state up front that IMHO this book is probably one of the better books out there when preparing for the CISSP exam. (I have not read the Shon Harris book so I can not comment on it. However, from what I've heard, it is better in its coverage of the not-so-technical domains of the CISSP exam like Security Models and Law/Ethics. Perhaps a combination of these two books would be most effective in terms of preparing for the exam -- along with other resources of course.)
Coverage of some of the technical topics in this book seems very good. I was particularly impressed with their coverage of the Cryptography chapter -- it is a difficult topic and the book seems to do a decent job of covering it. However, be aware that the coverage of this topic in the book is above and beyond the level required for CISSP. The authors go into significant details on certain algorithms etc. which is absolutely unnecessary for CISSP. On the other hand, the authors don't seem to explain (in a clear, comprehensive manner) how symmetric and asymmetric cryptography ties in together when carrying out a typical secure session over the internet -- including the exchange of asymmetric keys for securely exchanging symmetric keys which then can be used for data transfer as well as the authentication process using digital signatures. Another example of an area where the book seems to dwell too deep into topics which are only required at an inch-deep level for CISSP purposes is the section on Kerberos. However, one should keep in mind that a little extra knowlege never hurt anyone. (The only problem is that when studying for the exam, one may get the impression that a particular topic will indeed be covered in such detail -- which obviously is a false impression). In other areas, I found that the section on Security Models was not very well done and seemed disparate at times in its coverage. This was certainly one area where I found other sources to significantly add to my understanding of the topic.
Some people have stated that a number of questions presented in the Advanced Questions section of the book are not covered in the chapter reading and that this is a problem with the book. However, if one views these questions as further study/information material and not necessarily a test of one's understanding of the chapter, this problem goes away. The fact is that the authors provide independent, detailed explanation in answer to each question presented in the Advanced Questions section and these explanations serve to provide further information that was not present in the chapter reading. As such, I found this quite useful since it added to my knowledge rather than just testing on what I had read. For those who wish to test their understanding of the material, there is a good "testing" resource online at [...]
Overall, the authors seem very knowledgeable about all of the domains and present the material in a clear manner. In fact, given the breadth of the material in CISSP domains, their depth in certain areas is quite impressive.
I have often heard people say that the CISSP exam tests your experience in the security field, and that is not something you can gain from a book. Don't take this statement lightly! Books such as this one can only give you the theory behind "common sense" decisions that a security personnel would make during his/her daily work. They provide a good foundation. When it comes to the exam, use many resources (including this book of course), don't get caught in the details, and think common sense -- but with a security perspective!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much information, July 2 2003
By 
Thane Williams (Bellevue, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The CISSP Prep Guide (Hardcover)
I just took the CISSP exam after three weeks of studying, with The CISSP Prep Guide: Gold Edition as my main study guide. Unfortunately, Krutz & Vines have included a wealth of information that I didn't need to know, meaning I spent hours memorizing superfluous information. For example, they delve into the gory details of the various cryptographic algorithms. I was careful to learn that information, only to have another exam guide point out that "the CISSP exam does not cover the specific details of how cryptographic algorithms work, so if you are confused by this information, feel free to move on."
While it is true that you can do well on the CISSP test by studying this book, you don't need much of the information presented here, and most of it is presented more concisely in other study guides. Furthermore, other study guides I used contained valuable information that was not in this book, information that did appear in test questions.
As goofy and badly-written as it may seem, Shon Harris's study guide will serve you better in the end.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much information, July 2 2003
By 
Thane Williams (Bellevue, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The CISSP Prep Guide (Hardcover)
I just took the CISSP exam after three weeks of studying, with The CISSP Prep Guide: Gold Edition as my main study guide. Unfortunately, Krutz & Vines have included a wealth of information that I didn't need to know, meaning I spent hours memorizing superfluous information. For example, they delve into the gory details of the various cryptographic algorithms. I was careful to learn that information, only to have another exam guide point out that "the CISSP exam does not cover the specific details of how cryptographic algorithms work, so if you are confused by this information, feel free to move on."
While it is true that you can do well on the CISSP test by studying this book, you don't need much of the information presented here, and most of it is presented more concisely in other study guides. Furthermore, other study guides I used contained valuable information that was not in this book, information that did appear in test questions.
As goofy and badly-written as it may seem, Shon Harris's study guide will serve you better in the end.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the greatest, July 1 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The CISSP Prep Guide (Hardcover)
I just passed the CISSP on my first go after a month's study. I used this book as my primary study reference although I also had the All-in-One CISSP guide.
My main problems with the Prep Guide:
1) It reads like a long white-paper. There are precious few examples and it is painfully obvious there was no effort on the part of the authors to make the subject matter interesting (which, by nature, it is). Additionally, the book has about as much flow or continuity as a section of tax code. Seriously, there is no excuse for how dull and choppy this tome can be. I've had more fun reading the dictionary. [Unfortunately Shon Harris' all-in-one is a little too far in the other direction being filled with useless illustrations and child-speak.]
2) The Advanced Sample Questions are too advanced and the text goes too deep in too many areas. Remember, the CISSP is not an engineering exam.. You don't have to know how to actually DO anything, you just need to be able to sound like you have a clue [read: management/consultant] I was more than a little peeved when Krutz launched into a dissection of the cryptographic ciphers that was way too deep to be applicable to the test yet too short to really give the reader a meaningful understanding. [The difference here between all-in-1 and the Prep Guide is astonishing.] The advanced sample questions were, quite simply, too advanced much of the time.
3) Really, WHAT is the point of the long section on HIPAA in the book??? Its not on the exam!!! I thought this was a study guide, not a general security practicioner's book! Waste of pages, guys.
So yeah, you can get the CISSP title by using this book like you can get fit by joining the Marines. I'm inclined to suggest there are easier ways. Unfortunately the all-in-1 guide is a little too fluffy for my tastes but at least you can flip through it in no time. Good luck.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Passed CISSP Test by Using This Book and Boson Practice Test, Feb. 26 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The CISSP Prep Guide (Hardcover)
I Passed CISSP Test by Using This Book and Boson Practice Test 3.
I had spent 4 weeks studying them while working full time.
I had not attended any CISSP training course.
I had not even looked at the ISC2 study guide.
The "Advanced Sample Questions" at the end of each chapter are very useful too.
Some questions are not covered in the textbook, but they are explained in detail in the "Answers to Advanced Sample Questions". This is one way to extend one's insight into new areanas quickly and systematically. If one does not study these questions and answers, one will end up having to go somewhere else to find something else to cover the same topics in longer time and from MULTIPLE sources, withOUT knowing the questions and answers.
Boson CISSP Practice Test 3 will also extend one's knowledge further by referring to related WEB sites. Be aware that Boson CISSP Practice Test 1 is based on Information Security Management Handbook, Fourth Edition by Harold F. Tipton, Micki Krause. Boson CISSP Practice Tests 2 and 3 are not based on any particular prep/text books.
Wish that the above review would help and encourage you somewhat.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Partial Review- Only 2 of 10 Domains Studied., Jan. 11 2003
By 
Thomas R. Harrington "Texas Tech Geek" (Denison, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The CISSP Prep Guide (Hardcover)
I purchased this book as a primary study source for the CISSP exam, and fully expected to use SOME supplementary material.
This book is divided, correctly so, into the 10 domains covered on the CISSP exam. At the end of each chapter/domain, there are Sample Questions, Bonus Questions and Advanced Sample Questions, with the answers and explainations in the back of the book.
The Sample and Bonus Questions are simple review questions to help you gauge if you have a basic grasp of the subject matter. The Advanced Sample Questions are supposedly at the same level as the actual test questions.
What I've run in to with the Advanced questions is that THEY INTRODUCE NEW MATERIAL, NOT COVERED IN THE SUBJECT MATTER TEXT!! This is extemely frustrating. You read the question, know you don't know the answer, then review the section in the text where the answer should be, only you don't find it, because it is not covered. When you read the explaination of the answers in the back you discover new material and the assuption by the authors the reader is to make inferences.
A study guide should cover all the material in the subject matter text.
My confidence in using this book as my primary study guide is blown. How much critical material that will be on the exam has been left out? How much more am I supposed to infer?
I will update this review as I go forward.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A golden score for the golden edtion., Nov. 13 2002
By 
Michael J Woznicki "Michael J Woznicki" (Holland, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The CISSP Prep Guide (Hardcover)
With computer and network security fast becoming the most important thing for administrators to worry about it is a good thing to have a reference manual that is both up to date for technical practices but also the manual must be more than just a study guide. This book does both and with the additions this manual makes a great go to guide for any administrator or manager.

The authors have put together a very comprehensive text making sure that they not only cover the exam objective, they exceed them. Over 900 pages of information that works for the CISSP exam but I have found that this book can also work for the new CompTIA Security+ exam as well as Microsoft new 70-214 exam.

At first glance you might think this book is written to the advanced level technician; however after reading through the text I found that the concepts and ideas were written for just about everyone. I was most impressed with the section on cryptography; this 175 page section is most useful for my job.

I also found that chapter on law and ethics very interesting reading and overall the book has given several new ideas to think about in terms of what can or should be done in everyday network practices. Also the authors have included several appendices on topics outside the exam realm which make this a very compete manual.

The book have over 700 practice exam questions so you have an excellent chance of passing the exam since the questions have explanation included. The cd-rom included uses the Boson quiz engine with hundreds of questions included. Couple this with the authors' advanced guide and you have an unbeatable combination to work with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars CISSP Prep Guide 2001 Edition(2002 update is now available), Nov. 12 2002
This review is from: The CISSP Prep Guide (Hardcover)
***** I tested out using The Prep Guide 2001 Edition (Gold edition is new in Oct. 2002) and I definitely recommend it as a primary guide for studies leading to an CISSP Certification.
***** There is very little left out of this book. Using the ISC2 Study Guide that you can download from free, you can check the similar sections in this book.
***** The Section On Telecommunications and Network Security was excellent and did not leave much out. The only missing information I noticed was any in depth information on Telephone Systems Communications (including cellular), attacks, vulnerabilities, in depth or history. Perhaps the reason for this was this subject area is not mentioned in the ISC2 Study Guide - maybe one of the 25 questions that are used in the test for the future?
***** I read it from cover to cover and used the Internet as an additional source for every subject brought up in the book. For instance, I looked up Cryptography to complement the subjects discussed in the book. You need to do this to add depth to your information.
***** The 2001 book has an excellent set of Appendices, which I assume is followed up in the new book. (Q & A, Criteria, HIPPA, Glossary, excellent Reference list, Web sites.
***** It was a great discovery to me to find out the Ten Domains covered a lot of areas. Areas I wish I had know about earlier in my career and which have been dealt with in Information Systems by the Government and Corporations with interest in Security issues. It is an eye opener. Examples: The strategy for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery will help many people. The strategy for separation of duties, dual man control, rotation of duties, forced vacations will be useful in today's networked world. Very few businesses practice these logical rules. The CISSP wakes up people to improve security in the real world.
***** Get this book for sure. I highly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't study just one book!, March 14 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The CISSP Prep Guide (Hardcover)
There are 250 questions in the exam. Since the authors are all CISSPs, they are not allowed to directly give away the questions. Each book offers a relative limited number of practice questions. When I was preparing for the exam I realized that I would need to practice with a large number of questions to be properly prepared. So, I decided to ignore all the comments here on which book was better. I bought and read several books to prepare for it. My logic was: if I read an additional book and it helped me to get just that one additional question that I might need to pass the exam, it would save me at least the $500 that I would have to otherwise pay to take it again. I took the exam recently and passed! Looking back, this and the others all helped.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Vicks should publish this under the NyQuil brand, Feb. 24 2003
By 
Amazon Customer (Goffstown, NH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The CISSP Prep Guide (Hardcover)
The CISSP Prep Guide: Gold Edition is a very comprehensive, technical guide that will help you pass the CISSP. It is also horrible to read. If you need a reference guide to build on a few weak areas covered by this exam then you might find this book a valuable reference. I am very familiar with Telecom and networking, but need to read up on most other section. For this, I have been turning to a book purchased by a co-worker: CISSP Cert Exam Guide by Shon Harris. I don't know if the Harris book has the same information coverage as the Gold Edition, but it is far easier to read. Take this advice: Read a few sections of each book. These are too expensive to take the chance - I took the chance and regret it...
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