[ISN] REVIEW: "Official (ISC)^2 Guide to the CISSP Exam", Susan Hansche/John Berti/Chris Hare

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Aug 4 13:46:09 EDT 2004

Forwarded from: "Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Hannah" <rslade at sprint.ca>

BKOIGTCE.RVW   20040618

"Official (ISC)^2 Guide to the CISSP Exam", Susan Hansche/John
Berti/Chris Hare, 2004, 0-8493-1707-X, U$69.95/C$101.50
%A   Susan Hansche susan.hansche at pec.com
%A   John Berti jberti at deloitte.ca
%A   Chris Hare chare at chris-hare.com, chare at nortelnetworks.com
%C   920 Mercer Street, Windsor, ON   N9A 7C2
%D   2004
%G   0-8493-1707-X
%I   Auerbach Publications
%O   U$69.95/C$101.50 800-950-1216 orders at crcpress.com
%O  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/084931707X/robsladesinterne
%O   http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/084931707X/robsladesin03-20
%P   910 p. + CD-ROM
%T   "Official (ISC)^2 Guide to the CISSP Exam"

Once again I have to state a bias in regard to this book.  I've known
about this book since its inception, I've known and advised the
authors, I provided bits of the material, and even contributed one
appendix.  (The annotated bibliography and references--surprise,

I was asked to review the chapters while the book was in production. 
The reason was, of course, that I had reviewed all the other CISSP
(Certified Information Systems Security Professional) guides. 
Specifically, the intent was to ensure that this manual, prepared and
supported by (ISC)^2 (International Information Systems Security
Certification Consortium) was "head and shoulders" above all the other
published works.  This volume is not perfect, by any means, but it is
the best of the current bunch.

Taking material from one source is copying, taking material from two
sources is plagiarism, and taking material from many sources is
research.  This volume has not only research but direct input from a
great many sources.  Some are mentioned in the acknowledgements, a
number of others are to be found on the title page, since sections of
major articles from the venerable "Information Security Management
Handbook" (cf. BKINSCMH.RVW) were included or used as the basis for
parts of the guide.  Even this doesn't exhaust the contributions,
since much of the work is informed by the material in the (ISC)^2 CBK
(Common Body of Knowledge) Review Seminar, and over a hundred
individuals have had the chance to augment that content.  The result
is a breadth and currency of information that exceeds any other guide
on the market.

Sample questions and exams are eagerly sought by candidates for the
CISSP exam.  This guide has a significant advantage in this regard:
not only do a number of the contributors produce questions for the
exam itself (therefore being more than passingly familiar with the
style and level of difficulty required), but the CISSP exam committee
was also approached for advice and input.  No source is able to
provide "actual" CISSP exam questions, but the examples provided in
this volume are very close in form, mix, degree of difficulty, and

The book is not without its faults.  The sheer volume of the
contributors ensured that topics were covered multiple times, and not
all duplicated areas have been amalgamated.  In addition, the variety
of writing styles can make the text disjointed in places, as it moves
from section to section and subject to subject.  These factors can
make the work difficult and demanding to read and follow.

The CISSP exam, as the security field itself, is a changing target,
and no book can expect to provide the "best" coverage of the topic
indefinitely.  As well, security is an immense discipline, and touches
on an inordinate number of other areas.  This work, however, has come
closest to spanning the range of subject matter necessary to challenge
the CISSP exam, and is currently the best of the guides.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 2004   BKOIGTCE.RVW   20040618

======================  (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade at vcn.bc.ca      slade at victoria.tc.ca      rslade at sun.soci.niu.edu
A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real
money.                         - Senator Everett Dirksen (1896-1969)
http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev    or    http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade

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