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June 2003

First person: Editor Andrew Briney on how to pass the CISSP exam

Certifiable: A newly minted CISSP gives you the inside scoop on information security's most coveted -- and controversial -- certification. I just took the CISSP exam, and I'm here to testify: Everything you've heard about it is true. It's both disarmingly easy and bewilderingly difficult. It's both legitimately challenging and totally unfair. It's both incredibly rewarding and pull-out-your-hair-and-scream-to-the-heavens aggravating. It's a mystery wrapped in riddle inside an enigma. It's both disarmingly easy and bewilderingly difficult. It's both legitimately challenging and totally unfair. It's both incredibly rewarding and pull-out-your-hair-and-scream-to-the-heavens aggravating. And here's the punch line: The exam is a metaphor for the CISSP credential itself. The CISSP is the undisputed heavyweight champion of infosec certifications, the gold standard, the pièce de résistance. Yet it's routinely ridiculed as a "paper certification," lacking depth or practical application. Even those who proudly use it like a third name--"...

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