The Best Gifts for a CISSP® (or Soon to Be)
You owe the computer nerds in your life. From troubleshooting to debugging, they are always ready to tackle your (often self-inflicted) technology nightmares. The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to give heartfelt thanks to the security engineers, developers, and IT teams who, no matter the situation, keep you online.
Since these IT leaders in your life are probably CISSP®s or training to be CISSP®s, we broke down this guide by the eight domains of the CISSP® exam. Pick their favorite domain, and your gift won’t be mundane.
Domain 1, Security and Risk Management: SCOTTeVEST
Film director and artist John Waters once bemoaned the apparent lack of style within IT, saying, “There’s no look to that lifestyle! Besides just wearing a bad outfit with bad posture!” That’s finally changed with this blazer, which combines style with functionality. With 23 pockets of all sizes, this travel blazer isn’t just a fashion statement: it’s a mobile office. Moreover, the CISSP® in your life is going to need it. Domain 1 teaches tech practitioners how to think like managers and combine managerial competence with technical prowess. A tailored blazer will get them ready for that upcoming budget meeting with their C-suite.
Domain 2, Asset Security: Datastroyer Industrial Hard Drive Degausser or “In Case of Emergency, Drill Here” Sticker
Domain 2 covers the popular topic of media destruction. There are a lot of ways to securely delete data, but none gets the job done with the reliability and dramatic flair of physical annihilation. If you’ve ever wondered how the NSA destroys its hard drives – wonder no more! There’s only one industrial degausser on the market that boasts the seal of approval from America’s most security-minded agency: the aptly-named Datastroyer, retailing at $15,999.00 USD.
Fortunately, media destruction techniques come at a variety of price points. A “Drill Here” computer sticker pinpoints the exact location of the computer hard drive and can be affixed to the outside of most hardware. Your CISSP® can simply engage their power tool of choice, point, and destroy.
Domain 3, Security Engineering: Signal Private Messaging App
The gift of privacy is priceless. Fortunately for fans of cryptography, so is the app Signal – which brings secure text and voice messaging to both Android and Apple mobile platforms. The app comes recommended by privacy #icons, including Edward Snowden, filmmaker Laura Poitras, and security researcher Bruce Schneier. But the CISSP®s in your life already know that. That’s why, this holiday season, the best gift you can give them is downloading Signal yourself, so your conversations with them remain private. Retailing at a “fair” hacker price of $0, Signal is also open source, which means the gift of security is free as in freedom and beer!
Domain 4, Communication and Network Security: Faraday Bag
CISSP®s learn in Domain 4 that devices can be tricked into connecting to powerful, malicious Wifi hotspots that are used by hackers to monitor your traffic and reap your personal data. A Faraday Cage, a sleeve that your device slips into, shields it from the radio frequency waves used by Wifi.
Domain 5, Identity and Access Management: FingerPrint Scanner
Domain 5 teaches CISSP®s that you can authenticate an individual’s identity through their unique physical characteristics. Biometric authentication is the strongest, most secure form of authentication. And pretty cool to put your thumb onto a reader and unlock your computer.
Domain 6, Security Assessment and Testing: Gunnars Computer Glasses or Wifi Pineapple
Extended exposure to artificial blue light, which is what we see every time we look at a computer screen, can tax the eyes, resulting in headaches, dry eyes, and blurry vision. After learning about pen testing in Domain 6, CISSP®s will be glued to their computers, scanning networks for vulnerabilities and brute-forcing passwords. Help them protect their eyes as they protect their networks.
A Wifi Pineapple is a must-have gadget for any pen tester looking to explore and understand wireless networks. The tool runs an advanced suite of software out-of-the-box and is compatible with a web interface, making the device both capable and user-friendly. Hours of entertainment await the white and black hat hacker within all of us.
Domain 7, Security Operations: Compressed Air
The security operations domain covers all the day-to-day tasks a CISSP® may do. From development, to threat modeling, to budget creation, there’s always lots to accomplish. And their computers work as hard as they do. Compressed air can help keep computers clean and dust-free, which prevents overheating – and makes a great stocking stuffer!
Domain 8, Software Development Security: Open Source Software Donation
Free and open source software is source code that is freely licensed. This means it is free to users. Moreover, open source encourages the community to voluntarily improve the design. The organizations that create open source code often depend on the hard work of its volunteer programmers and user donations. Find out your tech buddie’s favorite open source projects and make a donation in their name. You can support products like Signal, the open source secure messaging app we discussed in Domain 3’s gift guide, the Mozilla Foundation, or their Linux distribution of choice.
Bonus Gift: Raspberry Pi
Pen testers, engineers, and technology hobbyists alike will appreciate this low-cost, high-performance computer. Raspberry Pi is the size of a credit card and the perfect gift for programmers of all skill-levels. Ideas and project tutorials are available online: from setting up your own media library or Pirate Radio station, to automating your morning tea.
Bonus Gift: Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones
Right now you can get these headphones for free, when you enroll in CyberVista’s CISSP training course. Give the gift of a career-changing certification. Enroll yourself, or refer a friend today. Happy (cyber secure) shopping.