REVIEW: "CISSP Training Guide", Roberta Bragg
- BKCISPTG.RVW 20030127
"CISSP Training Guide", Roberta Bragg, 2003, 0-7897-2801-X,
%A Roberta Bragg Roberta.Bragg@...
%C 201 W. 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290
%I Macmillan Computer Publishing (MCP)
%O U$69.99/C$108.99/UK#50.99 800-858-7674 info@...
%P 727 p. + CD-ROM
%T "CISSP Training Guide"
The introduction and frontmatter appear to be much more concerned with
the structure of the book (and this particular series of books) than
the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) exam.
The initial list of topics covered by the domains has notable gaps and
some oddities in organization.
Part one is entitled "Exam Preparation," and is divided into the ten
standard domains of the CBK (Common Body of Knowledge). Chapter one,
on access control, shows problems right away. The first paragraph
tries to distinguish between access control and authentication, but
doesn't really outline the relationship between the two concepts, let
alone dealing with the broader and more usual interrelated ideas of
identification, authentication, authorization, and accountability.
When discussing access models, the lattice content touches on advanced
outcomes of the model, but not the basic principles. The biometric
material is simply inadequate. There are sample questions at the end
of the chapter, and this first set, at least, do appear to be crafted
in order to avoid the usual "reading check" level of simplicity, but
the wording is extremely poor and many answers are either flatly wrong
or highly misleading. Similar problems are evident with
telecommunications and networking, in chapter two, which has excessive
space given to topics like cabling characteristics, poor explanation
of the relationship between tunnelling and virtual private networks,
an overview of intrusion detection that contradicts the material in
chapter one, and some completely idiosyncratic terminology. The
answers to sample question are more correct, but only because the
questions themselves are overly simplistic. The rudimentary factors
of security management are discussed in chapter three, but in a
confused fashion, not assisted by the fact that topics are repeated
and sections from other domains are introduced for no apparent reason.
The central material is very brief, despite the sixty pages devoted to
the topic, and entire sections, such as the various evaluation
criteria, are missing. Applications development, in chapter four,
does possibly provide enough information to deal with the CISSP exam
on this subject, but lists lots of problems without many solutions,
and has a great deal of extraneous material such as lists of different
types of memory (fast page mode [FPM] versus extended data out [EDO]
dynamic random access memory, for example). I thought the
introduction to cryptography, in chapter five, wasn't all that bad
(absent details such as the key in a one time pad having to be no
shorter than the message being sent). That is, until I realized that
it was the entire chapter, and details about any form of encryption,
digital signatures, and the requirements for certification and a
public key infrastructure were completely missing. Chapter six does
cover the elemental points of security architecture, but in a
disorganized manner, and has no material at all dealing with computer
architecture. Operations security is discussed in terms of details
like specific logs in Windows 2000 and updating antiviral scanners,
and chapter seven misses more general concepts and operating
principles. Business continuity and disaster recovery planning, in
chapter eight, does provide most necessary information about the
process, except for the recovery phase. Law, in chapter nine,
concentrates too heavily on US legislation, and the investigative
process fails to address incident response, interviewing, and
relations with outside agencies. Chapter ten again covers physical
security with specific details rather than underlying concepts.
Part two is a review. About half of the "Fast Facts" are useful and
the rest aren't: it would be hard for an exam candidate to know which
is which. The study and exam prep tips are generic, and probably not
much help. The practice exam questions are, like most of the sample
questions in the book, far too simplistic and particular to properly
prepare candidates for the actual CISSP exam.
Despite the size of this volume, it does not contain as much
information as, say, Harris' "CISSP All-in-One Certification Exam
Guide" (cf. BKCISPA1.RVW), nor is it organized as well as the Krutz
and Vines work (cf. BKCISPPG.RVW). It is closer to the Endorf (cf.
BKSCDCMP.RVW), Miller/Gregory (cf. BKCISPDM.RVW), or the second Harris
(cf. BKMMCISP.RVW) works, and therefore its utility as preparation for
the CISSP exam is questionable.
copyright, Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKCISPTG.RVW 20030127
rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
Find book info victoria.tc.ca/techrev/ or sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade/
Upcoming (ISC)^2 CISSP CBK review seminars (+1-888-333-4458):
March 31, 2003 Indianapolis, IN