CISSP — Step by Step

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    • #1742

      Can anyone help me for CISSP preparation step by step.

      Tell me the name of books with version which I study for CISSP and also tell me how many times I study each books.

      Also tell me the enough preparation period like 3-4 months which help me in registration and I feel very relax.

      Specially tell me, Last & 2nd last week What will I do?

      I am very confuse about this cert. So, you people plz help me.

    • #14400
      Don Donzal

      Try this for starters. It’s an article I wrote on my CISSP experience:

      Hope this helps,

    • #14401

      The big myth about the CISSP is that its difficult. Assuming you meet the required experience, the test is fairly easy with a very high pass rate 80-90%. There are only 2 things that make the test somewhat different. The volume of material you need to learn and the length of the exam. If you prep for at least 2 months you should pass no problem.

      The main book everybody uses is the Shon Harris CISSP book. I used the Official CISSP guide, and regretted every minute of it. Its also good to start off and finished with a quick hit book like CISSP for dummies or Exam Cram. Also, the tests on, while containing some errors, are a good way to judge if your ready for the exam.

      Good Luck!

    • #14402

      Long time no see…very nice to see how big this site has become.

      I am in the process of pursuing this now and wanted to dust this thread off a bit.  I bought the Shon Harris All-In-One Book (Fourth Edition) and the Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK and will be reading this for a while.  My perception of this exam is that it is very overwhelming.  I am a little disappointed that when I graduate in May for my Bachelors that it won’t count as a year towards my cert, but oh well.  I can scrape together 5 years of experience, but they weren’t all in the same location.  I found someone who holds a CISSP to sponsor me so I guess all I need to do know is hit the books hard.  Can anyone tell me how much I would benefit having gone to a week long training session from SANS or anyone else?


      Awesome job with the site, Don!

    • #14403

      I would say, if you can afford the SANS training go for it. It is very good and the material is constantly updated, plus you get the mp3s to listen to and go over the materials. I would recommend it very much especially if you can get a chance to attend it with Dr. Cole.

      I would also say that the exam is not difficult its just that it covers wide range of topics and the length of the exam can get you. But its not bad if you have read through the materials.

    • #14404

      Thanks for your response.  I would love to go to SANS training, but don’t feel like the place I am at will support me going to it or at least make it a point that I go to it.  They want me to obtain the cert and bought me the books, but when it comes to going to actual training it doesn’t seem like they try to help me with that.

    • #14405
      Don Donzal

      Good to see you back and thanks for the compliment.

      If they can’t afford to send you to a course, maybe try CBT Nuggets using the link on the right. Expensive but less than other video sets, it’s good and cheaper than an instructor led course with travel.

      CSP Mag was woefully out of date, and I was getting a number of questions about it. Since the site got very little traffic compared to EH-Net, and ChicagoCon (to me at least) was worth more of my time, I took it down. I’ll move the CISSP article here to EH-Net soon, if you want to reference it further.

      If I get lucky enough to make this my full time job, I’ll consider bringing CSP Mag back. Until then, sleep and family are more important.  😉


    • #14406

      very selfish don, very selfish…

    • #14407
      Don Donzal

      Oops. Sorry…

      … and Chris. I always find time for Chris.



    • #14408

      Hi Don,

      The link for your CISSP write up seems to be a black hole now.  Can you resurrect that article on here?


    • #14409

      Here you go Jack: CISSP Article

    • #14410
      Don Donzal

      I knew I forgot to tell someone.  :-[

      Thanks BillV.


    • #14411

      I’ve responded to a few other posts here regarding CISSP preparation and maintain that if you meet the requirements to sit for the exam then you simply need to take it.  Don’t waste time and money on classes.

      Jonathan Lampard, CISSP (#120621)

    • #14412

      I’ve have recently taken up the daunting task of reading the CISSP book from shon harris 4th edition (Big book).  I’m sure I could scrape up enough in my previous work exprience to be able to qualify for the test but my issue is how do find a sponsor?  It seems kind of strange to be learking around forums looking for a CISSP to sponsor me.  I realize there is a reason for having it like that but since I live in a somwhat secluded area I don’t have access the any CISSP support other than the internet.  I’ve visited the ISC2 website but I can’t find where they say you need a CISSP to sign off. Or is this for the requirement, as in a CISSP looks at your resume and job experience and decides whether you already have the experience required.  That would put me back to the question of where would you find somebody with trolling around in forums and asking every swing CISSP out there to give you a hand??  Well I guess that enough of a wineing session for now.  Sorry to bug ya.

    • #14413


      It’s important for you to know, it is not mandatory for someone with a CISSP to endorse you.

      You can also be endorsed by someone within the security field as long as the endorser can validate they are in the field etc.

      Also, don’t be overwhelmed by the examination – I found it quite basic, and avoid any practice exams that ask you questions like “What is the optimal temp of a server room?”

      These sorts of questions do not help you become a more competent security professional, if that information is needed, you can research it at the time. Be careful not to get wrapped up in questions like that or you will be studying the wrong things. Shon Harris material is notorious for these examples.


    • #14414

      My personal study plan (I OVER studied) can be found at

      My exam technique is at

      I would reccomend signing up at CCCure .

      Good luck

    • #14415

      I prepped for 3 months by buying some general classic security books from the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge study list, and I never took a class.

      The exam tests how you think. So you need to figure out if you are thinking like the most senior person who “owns the risk” in a company. This is not a geeky ethical hacking certification.

      I recommend that you review the free study guides on I created a matrix that listed the chapters and the free study guide sections ORGANIZED BY DOMAIN. This is the study trick, ORGANIZED BY DOMAIN. Then do your reading and review ORGANIZED BY DOMAIN. When you start seeing repeat topics and you remember when you read about that in a previous article, then you know that you’re nearing readiness in that area. Do NOT study the domains from 1 through 10. Read through your material,  ORGANIZED BY DOMAIN, starting with the domain you know THE LEAST, and progress toward the areas that you already know. This leaves you the most prepared when that exam date suddenly appears a week away.

      2. Study what you know the least, first.
      3. This 90% a non-technical exam about how to think like a risk management profession.

      Good Luck,

    • #14416

      I read the Official CISSP Study Guide and found it useful. The CCCure practice exams helped me tremendously. I was also fortunate that the compay I work for was willing to pay for me to attend a CISSP boot camp. I will pass along what I think was the best advice I recieved:

      The day and night before the test, don’t even study. Do what ever it is you love to do like go fishing or something. For me it was very helpfull because it lowered my stress level before sitting for the exam. Hope this helps.

    • #14417

      I was lucky enough as well, to have the opportunity for a boot camp leading up to the exam.  We may have been in the same one, or taken the it with the same instructor, because mine gave the same advice.  After class on Friday, I drove to Reston Town Center and treated myself to dinner and a glass of wine at Morton’s Steak House.

      I then proceeded to have a surprisingly good sleep, woke up for some Tai Chi (that’s the clue to my instructor), and nailed the exam.

      Of course I had spent the previous six months or so reading the books and hanging out on cccure.  Clement’s the man!

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