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Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes to Pass Your CCSP Exam

Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes to Pass Your CCSP Exam

Becoming a Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) is a big step for anyone looking to improve cloud security. It shows that you know your expertise and commitment to the field. But getting there is not always easy. There are seven common mistakes that might cause difficulties for you in the CCSP exam. This article will discuss seven mistakes candidates can avoid to pass the CCSP exam. This way, you can prepare smartly and go into the exam feeling confident. Knowing what to be aware of can help you plan your study time better and get you on the right track to passing the exam.

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your CCSP Exam

7 common mistakes to avoid in your CCSP Exam

1. Focusing on multiple books

Let’s start with the first mistake students make while preparing for the CCSP exam. They usually start with the Cybex, which reads all in one, then read multiple books, and by the end of the day, they get confused. Their minds become blank. In reality, it’s enough to focus only on two books.

  • The third edition of CBK by ISC2
  • CCSP Dummy Guide for Compensatory Control

The third edition of CBK by ISC2 is much better than the second and first editions. CCSP CBK 3rd edition is already out. You can use that as the first reference. Furthermore, the best thing about the CCSP dummy guide is its highlighted points feature. They mention the important points in every paragraph or after some topic.

Why CBK 3rd edition?

ISC2 exams are based on the language of the ISC2 exam book. When you read the CCSP CBK 3rd edition, you can understand the ISC2 exam questions. A Negative aspect of this book is that it does not come with a question bank. However, the positive aspect is that the language is well-crafted, which is required for exam preparation. Moreover, The Dummy Guide fills in some gaps you feel exist in the counterparts.

If you want to study harder a few weeks before the exam, read these two more books:

  • Cloud Guardian by Joanne Betty
  • CIRRUS by Prashant Mohan

These two are the best books you should refer to the week before the exam. If you want extensive preparation, it is highly recommended that you review these two books a few weeks before the exam.

If you are not good at Domain 3 and Domain 5, you can refer to the book All in One. The best thing about the All in One book is that it is well crafted, especially for Domain 5. So, if you want, you can refer to it. Otherwise, everything is mitigated and limited in the CBK 3rd edition.

2. Overconfidence

The second most common mistake students make is overconfidence, which comes from practical experience. However, the exam doesn’t test your practical skills. Instead, it requires you to think like a manager, where many fail the CCSP exam. They approach it as implementers, not managers, lacking in areas like security governance, which is crucial both on-premises and in the cloud.

Governance and risk management remain consistent, involving understanding the issue, initiating requirements, and then taking corrective action. This contrasts with the practitioner’s approach of directly addressing the problem, such as shutting down a machine. So, you need to understand Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) well.

3. Memorizing

The third common mistake students often make is simply memorizing topics without understanding the underlying principles.

Take, for example, the concept of on-demand access in cloud computing, one of the five key characteristics outlined in Domain 1. While the textbook definition emphasizes the availability of services as needed, it’s crucial to delve deeper. Understanding on-demand access involves recognizing its benefits and potential risks, such as governance issues arising from unlimited instance requests. The exam challenges you to think beyond mere definitions, considering the implications of these features in real-world scenarios.

Another concept often memorized is broad network access, which suggests that services should be accessible anywhere. While this sounds helpful, from a cloud security advisor’sadvisor’s perspective, it raises significant concerns. The universal accessibility of instances introduces risks and governance challenges, especially when considering legal and regulatory implications. For example, data hosted in Europe but accessed globally can lead to compliance issues. The exam expects you to understand the concept and its security and regulatory ramifications.

Finally, consider the foundational security principles of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Merely knowing the definition of confidentiality, such as its focus on preventing unauthorized disclosure, isn’t enough. The exam will test your skills to use concepts like encryption and access control to solve specific confidentiality-related problems. It’s essential to engage with these concepts practically, envisioning their application rather than memorizing them. This approach is key to passing the exam and effectively implementing these principles in real-world situations.

4. Practicing Random Questions

The fourth mistake to avoid is the practice of working through random questions. Starting with resources like Cybex can set a good foundation. Adding to your study with platforms like Boson and Udemy can help you better understand by providing a clearer picture of the question formats you will encounter. These resources help you get accustomed to the style and complexity of the questions.

However, it’s crucial not to fall into the trap of spending time on random, unstructured questions. This strategy has caused many students to underperform on the exam, as it can distract from concentrated, effective study strategies more closely aligned with the exam’s content and structure.

5. Lack of Understanding of Domains

The fifth common mistake is a lack of understanding of domains 3 and 5. Not everyone has direct experience with these areas, as they align more with data center operations. It’s crucial not to underestimate the importance of these domains; they are important to your success on the exam. To strengthen your understanding of these sections, it is highly recommended that you review the CSA Guidance version 4.0. This resource provides valuable insights, particularly concerning the management plane, clarifying responsibilities, and other critical aspects.

For Domain 5, those following self-study can benefit greatly from referencing the All-In-One (AIO) guide. This approach ensures that even without direct experience in these specific areas, you can develop a comprehensive understanding necessary to excel in the exam.

6. Lack of Clarity

One common mistake candidates make is not clearly understanding the responsibilities of each group involved in cloud services. It’s crucial to ask yourself: What are the responsibilities of a cloud provider versus those of a cloud customer? For example, in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), you might be provided with instances but fail to document who is responsible for what. A solid grasp of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and contracts can sometimes allow you to overlook these details. Nevertheless, such oversights can cost you during the actual exam. Therefore, it’s essential to thoroughly understand the contracts, SLAs, and the specific roles and responsibilities in each service and deployment model.

In IaaS, for example, customers typically have more control over the infrastructure. In contrast, in Software as a Service (SaaS), they have less control. These distinctions are covered in Domain 1 of the CCSP curriculum. However, when you reach Domain 5, which focuses on forensic investigation, a comprehensive understanding of the foundational concepts from Domain 1 becomes crucial. Without a clear grasp of the basic principles, including who is responsible for what, it can be challenging to address the more advanced topics covered in Domain 5.

7. Not Reading the Questions

The last mistake students make is not reading the question carefully. In CCSP, it’s sure that you will be confused between two options. That time, your mind and your eyes become blank. You can can’t see anything. But remember, panic and fear will not take you anywhere.

During the CCSP exam, the pressure of having only 180 minutes to answer 125 questions can be overwhelming, leading you to believe that you cannot review your answers. This sense of urgency might cause confusion and panic. However, it’s important to remember that you can take a brief moment, perhaps just 10 seconds, to revisit a question, reassess the options more thoroughly, and then finalize your answer.

In the CCSP exam, it’s quite common to find yourself torn between two choices. This isn’t necessarily because the options are extremely similar but rather due to the specific wording used in the questions. A single word can significantly alter the meaning of an option, making it crucial to pay close attention. It’s unlikely to fully grasp every question on the first attempt. Bearing this in mind, allow yourself some patience, and you will gradually work towards the correct solutions.

A bonus tip is to review the Reddit forums, feedback, and everything else. Check what the experienced say and what they’re talking about. And whatever feedback comes, take that feedback seriously. You shall ace the CCIP.

Wrapping Up

The journey to passing the CCSP exam goes beyond memorizing concepts and terms. It’s about understanding the complexities of cloud security and applying this knowledge in practical scenarios. By clarifying the seven common mistakes, you enhance your preparation and set yourself up for success.

Remember, every mistake avoided is a step closer to achieving your certification. Approach your studies with a clear strategy, get help when needed, and have a positive mindset throughout preparation. With dedication and the right approach, passing the CCSP exam is within your reach, opening doors to new opportunities and advancements in the ever-evolving field of cloud security.


What does “on-demand access” mean in cloud computing?

On-demand access refers to accessing cloud services and resources, such as instances, when needed. This characteristic ensures that resources are readily available to meet user demands without significant delays.

Why is it important to understand the risks associated with broad network access for the CCSP exam?

Understanding the risks is crucial because broad network access can introduce security and governance challenges, especially regarding compliance and data privacy across different jurisdictions.

How can one avoid common mistakes in CCSP exam preparation?

By going beyond memorization and engaging deeply with the material, understand both the technical aspects and the real-world implications of the concepts covered in the exam.

Why is it not enough to memorize concepts for the CCSP exam?

Memorizing concepts without learning their application and implications can hinder your ability to tackle the CCSP exam’s real-world problem-solving questions. A deep understanding of the principles, risks, and security implications is essential for effectively addressing the complex scenarios presented in the exam.

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