Our 2015 Recommended Security+ Training Books

We have posted two other blog posts regarding Cyber Security Certifications Book Reviews: our favorite six CISSP books, and our our recommended CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) Books. In this post we take a look at CompTIA’s Security+. Just a quick side note – we offer Security+ as a self study training course, and this blog post is the result of having spent several years offering Security+.

CompTIA’s Security+ is one of those ‘must-have’ InfoSec Certs in our opinion. Sure, there are a bunch of arguments ‘for and against’ taking this cert but the bottom line is this: if the HR department are seeking folk with Security+ then you better believe that you’d be best to get it. Furthermore, if your colleagues are certified and you are not then that is a disadvantage as far as we are concerned.

Security+ is considered as being slightly more of a ‘beginners course’ but having said that please remember that you are recommended to have two years experience within a Security IT setting or environment. CISSP and CEH are slightly more rigid with their entry requirements; Security+ is not.

OK, without further ado, let’s take a look at our suggested six Security+ books for 2015.

Here are our recommended Security+ Training Books for 2015

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

4.5 Star Rating from Amazon!
By: Darril Gibson
Darril Gibson has a popular CompTIA Security+ website and forum and his book has been around for several years now. Many students over at TechExams speak very highly of him, and certainly we would recommend this Security+ Training Book. In particular, this book has been approved as being ‘Certified CompTIA SY0-401 Approved Quality Content (CAQC) since it accurately and concisely covers every aspect of the SY0-401 exam. There are eleven chapters in this book that are easy to understand and, something that we like and we’ve discussed in our CISSP and CEH Book Reviews, is that this title includes real-world examples of security principles in action. We are big fans of authors and publishers weaving real-life Cyber Security examples into the material.

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CompTIA Security+ Study Guide: SY0-401

4.0 Star Rating from Amazon!
By: Emmett Dulaney
With a same rating as Darril Gibson’s ‘CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide’, this is considered as being another ‘classic’ Security+ Training Book that should really help students pass the certification first time. The book ships with much more than just printed pages, it also includes:

  • All the test preparation students need to pass SY0-401
  • Full explainations of all exam objectives (course domains) in a systematic fashion
  • Practical well-written labs that reinforce critical cyber skills
  • Real-world scenarios that place the students within an actual IT Security job role
  • End of chapter review questions that prepare the student for the final Security+ examination
  • Exam Essentials (something unique to this Book) which is a key feature of each chapter that identifies vital areas you must become proficient in prior to taking the final exam
  • And, a coupon that saves the reader 10 percent on CompTIA’s Security+ exam voucher!

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CompTIA Security+ SY0-401 Exam Cram (4th Edition)

4.0 Star Rating from Amazon!
By: Diane Barrett
This Security+ also has a four star rating from Amazon. The book ships with practice questions and answers for every exam topic all contained within a CD-ROM. . The book contains a set of 200 questions in two full practice exams. The book contains 592 pages so it is no light-read! The lead author, Diane Barrett, is a seasoned Cyber Security professional having been involved with forensic and security assessment work for many years and has authored several other cyber and forensic titles. She is a program director for ADFSL’s Conference on Digital Forensics, Security, and Law.

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CompTIA Security+ SY0-401 Cert Guide, Deluxe Edition (3rd Edition)

4.0 Star Rating from Amazon!
By: David L. Prowse
This book by David L. Prowse has been around several years now and like the other titles in this list contains other study materials that accompany the shipped print, including, a DVD that contains Three Complete Practice Exams, 31 videos, and 31 Interactive Exercises. Also, receivers of this title will also be sent a ten percent discount coupon for the Security+ exam voucher. Another thing we like about David’s book, and similar to Darril Gibson, is that runs his own website where he replies to questions from students and readers.

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Security+ Guide to Network Security Fundamentals

4.5 Star Rating from Amazon!
By: Mark Ciampa
Mark’s Security Study Book has one of the higher ratings (according to Amazon) in our list. Mark is an Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems at Western Kentucky and has authored nearly 20 IT books on various other subjects as well as Security. This is a very well written book packed with plenty of examples and it is presented in an easy-to-understand manner. We’d certainly recommend this book. Let us know if you agree with us in the comments below.

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CompTIA Security+ Certification Passport, Fourth Edition (Exam SY0-401)

4.0 Star Rating from Amazon!
By: Mike Meyers/ Dawn Dunkerley
Mike Meyers is a veteran Cyber Security publisher and his book, co-authored with Dawn Dunkerley and T.J. Samuelle does not dissapoint. The book, by their own description, contains the following resources and structure:

  • Itineraries: explained as being a list of official exam objectives/ Security+ domains
  • ETAs: defined as the ‘amount of time’ needed to complete each lesson
  • Travel Advisories: defined as being expert advice on critical topics
  • Local Lingo: these are concise definitions of key terms and concepts within the syllabus
  • Exam Tips: i.e., common exam pitfalls and solutions
  • Checkpoints: End-of-chapter questions, answers, and explanations
  • Career Flight Path: Information on the exam and possible next steps

The book also ships with a CD that contains over 200 practice exam questions and a PDF copy of the book.


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In summary

It is difficult to select one clear winner here, so we’d suggest that you hit up our Security+ Course Book Study Guide comparison page where you can compare the costs of the books. Each of the links takes you to purchase the book.

If you are serious about following a career in Cyber Security then CompTIA’s Security+ is a ‘required’ cert for many recruiters.

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