Top Cybersecurity Interview Questions and Answers for 2024

April 17th, 2024
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Unlock the door to your dream organization with these top cybersecurity interview questions and answers for 2024.

Cybersecurity Interview Questions

We are all aware of what cybersecurity is and how it has become a much-needed element for every organization today. The increasing utilization and dependency on the internet and its associated mediums has brought about this imperativeness. Consequently, job opportunities in organizations that work with sensitive data, theirs as well as their client's, have amplified.

This blog containing the top cybersecurity interview questions will help aspirants in getting an idea about the kind of questions generally put forth. This compilation is for beginners, experienced professionals, analysts, engineers, and more.

Top Cybersecurity Interview Questions Guide

Let's start

Basic Cyber Security Interview Questions for Freshers

The first step is to begin with some basic cybersecurity interview questions for freshers.

Question 1. What is cryptography?

Cryptography in cybersecurity refers to the process wherein information is coded or hidden. This ensures that only the person for whom the message was for can decode/ read it.

Question 2. Who do you know about traceroute?

Traceroute is basically an impactful network diagnostic tool. It enables users to track down the path taken by data packets, right from the source to the destination over the internet.

Question 3. Explain the CIA triad.

The CIA triad stands for confidentiality, integrity & availability. This security model is used by organizations to ensure IT security.

  • Confidentiality - It is crafted to safeguard sensitive data from unauthorized access attempts. 
  • Integrity - This ensures that data's accuracy, trustworthiness and consistency are maintained throughout its lifecycle.
  • Availability - Data should at all times be available and accessible for authorized parties.

Question 4. Explain what a firewall is.

In cyber security, a firewall is basically a wall that tracks all outgoing and incoming traffic to block hackers from performing any malicious activity. It helps in maintaining data privacy from phishing links, trojan viruses, worm viruses, etc.

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Common Cyber Security Interview Questions and Answers for Experienced Professionals

At an advanced level, you must go through these common cyber security interview questions and answers for experienced professionals.

Question 5. Explain the different layers of the OSI model.

Here is a list of the OSI model layers

  1. Application layer - the first layer where interaction happens between the app and the user.
  2. Presentation layer - this is where data encryption happens, ensuring data is presentable and usable.
  3. Session layer - maintains connections in the network by controlling ports and sessions.
  4. Transport layer - transmits data via TCP/UDP protocols.
  5. Network layer - points to the path that must be taken by the data.
  6. Data link layer - determines the data format in the network.
  7. Physical layer - enables raw data transmission over a physical medium.

Question 6. What is risk management?

Risk management is a crucial process in the cyber security field. It entails identifying potential threats, analyzing their impact and constructing the best plan of action. This never-ending process is possible by understanding risk, which itself is the product of threat and vulnerability.

Question 7. What do you understand about a botnet?

A botnet is an accumulation of internet-connected devices that get infected with malware and can even be controlled by it. These can be mobile phones, servers and PCs. It is extensively used for stealing data, launching distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), sending spam and much more.

Question 8. Explain XSS and how to prevent it.

XSS is the short form of cross-site scripting, which is a web security flaw that leaves a gap for an attacker to manipulate and determine how users interact with the susceptible app.

Preventing is both simple and easy, swayed by the app's sophistication and user-controllable data handling. These are some ways to prevent it

  • Filter the input upon arrival
  • Encode the data on the output
  • Set policies for content security
  • Employ relevant headers for the responses

Cyber Security Analyst Interview Questions

These cyber security analyst interview questions or Cybersecurity interview questions will help you get the job of your dreams.

Question 9. When should patch management be done?

Patch management must be implemented as soon as any software updates are released. It is imperative for all network devices present within an enterprise to undergo in less than a month.

Question 10. What is a DDoS attack?

DDoS is the acronym of distributed denial-of-service, which is an attack that overwhelms the target network, system or site with excessive traffic flow. This renders the target inaccessible to its target users.

It happens mainly in two ways

  1. Flooding attacks - the system gets stopped when the server receives more traffic than it can handle. Packets are continuously sent by the attacker.
  2. Crash attacks - it's less common. This is where a bug is exploited by the attacker in the targeted system, causing a system crash. 

Question 11. What is meant by data leakage?

Data leakage describes unauthorized release of information or data to a third party from the business' end. It can happen through storage devices, email, internet or mobile data. Three types of data leakage are

  • Malicious insiders
  • Accidental leakage
  • Electronic communication

Question 12. What are the typical steps followed by an attacker during a Cross-Site Request Forgery attack (CSRF)?

Typically these steps are followed during a CSRF attack

  • Identifying the target web app/ website.
  • Crafting a malicious payload (typically in a JavaScript or HTML code).
  • Creating a malicious website.
  • Enticing the target to visit this malicious website (via false advertising or phishing emails).
  • Interacting with the victim via legitimate-looking authorizations.
  • Sending forged requests on behalf of the target.
  • Exploiting authentication session.
  • Succeeding in the attack mission.

You May Also Read- Cyber Security Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Cyber Security Job Interview Questions 

These cyber security job interview questions are crafted for those interested in securing a job in this field.

Question 13. Explain honeypots.

A honeypot refers to a network-attached system that is implemented as a decoy to attract cyberattacks. This helps the cybersecurity team in detecting the attackers, deflecting them and studying the hacking attempts.

Question 14. Explain the term brute force in context to cybersecurity.

Brute force attack in cyber security is a hacking method. It employs trial and error to crack encryption keys, login credentials and passwords. This simple yet effective tactic helps many attackers gain unauthorized access to organization's networks and systems and individual's accounts.

Brute force reflects the brutal ways and force used to get into the user accounts.

Question 15. Explain the Address Resolution Protocol.

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is the network layer's communication protocol in the OSI (open systems interconnection) model. It paves a bridge between a fixed physical machine address (MAC) and a constantly-changing internet protocol (IP) in a LAN.

It works between Layer 2 and 3 of the OSI model, wherein the MAC address exists on Layer 2, while the IP address is on Layer 3.

Question 16. Is SSL more reliable or HTTPS?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a technology that enables two (or more) systems/parties to securely communicate over the internet. It works in addition to HTTP at the presentation layer.

HTTPS, on the other hand, stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It combines SSL and HTTP, along with encryption to provide a hyper secure surfing experience. Its working includes the four upper layers of the OSI model.

Cyber Security Engineer Interview Questions

This section of the blog consists of the most often-asked cyber security engineer interview questions or Cybersecurity interview questions. So, if this is the job title that aligns with your expertise, then follow through.

Question 17. What is encryption, encoding and hashing?

Encryption is the method that ensures data is rendered unreadable by everyone apart from those who have the secret key needed to decrypt the data. It is employed to ensure security of data over private connections.

Encoding is a method employed to ensure that the data is correctly formatted to be interpreted rightly by recipients and apps. Communication is made possible by transforming into an easy-to-read scheme.

Hashing methodology is used to help maintain data's integrity. A data hash refers to a string of data generated against the preserved information. This helps in comparing the original and transmitted data.

Question 18. What is Perfect Forward Secrecy?

Perfect forward secrecy (PFS) is an encryption system that automatically and frequently alters the keys involved in encryption and decryption of information. It is an ongoing process that ensures minimal exposure of data in case of hacking.

Question 19. Explain WEP crack.

WEP crack is a type of attack that exploits the vulnerabilities of the WEP (wireless equivalent privacy) protocol. This protocol was an early encryption method for securing wireless networks.

Question 20. What is meant by network sniffing?

Network sniffing is basically a technique employed to evaluate the data packets that are delivered throughout the network. Specialized hardware and software is utilized to accomplish this task. Sniffing is employed for various purposes such as

  • Capturing all confidential information like passwords
  • Keeping an eye on the data packages over a network
  • Listening to the chat messages

Explore these top trending Cybersecurity certifications.

Network Security Interview Questions 

Network security interview questions are integral to help you get started and find your successful spot in this field.

Question 21. What is pipelining?

Software development method used to write and test various versions of a software program simultaneously is called pipelining. It is quite similar to parallel processing, except that it works more in depth. As many programs run parallel to one another, weeks or months worth of work gets done in a few hours.

Question 22. What is MAN in networking?

MAN or metropolitan area networks are engaged to connect multiple computers in different cities. With its large geographic scope, it may work as an internet service provider (ISP). These are less reliable, congested and difficult to establish and maintain.

Question 23. Explain Wi-Fi security.

Wi-Fi security means protecting networks and devices connected in a wireless environment. If there is no Wi-Fi security, then networking devices such as a router or a wireless access point can be easily accessed by anyone. This can be done with a mobile device or computer that is within the router's wireless signal range.

Question 24. What information do you have about stateful inspection in networking?

Stateful inspection in networking is a firewall technology. Also called dynamic packet filtering, it is used to monitor the condition of active connections, using this data to judge which network packets should be allowed through the firewall.

Cyber Security Scenario Based Questions and Answers

For those who already have experience in the field, these cyber security scenario based questions and answers will be extremely useful.

The attachment must not be downloaded. It could have malware, bugs or viruses, which may lead to corruption in the system. The link could also take on an unauthenticated third page, comprising safety. Also, it is quite easy to make a fake email id, which could also be the case here.

Question 26. What is the difference between DoS and DDoS attack?

DoS and DDoS attacks differ from one another in the following ways.

PARAMETERDoS AttackDDoS Attack
Source of AttackIt usually originates from a limited or single source that is under the attacker's control.It employs a distributed network of compromised devices. This renders it more difficult to mitigate and identify the attack.
Attack MethodThe target network or system is flooded by a small group of sources or even a single source. High volume of requests or traffic is sent to overwhelm the resource.Botnet is formed by compromised devices or computers via multiple sources. The target is bombarded collectively.
Detection & MitigationIt is comparatively easier to detect and mitigate this attack because the source is single/limited.Since the source is varied, detecting and mitigating the attack becomes a challenge. 

Question 27. Imagine you received an email that looked like this. What would you do?

Dear XYZ,

Due to inactivity, your account will be deleted by the end of the week to make space for new users. If you want your account data to be saved and sent over, please fill in the following details:

First name

Last name

Email ID

Password

DOB

Regards, 

In Cybersecurity interview questions, this is widely being asked question by the interviewers. You may frame answer this way.

This mail is a clear case of phishing.

  • No organization/brand ever asks personal information from their employees/customers.
  • The hurry has been created to trick the user into ‘biting'.

Conclusion For Cybersecurity Interview Questions

There is no end to the number of cyber security interview questions one can go through before their interview. However, these should suffice for those who have completed their training and are certified. Become a part of the leading field of cybersecurity today and enjoy the ample opportunities that tag along.

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