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Newcomer II

Passed the CCSP exam - my recommendations

Dear community,


I joined this forum a couple of weeks ago, while I was preparing for my CCSP exam - which I had today and passed 🙂 I would like to sum up my personal recommendations for having good chances of passing the exam. Please do not take these notes as a general "recipe", it's just how it worked out for me.


Reading this post very thoroughly detailed by Radioteacher (who also recently passed the CCSP exam) - btw, congratulations from my side also! - I got a bit scared that maybe I am not doing enough for my preparation. The thing is: it very much depends on your previous experience and if you already have other credentials, like CISSP (or aquivalent). And more training is never bad, it's just a matter of perspective. In the end, what matters is if you go with a "clean mind" to the exam, meaning you feel you have done enough to prepare.


Long story short: I used the following materials to LEARN:


  1. The Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CCSP CBK (2nd Edition)
  2. CCSP (ISC)2 Certified Cloud Security Professional Official Study Guide (1st Edition)

And to PRACTICE I used:


  • the review questions at the end of each chapter in the CBK and Official Study Guide
  • the online practice exams provided by Sybex to those who buy the Official Study Guide

I did not participate in any classroom training and did not use any other resources for learning or practicing. But I must mention that I earned my CISSP credential last year in december, which helped a lot during learning and in the end at the exam. And I have approximately 6 years of experience in the IT Security field.


My recommendation: do NOT rely solely on the Official Study Guide, it simply does not cover all topics as thoroughly as the CBK does. Read the CBK at least 2 times to make sure you did not miss any important concepts.


Both books are, in my opinion, well written (like a story), with enough examples from the real world, so I would definitely recommend them both.


How much time I invested? Hard to say (I lost track...), but I started at the beginning of September 2017 and learned every week approximately 6-8 hours, starting with November a lot more (maybe 20 hours a week?) + a bit more in the last week prior to the exam. So I would assume I spent somewhere around 150 hours of study to pass the CCSP exam.


Is the exam time of 4 hours enough? Yes, in my opinion it is more than enough to cover the exam, 1-2 short breaks and a bit of buffer in the end.


I hope this information helps you in getting prepared for your CCSP exam. Wish you all the luck! Let me know if you have questions which you think I might be able to answer (except of those related to the real exam questions, which I will not disclose...).




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Community Champion

Re: Passed the CCSP exam - my recommendations





Thank you for your kind words.  Like you, I found the CCSP a challenging but manageable test.  


I did not use "The Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CCSP CBK (2nd Edition)" but I am sure it would have helped.  I did use the CCSP-Exam-Outline.pdf from the website.  At only fifteen pages I am sure this was like a Table of Contents for the CBK book. 


My supervisor asked for a synopsis of my cloud studying this year and I was not surprised that it added up to over 80 hours of training.



Community Champion

Re: Passed the CCSP exam - my recommendations

Below is a summary of my cloud training and cloud certifications achieved in 2017.  


Even if one does not take a single cloud test I feel the information below will help build a foundation in cloud computing that can be built upon for years to come.


CCSK is the Cloud Security Alliance - Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge
CCSP is the (ISC)2 - Certified Cloud Security Professional


Formal and Self Study training
6 hours - Watched the CCSP video course by Kelly Handerhand
6 hours - Read and study the Kindle edition of The Fast Track CCSK Certification by Rachid Echouah
6 hours – Read and study The Fast Track CCSK Certification - Supplements by Rachid Echouah
7 hours – Reviewed the CCSK material with co-worker in office on a Sunday
4 hours – Studied the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) “Cloud Controls Matrix v3.0.1”
12 hours – Studied the CSA’s Guide v3.0
8 hours – Studied the ENSIA Cloud Computing Risk Assessment
16 hours – CCSP Crash Course at (ISC)2 Congress – Live Instructor – Dr. Lyron Andrews
4 hours – Studied the OWASP Top 10
6 hours – Studied the NIST SP 800-146 Cloud Computing Synopsis and Recommendations with emphasis on Chapter 4
4 hours – Studied the NIST SP 800-144 Guidelines on Security and Privacy in Public Cloud Computing
1 hour – Studied the NIST SP 800-125 Guide to Security for Full Virtualization Technologies
3 hours – Referenced All In One CCSP book by Daniel Carter
10 hours – Reviewed the (ISC)2 CCSP Crash Course Textbook and class notes
2 hours – Studied available Mind Maps for CCSP
4 hours – Used Quizlet to drill new terms and definitions
6 hours – Taking, Grading and reviewing various practice tests


Test Times
1.5 hours - On October 10, 2017, I took and passed the Cloud Security Alliance - Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing V3, (CSA CCSKv3).
2.1 hours - On November 13, 2017, I took and passed the (ISC)2 - Certified Cloud Security Professional test (Provisional, I am waiting on endorsement approval from (ISC)2.


I regularly listen to podcasts on Cloud Computing.
8 hours in 2017 – The Cloud Cast by Aaron Delp and Brian Gracely
9 hours in 2017 – Cloud Computing Weekly Podcast by David Linthicum


Keep learning my friends,




Newcomer I

Re: Passed the CCSP exam - my recommendations

Hi, do you have any cloud experiences prior CCSP exam preparation? I think someone with experience as cloud administrator or cloud architect will pass the CCSP exam without much trouble.


Re: Passed the CCSP exam - my recommendations

Congrats !!!!!!