Cybersecurity Certification

What Material Should I Use to Study for the CISSP?

What Material Should I Use to Study for the CISSP?

Here we attempt to answer the common questions we are asked about earning the Certified Information System Security Professional certification.

Disclaimer: This transcript was automatically generated using speech to text software. It’s imperfect, and we recommend listening to the actual video over reading this for the most accurate presentation.

Sid:

Hey it’s Sid and Chris again with Everblue Training. We’re going to answer another one of our frequently asked questions about preparing for the CISSP exam.

One of the questions that we often get is: “What material should I use to study for the CISSP?” So Chris, how would you answer the question?

Chris:

Yeah, there’s a number of different approaches. Some of it’s going to depend on your personality, your learning style, but, you know, the simple answer is, it comes down to, you know, books like these. So you’ve got two of the popular books, both are pretty heavy so I won’t hold them long, but this is the official reference guide or official study guide by Mike Chapple, James Michael Stewart, and Darryl Gibson from ISC squared and then you’ve got the Shawn Harris, kind of the unofficial guide. You know one is published by Wiley. The others published by McGraw Hill. I think that they’re both fine books, and they cover the content you would need to know for the exam, so they are both sufficient.

But the challenge with them is that they are a thousand pages each. And reading through that thousand pages, understanding the nature of the exam is that it’s a mile wide and it’s some people say an inch deep but it’s more like ten inches deep. So it’s, you know, a fair amount of depth and just gonna, you know, almost regardless of your background, you’re gonna be exposed to concepts that are unfamiliar to you.

So the real challenge with these CISSP books is that they have, let’s say, all of the information. But the the downside is you have to have the stamina to endure and fight through that and then you’ll still inevitably come across concepts that you don’t understand. So when that happens, where do you go to?

Ultimately what it comes down to is how much time you want to spend. So the first option is kind of self study. You fight your way through these books; they’re great materials. There’s nothing wrong with it. You’ll spend a lot more time is all. And then another approach is to use external resources. An example would be a boot camp, a class. And you take something like this and the two challenges with materials like this again are: 1. One you need the personal stamina and the willingness to study at night after a long workday then sit down and say, “I’m going to read a chapter on one of these books.” 2. The second thing would be, if I’ve actually got a question, what do I do?

Well, if you go to a boot camp, I got a place to show up to. You’ve got a time slot so it sort of takes care of your motivation because a lot of that is you just need to be there. It requires far less active effort on your part because of the nature the psychology of it. And when you’re in a class you have an opportunity to ask questions so you would take a lot less time to come up to speed on the material. Inevitably it’s just really a question what’s the value of your time. So you can take something where you can study on your own and it’s going take a whole lot more time or you can have kind of a guided path and it’s going take a lot less time.

End result? The tradeoffs are time and money, so a lot of folks will choose the boot camp route if their company or some other organization is paying for it and folks will choose to self study if they are paying out of their own pocket.

Sid:

Makes sense. Thanks Chris.

Chris:

Thank you.

Learn more about Everblue's CISSP Certification Training

About Chris Boggiano

Chris is one of Everblue’s founders and has served in the Army for 20+ years. He loves solving problems, helping others, and learning new things.