The Road to CISSP – Srinidhi Krishnamachary
How did it all begin?
Way back in 2007, I had heard this term, "CISSP" – two of my managers (I’d rather say my guru’s had written the exam but only one had passed).
When did it really start?
Joined the WhatsApp group with the same name but I was kicked out of it last year as I wasn’t really focused. Then they moved over to Telegram and in May this year Luke, Ahmed, Shri and Madunix motivated me to get going. Took the SNT 6 month membership in July and I felt that I wasn’t still hungry.
Yaniv Cracked CISSP and CISM within the span of a month in between July and August to be precise . That’s the spark which triggered the hunger. But still not much of fire within. I didn’t know the difference between tailgating
and piggybacking lol.
When did it really begin?
Attended an awesome training sessions (Bunked 2 sessions out of 5 so literally 3 days) – The trainer Mrs. Kalpagam was outstanding.
MF/BCP/DRP/Cryptography sessions were off the learning list now. At work I had Ashok V (He has like tons of experience and more than 8 certifications in Security) who really used to test my knowledge asking me about real-time
scenarios and how I would solve them.
September 30 th 2017
I paid the fees on the PearsonVue-iSC2 site $599 + Taxes . Was I really
on fire – no is the answer. I know most will not believe that my preparation was pretty short but sweet. End of November 2017 with hardly 15 days to the exam date. The spark ignited! Madunix (Fadi Sodah) Process Guide v10 was downloaded from SNT site and Sybex 7 th Edition came out of its hiding
place and was out in the open.
I started learning (not reading or memorizing but understanding) from Sybex 7th Ed using MadUnix Process guide v10 from SNT as the core element. By Dec 8th I was tired, famished, exhausted, exasperated, and disillusioned, with no more energy left in me so I didn’t study anything the day before the exam. In fact I was in office till 9PM, went home and slept.
On Dec 9 th the judgment day- woke up at 10:20 AM and reached the Pearson Vue test center at 11:40 AM (My test was at 12 PM and I was supposed to be there by 11 however its better late than never right?)
Signed the documents, finished the palm vein scans, and took the horribly unrecognizable picture. The guy pointed me to the desk where I was supposed to take the exam. Signed the NDA and without any hitch started the exam at 12:05 PM.
The first 50 questions literally took me for a ride, but I didn’t lose hope. I read each question twice and chose the best possible answer and 43 minutes had passed on the timer – took a 5 minute break and came back and
raced through the next 200 like cakewalk and on the 250th question I saw the timer – 242 minutes left.
I couldn’t believe my eyes it wasn’t even 2 hours and I had completed it. I didn’t click on the end button as I wasn’t sure of what was happening. Took a 10 minute break and I wanted to end the exam so I asked the attendant for help and he said and I quote “People write this test for 6 hours – are you sure you want to end it so soon?”
So I sat in the chair again and saw that all the others had left (I learnt later that 15 had taken the test in that week and no one had passed) – I didn’t know when I had dozed off again lol – at 4:15 PM the attendant came into the empty room and woke me up. I started reviewing the 10-12 questions which I had flagged and chose the most appropriate answers and ended the test – Went near the printer and there it was – The best moment of my life with the words.
“Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have provisionally passed the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) examination.”
As I feel as though I won an Oscar (LOL) I would dedicate this to my Dad, my wife Pearly M, my mum, my brother Srikara, my friends – Kiran, Kiddo, Arun, Vasu, Srini Y, Kishore T and Mr. Murthy, My trainer / Guru Mrs. Kalpagam and to my extended family (All from SNT – Luke, Madunix, Yaniv, Ahmed Khatibi, Shri, Ahmed Khan, Prashant, Kim, Shourouk, Shalini, Vaibhav P, Albert, Dawood, Venkatesh Kondi, Seep, Paul M and Olga to name a few – Phew!