Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK – 3rd edition

A lot of ink has been spilled to the value of information security certifications, with opposing sides often swearing.  These discourses usually end with the admission of Godwin's law.

If the number of certification guides is indicative, then there is value in certification, as demonstrated with the third edition of the Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK  just out. 

First the good news – as the official (ISC)2 study guide, this edition provides the latest and greatest set of study material for the CISSP CBK (common body of knowledge).  The third edition has come a long way since the first edition, which had some significant shortcomings around organization and editing. 

All of the 10 chapters in the book revolve around the 10 domains of the CBK, which all follow the same structure.  Each chapter provides an overview of all of the core topics, and concludes with review questions.

The down side to the book is that with a page count at nearly 1,500 pages, the book seems to be another Shon Harris CISSP guide with every conceivable security topic under the sun.  But the proper page count is likely half that, given that the book uses a very large font size.  This may make it easier to take notes, but its size and weight make the book a bit more difficult to use.

With a list price of $79.95, the book is priced on par with similar study guides.  Note that Amazon often has new and used version available at a discount.

According to a few reviews on Amazon, the Kindle version of the book at $9.99 includes only one chapter.  Those looking for the enter book on a Kindle should take notice.

Was just informed by Richard O'Hanley, Publisher at CRC Press that the information on Amazon about the Kindle version is wrong, and that they are trying unsuccessfully to change it.  It turns out that (ISC)2 wants separate e-book versions of each domain. The one listed on amazon is telecom & networking. Amazon has erroneously listed information about the entire book for the single domain.

Amazon has had the other domains for a long time now, but hasn’t made them available for sale.

For the most part, CISSP study guides have lately become commodity items.  For those looking for a reliable guide, with the official imprimatur of the (ISC)2, the Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK is a worthwhile reference to assist the candidate in preparing for the CISSP exam.

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