CASP CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner Study Guide: A Resource Review

August 10, 2012 at 8:04 am | Posted in CompTIA, Study hints | 1 Comment
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All of you have probably heard of CompTIA’s first Master series certification: the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification. I took the exam some months back and am proud to say I passed it. If you want to know more about my experience, please read my previous post. In that article, I promised a review of the only CASP reference that is currently available, the CASP CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner Study Guide by Michael Gregg and Billy Haines. Well, it’s a bit past the promised due date of April (where has the time gone?), but I finally have gotten a chance to complete my review.

I used this book as my primary reference when I was writing Transcender’s Cert-CAS-001 practice test. I found that the book was thorough and covered all of the topics on the exam. I  particularly loved the Exam Essentials section at the end of each chapter. I would suggest that any test candidate read the Exam Essentials section for each chapter and think about  how to test a particular point using a job task.

If you hadn’t already heard, the CASP exam includes performance-based items. These item types require that you perform certain tasks to fulfill the objectives given in the scenario. The very nature of these item types requires that you actually perform security-related tasks on a daily basis in your workflow; therefore, they are almost impossible to replicate in a book. The book’s method of addressing these item types is to include exercises for you to complete on your own. Each chapter includes several exercises to reinforce the topics presented in the chapter. These exercises, which are included in the Lab Manual (Appendix A in the book), will help you understand the tasks that security professionals must perform.

Performing the exercises requires a standard personal computer (not a server or desktop powerhouse) with the capacity to run VMware Player; some exercises require that you have a copy of a Windows desktop operating system, either as the native OS or running on a virtual machine. The labs direct you to download and install various readily available forensic tools, such as Nessus and Wireshark.

The Exam Essentials sections and the Exercises work together to provide a good all-around experience for the test candidate. But to ensure that you can pass the exam, I would recommend that you take all these one step further. For example, one of the Exam Essentials in Chapter 2 is:

Be able to describe advanced network design concepts. Advanced network design requires an understanding of remote access and firewall deployment and placement. Firewall placement designs include packet filtering, dual-homed gateway, screened host, and screened subnet.

Specific scenarios that address this Exam Essential may include: knowing when to deploy a firewall, knowing how to configure ACLs, and knowing where in a complex network a firewall is best deployed. So you should take some extra time to ensure that you understand network diagrams, and research best practices for device deployment.

This book is an excellent reference to start you on your journey to becoming a CASP. If you pair this book with  Transcender’s practice test, you will be well on your way to success. It’s worth noting that Transcender’s practice test actually includes 8 performance-based scenarios that will expose you to the type of items you will see on the live exam. This is the ONLY practice test on the market right now that includes these types of items for the CASP product.  It is just one more way that we demonstrate why our products are considered leading-edge test prep materials and have been preferred by IT professionals for nearly 20 years.

Check back with us over the next few weeks as I hope to provide you with a bit more information on the CASP exam, including where this exam fits into the current certification pathways, and how to prepare for the CASP. Feel free to drop me a line with any CASP questions you may have.

Happy testing!

-Robin

1 Comment »

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  1. Thanks – just ordered the book. Really happy to see CompTia offering some high level tests.


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