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How To Study for the (ISC)2 Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) Exam

FEATURED + CLOUD SECURITY Ervin Daniels todayJanuary 3, 2022 420 1 5

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It’s official. I’ve just received my (ISC)2 CCSP Certified Cloud Security Professional certification.

Passing the CCSP exam was a challenge, but I want to  make it easier for you. I want to share my experience and preparation notes with those who are interested in taking the exam. The CCSP is the top-ranked cloud security certification in the Security industry today, and it’s worth pursuing. This article is just another one, but I hope you find it helpful.

I did not pass the exam on my first attempt, but I was able to pass it on the next try. The internet says that the CCSP certification exam is not more complicated than the CISSP Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam; that’s not necessarily a true statement. Do not believe everything you read on the internet, folks. I also have my CISSP certification. Warning! The CCSP exam is not an easy task. Do not take this test lightly if you already have your CISSP certification or not. Take this test seriously and study hard regardless.

Those who have taken the (ISC)2 multiple-choice exams know how difficult and tricky they can be. The CCSP exam is no different. (ISC)2 exam takers must understand deeply about the topic to be successful.

THE FIRST ROUND – I THOUGHT IT WOULDN’T BE DIFFICULT 

I enrolled in an instructor-led CCSP boot camp. The class course was good, and the enrolled students received good study material throughout the sessions. After completing the course, my initial thoughts were only reading the boot camp study materials, which I assumed would be enough. I thought it wouldn’t be difficult when I prepared for the exam, so I took it lightly. I was wrong. I took the exam and did not achieve a passing score. I remembered being astonished when I received my test results, but it motivated me to study harder for the retake.

After analyzing my initial approach, I learned that a basic boot camp that included books and my hand-written notes alone were insufficient to prepare me to pass the exam. I had to develop a new approach towards studying and preparing for the retake.

THE SECOND ROUND – THE RETAKE 

I had a second chance at achieving my goal. I enrolled into a more comprehensive CCSP boot camp, a much-improved experience. The instructor was a better teacher, and the curriculum was fantastic. The much-improved course and study materials helped a lot. It consisted of pre-recorded webinars, recorded instructor-led courses, and practice exams.

Additionally, I researched other study resources outside of the boot camp. The list of additional study materials consisted of extra practice exams, videos, books, websites, search engines, and interviews with colleagues who had already taken the exam or had a deep knowledge of cloud technologies. Adding additional resources increased my knowledge tremendously and prepared me to retake the exam.

GETTING PREPARED TO TAKE THE CCSP EXAM

Before starting studying, you must know what this certification is about and the prerequisites. The topics included in the CCSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) ensure its relevancy across all disciplines in the field of cloud security. Successful candidates are competent in the following six domains [As of August 1, 2022]:

  1.  Cloud Concepts, Architecture and Design (17%)
  2.  Cloud Data Security (20%)
  3.  Cloud Platform & Infrastructure Security (17%)
  4.  Cloud Application Security (17%)
  5.  Cloud Security Operations (16%)
  6.  Legal, Risk, and Compliance (13%)

It is a 3 hour exam 

There are 125 multiple choice questions

The passing score is 700 out of 1000 points

Warning! You can’t go back and review questions during the exam! 

TEN TIPS AND RESOURCES TO PASS THE CCSP EXAM

  1. Attend a CCSP training seminar if necessary.
  2. It’s mandatory to read (before studying) the official (ISC)2 CCSP Certification Exam Outline
  3. Read the CCSP (ISC)2 Official Study Guide 2nd Edition by Ben Malisow
  4. Read the CCSP (ISC)2 Official Practice Tests 2nd Edition by Ben Malisow
  5. Read the CCSP Exam Guide all-in-one 2nd Edition by Daniel Carter
  6. Watch Youtube videos to learn more about cloud security
  7. Get hands-on experience from cloud service providers (e.g., AWS, etc.)
  8. Take practice exams from official sources (e.g., websites, books, etc.)
  9. Find a study buddy or group to help with reinforcing concepts
  10. Get familiar with the Cloud Security Alliance website

CONCLUSION 

My new exam strategy proved to be the missing piece. In addition to the above tips and resources, plan your exam strategy and develop a daily study schedule (hours per day included) to help keep you on track. Of course, the exam preparation will be unique for each person, but find what works for you. The above list is of tips and resources is not comprehensive, but I believe each is very important. If I had to prioritize from the list, taking as many practice exams as possible would be the top-ranked. Good luck if you’ve scheduled the CCSP exam! Study hard and smart. I hope this was helpful.

 

 

Cybersecurity Architect with over 25 years of Technology and Security leadership and hands-on experience across various industries (retail, public, financial services, and technology).

Written by: Ervin Daniels

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Ervin Daniels

Cybersecurity Architect with over 25 years of Technology and Security leadership and hands-on experience across various industries (retail, public, financial services, and technology).


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