Identity and Access Management


  • Identity
    • An identity is the unique identifier of an entity.
    • An entity is anything that exists or comes into being.
  • Identification
    • Identification is the process for a subject to confess or present its identity to the authentication server.
  • Authentication
    • Authentication is the process for the authentication server to verify if the identity presented by the subject is authentic against the directory or account repository.
    • An access token is returned if the authentication succeeds.
  • Authorization
    • Authorization is the process for the service or resource provider to determine if the access request can be granted to the subject based on the access token presented and the access control matrix.
  • Accounting
    • Accounting is the process for the service or resource provider to generate records or logs against the subject’s activities so that the accountability can be enforced.
  • Session
    • A session is a two-way communication during a period of time with specific start and closure time.
    • It’s common for applications to track user activities during the session from logging in to logging out.
  • Get Started Your CISSP Journey!

CISSP = The Onion + The Peacock


  • CISSP is an ISC2 certified security professional of information systems.
  • The Onion and The Peacock as metaphors are the foundational concepts for CISSP aspirants to prepare for the CISSP exam.
    • The Onion is a metaphor as a concept model to protect assets (information systems) from threats through security controls to achieve the objectives of confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA), support the organizational mission and processes and deliver business values. (The triangle stands for the organization.)
    • The Peacock is a metaphor as a concept model to demonstrate the information system components, the target we are protecting.
  • The Amicliens InfoSec Conceptual Model is developed by Wentz Wu, co-founder of Amicliens, based on The Onion and The Peacock that integrates the CISSP and CISM knowledge areas seamlessly.
  • To start your CISSP journey, please visit the CISSP page.
  • To know more about the author, Wentz Wu, please visit the About Me page.

CISSP Domains


The CISSP domains can be divided into two parts: management and technical parts. The management part comprises domain 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7, and focuses on concepts, principles, processes, and practices, while the technical part, domain 3, 4, and 8, emphasizes the engineering things such as foundational technical and security knowledge, architecture, system lifecycle, and specific types of systems.

I suggest CISSP aspirants study the management part first and in sequence, then move onto the technical part. Both parts are equally important for you to pass the CISSP exam.



In cryptography, Lucifer was a direct precursor to the Data Encryption Standard (DES). IBM submitted the Feistel-network version of Lucifer as a candidate for the Data Encryption Standard.

The name “Lucifer” was apparently a pun on “Demon”. This was in turn a truncation of “Demonstration”, the name for a privacy system Feistel was working on.
It’s also an interesting television series on Netflix.

Old English, from Latin, ‘light-bringing, morning star’, from luxluc- ‘light’ + -fer ‘bearing’. Lucifer (sense 1)is by association with the ‘son of the morning’ (Isa. 14:12), believed by Christian interpreters to be a reference to Satan. (Google Dictionary)

Code Signing


Code Signing
Microsoft ActiveX components are a common but legacy example of mobile code. As a developer, it’s a good practice to sign your release with a code signing certificate so that end users can identify the software publisher. The code signing certificate is based on the PKI, a trust hierarchy.
Attached picture is the screenshot of code signing certificate configuration in Visual Studio 2017.


CISSP Study Strategy


  1. Position the CISSP as a PI-shaped exam (technical and managerial)
    CISSP needs deep “technical” and “managerial” knowledge and experience. It’s comprehensive, and CISSP aspirants have to think from a variety of perspectives, such as board director, senior management, CISO, auditor, law school student, procurement staff, engineer, developer, project/program manager, end user, attacker, and so forth.
  2. Stick to the CISSP Exam Outline
    Build a conceptual-level understanding of the Common Body Knowledge (CBK) presented as the CISSP Exam Outline. Understand every single terminology in the CISSP Exam Outline and explain to or teach your friends till you are feeling confident. For example, how do you define “security“, “risk“, and “management” in the title of Domain 1?
  3. Do at least 2500 practice questions to verify your knowledge
    Mere reading is not enough. Read and do questions iteratively to build and train your body of knowledge incrementally.
  4. Polish your test-taking skills
    The CISSP exam is an exam after all; you have to cultivate the test-taking skills on purpose as the real exam questions are deliberately “designed“.
  5. Study actively every day
    Keep studying every day to develop long-term memory. Follow Dale’s “Cone of Experience” to learn effectively.
  6. Determine to succeed in 3 months, no more than 6 months.
    Passing the CISSP exam is a project with a specific scope, schedule, and budget. You have to communicate well with your stakeholders to ensure your success; say, your family, boss, ISC2, mentors, peers, study groups, or online communities.

The CISSP Starter Page