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Best Books for Complete CISM Preparation

13th Sep, 2023
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Best Books for Complete CISM Preparation

CISM is a credential issued by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) that certifies a person's ability to oversee and manage an enterprise's information security teams. It is designed for IT professionals pursuing management positions in the industry. It is one of the best web security certification programs available.

Although the certification is not as technical as ISACAs other offerings, the first-time pass rate ranges between 50 and 60 percent. Learning from suitable material and having a study plan are vital for obtaining this credential. But do not worry; we have gotten you covered. Find the best CISM books reviewed below and some study planning tips to help you crack the test. 

Best Books to Learn CISM 

Below are the best CISM study guides for beginners and advanced learners. You can make use of these books to get through CISM certification exam on your first attempt: 

Top 3 CISM Books for Beginners 

1. Complete Guide to CISM Certification

The Complete Guide to CISM® Certification is a CISM book that details five areas: Security governance, risk management, information security program management, information security management, and response management.

As part of this course, students learn how to implement the information security governance framework through processes and technical solutions. They learn how to manage risk effectively as part of the organization's information security manager's responsibilities, as well as useful techniques. This CISM book also covers the steps and simple solutions for responding to an incident.  

Author NameThomas R. Peltier & Justin Peltier  

Publisher Info:  Auerbach Publications 

Year of Release and Version: 2006 

Goodreads Rating: 3.67 

You can enroll in CISM course online to gain knowledge about CISM and enhance your skills and career chances. 

2. Information Security Management Metrics

Despite an increased focus on security and a huge increase in security budgets, spectacular cybersecurity weaknesses continue to dominate the headlines in this CISM certification book. With audits as well-liked solutions for minimizing risk, the need for real-time strategic metrics is ever more critical.

You will discover a surprising new way to manage information risks and support business activities by implementing security metrics. It talks about the critical questions that everyone with responsibility in this area should ask themselves, including:

  1. What are the security measures in place for my business? 

  1. Which amount of security is best?

Author Name:  CISM W. Krag Brotby 

Publisher Info:  Auerbach Publications 

Year of Release and Version: 2009 

Goodreads Rating: 3.2  

3. Network Security Policy a Complete Guide

The importance of maintaining a Network Security Policy is palpable amongst IT professionals to such an extent that many businesses have created policies, manuals, and guides. 

But the wisdom behind these texts and best practices tends to come from people more experienced than most business owners. The good news is that this guide was designed for people who want to hear the voices of experts rather than read dry instructions or figures. This guide is among the best CISM books for candidates.

Anyone who wants to succeed in their job must be able to handle tough situations, ask difficult questions, and make the best decisions. Those who possess these skills are the most valuable when faced with challenging projects or goals. In every group, company, organization, and department.

Author Name: Gerardus Blokdyk  

Publisher Info: 5STARCooks 

Year of Release and Version: 2019  

3 Best Advanced CISM Books H2 

1. Penetration Testing

Cyber security experts use penetration tests to evaluate enterprise defenses. Penetration testing is becoming an increasingly necessary step in preparing an organization or individual for cybersecurity incidents. In accordance with the National Strategy for Cybersecurity, these professionals stay ahead of cyber criminals and reduce their level of success.

In the world of information security, pen-testers are the unsung heroes. They are at the forefront of keeping your company's systems secure. Georgia Weidman has written a new ISACA CISM book that will teach you how to master basic penetration testing and help with many assessment engagements.

We have several resources where you can read about how to get started:

  1. Crack passwords and wireless network keys with brute-forcing and word lists 

  1. Determine whether your website can be hacked and how quickly it might happen 

  1. Metasploit is a penetration testing framework that can leverage exploits and write your Metasploit modules. 

  1. Attacks that can be automated 

Author Name: Georgia Weidman 

Publisher Info:  No Starch Press 

Year of Release and Version: 2014 

Goodreads Rating: 4.17 

2. Malware Analyst's Cookbook and DVD 

This is a rewriter for the computer forensics “how-to” that was mentioned earlier.

Computers have become so prominent in our everyday lives that the ever-increasing risk of malware poses a pressing concern. Security professionals will find plenty of solutions in this CISM book latest edition, from viruses and Trojan horses to spyware, rootkits, adware, and more. These issues are brought to light by experts who are well-known for their insight, providing businesses with many opportunities to bolster security practices.

Author Name: Steven Adair, Michael Ligh, Matthew Richard, Blake Hartstein 

Publisher Info: Wiley 

Year of Release and Version: 2010 

Goodreads Rating: 4.19  

3. Cryptography Theory and Practice (Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications)

Cryptography: The CISM book Theory and Practice was first introduced in 1995. Despite the continued success of this text, there has been a significant rift within the community due to political disagreements. Those differences could be resolved by publishing its third edition, which focuses on more cutting-edge advancements in cryptography.

This third CISM book 2022 edition has been updated to meet the latest needs of this dynamic field. There are new threats and new encryption techniques for our needs. You'll be armed with the knowledge you need to use these techniques on an ongoing basis to protect your country from ever-evolving threats. 

This CISM book latest edition includes 7 new chapters written by cryptographers who are experts in their fields, making it easy for you to learn more about topics you'll find valuable. Enroll in the online courses to deepen your knowledge and advance your skills and career in Information Security Management.

Author Name: Douglas R. Stinson 

Publisher Info: Chapman & Hall 

Year of Release and Version: 2005 

Goodreads Rating: 3.77 

Study Planning Tips for CISM Exam 

Here are some tips that could prove invaluable in your preparation for the CISM certification exam: 

Choose the Exam Date Wisely

Choosing an exam date after preparing well for it is a good idea. Depending on your current level of understanding, you can expect to spend four weeks to three months learning the material. 

Make a Study Schedule

When you know the date of your next test, sketch up a study schedule. Do not postpone preparing yourself until the day before the test. The test is challenging, so you must draft a realistic study schedule to get certified. 

Break Down the Syllabus

Break down the content into domains and account for the time you need to answer sample questions. Aim for one to three weeks of study time for each domain (depending on how acquainted you are with the topic), mostly on weekends, with a bit of review time added.

Check Out the CISM Review Manual

The CISM review manual comprises chapters that include knowledge areas you need to pay attention to. The handbook is divided into two sections: the first contains information on the main principles to grasp, alongside keywords and security logic. The second section comprises specific concepts you must comprehend before taking the test. 

Make Learning Fun

Listening plays a significant part in the way specific individuals learn. Candidates spend a lot of time reading books but disregard the listening component of learning.

You may discover a plethora of study aids, such as movies and podcasts, on the internet. Watching relevant video tutorials is an excellent way to grasp concepts quickly and reduce your anxiety levels. 

You might even learn some tips and methods offered by experienced security managers already certified. These sources of knowledge provide you with a new way to look at a subject, which helps you get a deeper understanding of it. 

Become an Active Member of the Online Community

Nobody can bounce your questions off or discuss your concerns while self-studying. But you can change that by asking for the answers to your questions from industry experts in online groups.

Do not Skip Taking Mock Tests

Taking practice exams before you try the real exam offers impressive benefits. They may assist you in building confidence and familiarise you with the many types of questions that will appear in the actual test.

ISACA provides a practice quiz, but you can find several other quizzes and mock exams online to test your knowledge.

Do not Try to Memorize it all

Memorizing anything is storing it in your mind. This may be useful for an exam, but it may not be beneficial in real-life circumstances. It is usually preferable to comprehend rather than remember anything.

It sticks with you for the rest of your life when you grasp something. When you understand the principle behind a subject, memorizing the minute details you need to remember becomes much easier. This way, you will not need to strain to remember answers when taking the test. when taking the test.

Work on your Soft Skills

The CISM focuses on leadership and management. IT workers should be familiar with all test topics, but learning to think like a manager is more critical.

The technical solution may not be the correct answer. A company's strategy, cyber security measures, and expenditures must be considered. 


Learning from suitable material and using the right resources can make studying for the CISM certification much easier. Tapping into the skills and experience that the authors possess will make you a better Certified Information Security Manager.

But reading books is not the only way to prepare for the exam. You can enroll in the KnowledgeHut CISM course online if you prefer following video tutorials rather than reading books.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What should I study for CISM?

The topics you must study for CISM include Information Security Governance(24%), Information Risk Management (30%), Information Security Program Development and Management (27%), Information Security Incident Management(19%).

2What is the latest edition of CISM book?

The 15th Edition of the CISM Review Manual is intended to assist you in studying for the CISM test. The four practice areas included in the CISM test are grouped into chapters in this comprehensive, easy-to-navigate guidebook. 

3Is CISM hard to pass?

Many experts who have taken the CISM exam say it is difficult since it is a management-level credential. Because the first-time pass percentage is low, this test is considered one of the more challenging certification examinations.


Mounika Narang


Mounika Narang is a project manager having a specialisation in IT project management and Instructional Design. She has an experience of 10 years 
working with Fortune 500 companies to solve their most important development challenges. She lives in Bangalore with her family.

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