Book Reviews: Information Security Books and Product Reviews – CISSP Boxed Set

Book Title:  CISSP Boxed Set

Author: Shon Harris

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne

Date of Publishing: 1st June 2011

ISBN(13): 9780071768450

Price (UK&US price – full price, not discounted price): £79.99,  $105.00

URL of Publisher Site:  McGraw-Hill Osborne

URL of Amazon UK web page: CISSP Boxed Set (All-in-one)

URL of Amazon UK web page: CISSP All-in-one

URL of Amazon US web page: CISSP Boxed Set (All-in-One)

URL of Amazon US web page: CISSP All-in-one

The CISSP Boxed Set bundles Shon Harris’s CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Fifth Edition, CISSP Practice Exams, and a second CD-ROM featuring her training material. At 1632 pages, this is another heavyweight CISSP resource. I used the fourth edition of this book as revision for my CISSP exam back in 2010. There are many good books in this space – CISSP Study Guide from Sybex, the Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK, The CISSP Prep Guide from Wiley and CISSP Study Guide from Syngress, a lighter weight offering which I have previously reviewed and can be found on the InfoSec Reviews website. Sad as it may sound, but I have them all; yet the Shon Harris book is by far the best of the bunch.The book has a straightforward layout – two introductory chapters, “Becoming a CISSP” and “Security Trends,” followed by one chapter per CISSP domain (Information security and risk management; Access control; Security architecture and design; Physical and environmental security; Telecommunications and network security; Cryptography; Business continuity and disaster recovery planning; Legal regulations, compliance, and investigations; Application security; Operations security). At the end of the book there are two appendices. As with most books in this space it includes a CD-ROM with a .pdf version. The CD-ROM also includes many scenario-based questions to help prepare for the exam. The book regularly includes the “Note” icon, which introduces a real-world example, discusses a relevant topic, or provides a link to a URL to find additional relevant material. The book contains many clear diagrams and tables, uses full-page topic summaries. Of course, every domain chapter concludes with a number of relevant questions to check the reader’s progress. Most of all I like the way the book is written. I found it very readable; far more than, for instance, the Official Guide, which I found dry in comparison. Shon Harris has an impressive CV, which adds to the credibility of the book. The Technical and Contributing Editors’ bios are also impressive.  What this boxed set includes that the book alone does not is a CD-ROM, which includes two additional practice exams as well as audio and video training led by Shon Harris. The total CD-ROM content for the boxed set includes:* More than 1200 practice exam questions covering the 10 CISSP domains * Practice exam questions complete with answer explanations * Several hours of audio and video training * Audio training with Shon Harris reviewing access control concepts * Video training with Shon Harris teaching core cryptography concepts * E-book version of CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Fifth Edition

* And more than 1000 practice exam questions and 30 hours of audio training available online

Of all the CISSP Exam Guides in this space I consider this to be the best for many reasons, including layout, readability and use of other learning tools. The CD-ROMs contain much additional material to help prepare for the CISSP exam, including test questions, exams, audio and video.

Marks: 5 out of 5