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Essential CISSP Exam Guide: Updated for the 2018 CISSP Body of Knowledge

Written by: Phil Martin
Narrated by: Phil Martin
Length: 17 hrs
Categories: Science & Math, Technology
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The CISSP certification is the gold standard for security professionals, but ISC2‘s official study guide is anything but easy to read. Many books have tried to simplify this but fail to leave behind the $100 words and run-on sentences. An update to the original Simple CISSP book, Essential CISSP Exam Guide takes the entire official study guide and breaks it down into easy-to-absorb chapters with simple language. Tons of examples are included to drive the points home in a way that makes it effortless to remember. This Second Edition has been updated for the 2018 CISSP Body of Knowledge, and covers all 10 domains:   

  • Security and Risk Management  
  • Asset Security Security  
  • Architecture and Engineering  
  • Communication and Network Security  
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)  
  • Security Assessment and Testing  
  • Security Operations  
  • Software Development Security   

Please note that chapters may not have a descriptive name as displayed on your mobile device - this is limitation of the publishing platform. However, each chapter will always start with the title being read aloud, so it should be fairly simple to scan through chapters when you wish to revisit a subject.

©2018 Nonce Corp (P)2018 Nonce Corp

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very thorough but resourceful.

I had enjoyed this book and believe it helped me pass CISSP exam.
It was very thorough but I listened several times while driving.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, not great narration

The knowledge in this book is solid and mostly well-written. Terms are defined clearly, concepts are described specifically and with examples, and there's even a splash of humour here and there. It's by all means a good book.

Unfortunately, a good book does not always translate into a competent audiobook.

Phil Martin is a fine writer but a poor narrator. He starts the audiobook by stating that he chose to read the book himself, and not hire a voice actor, because he was afraid of mispronunciation. Unfortunately for him, that's the watermark he'd be judged against for these 17 long hours.

Martin's Texan drawl is charming enough but if English isn't your first language you will definitely struggle with his accent ("and" is "eeyand", "right" is "rat"). Aside from outright mispronounced words ("high-archical") and technological terms (warez should be "wares" but he pronounces it "wor-rez"), he doesn't know how to vocally emphasize the important parts of a sentence. For example, when conveying the distinction between two easily-confused risk analysis concepts he frustratingly talks about "qualiTAtive versus quantiTAtive" (instead of "QUALitative versus QUANtitative").

Cohesiveness is another problem. The reading and tone are inconsistent from beginning to end, with the author starting out with clear, deliberate enunciation but gradually easing into a conversational tone (either would be fine, but pick one!). The editing is also distracting; this audiobook is updated for 2018 but new sections have been sloppily grafted in with an awful microphone, transitioning between wildly different recording qualities and sometimes straining my speakers when the letters P and S are spoken. About halfway through the book the editing becomes even lazier where he'll read a few words, stumble, and start over again. These are all details a professional editor would have caught.

Some people may find these technical criticisms inconsequential but I found them critically distracting. After a few hours I was ready to request a refund from Audible. Unfortunately there were no alternative CISSP audiobook study guides so I stuck with this one.

I tolerated this audiobook. The amateurish production constantly drew attention to itself and made studying a lot slower and harder than it needed to be. My recommendation is to only use this as supplemental study material - take a class or read the ISC2 book first.

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  • KP
  • 2019-01-08

Fantastic book about CISSP and IT Security

I bought the audiobook version and after a few minutes of listening, I was hooked. I then bought the printed version also. The author explains the concepts, ideas and terms in a way that makes the most sense and easy to understand. I also like the way he makes the special sound effects when reading bullet points or switching topics.

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  • Chelsi P.
  • 2019-08-27

Great descriptions of somewhat dry content

If you're studying already, you know there's a TON to the CISSP. Great to listen to in the car and in free time to reinforce other study materials. The way he breaks down lists makes it easy to follow without having to take notes to break it down. Great study asset.

Editing review because there is not a PDF listed to download as mentioned.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • kristen meazell
  • 2019-03-20

excellent content and entertaining as a bonus!

I listened to this book in preparation for the CompTIA exam (yes, not the exam it was intended for) - very helpful with a lot of great examples.... great for someone like me who is a novice in the field. Besides all of that, the author has a sense of humor that made me laugh aloud a number of times and really lightened the mood for serious study. I recommend this book highly!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Slaterock
  • 2019-09-20

Study Supplement

Don't let the quality of audio stop you from purchasing this book if you are looking for a decent study supplement. The audio quality is poor as some other reviewers have previously stated but it is tolerable. The content that Phil provides is excellent and I would have rated this book at 5 stars had the audio quality been better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Roger Swanson
  • Summerville, SC
  • 2019-05-21

good overview to listen to while working

this is a good audio book to listen to for overview and help get down CISSP concepts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • justsomeguyinla
  • Temple City, CA United States
  • 2019-07-22

Audible not a good format for this book

I listened to this each day I commuted to work to prep for my CISSP exam. Did I hear it all? Yes. Did I tune a lot of it out? Unfortunately, that too is a yes. This was a very dry delivery of a very dry, yet informative book. Basically, it felt like someone reading me a dictionary. But I have to give it at least two stars because somehow I learned more than I ever wanted to know about fire suppression systems.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • kelly
  • 2019-04-18

I’d like more memorable treatment on all of the acronyms

I’d like more memorable treatment on all of the acronyms. It’s only as a career IT professional that has made me ready to understand what’s going on in this book. This book alone does not prepare to serve as a CISSP; perhaps pass the test, I don’t know yet.

I do appreciate that the scope of the test subjects are laid out.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathaniel
  • 2019-02-26

Sounds horrible

The audio quality of this recording is really tinny. It sounds like it was recorded with a built-in laptop mic. It’s bad enough that it’s hard to understand when there’s any kind of ambient noise. There are also a number of bad edits where a sentence is chopped in half.

It’s hard for me to judge the actual content given this, but I do wish there were more examples. The content feels like a list of terms to memorize at times.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jorge
  • 2019-01-16

Chapter Labeling

The lack of chapter labeling really bothers when trying to study from this book. Please Label

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Lyn
  • 2019-05-28

Too Much Background Noise

This audio has too much background noise. The ringing noise distracted me from finishing the book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful