Top Cyber Security Interview Questions and Answers

5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 2 votes

Information security is an indispensable part of business functioning these days as these organizations collect, process, and store big chunks of data on their computer networks and devices. Cyber security is a norm for the businesses to function and save sensitive information and data. This included business secrets, intellectual property, financial data, personal information, etc., so that they don’t get exposed to any unauthorized access and impact the business badly. Cyber security is an ever-growing employment segment that requires skilled professionals who can handle the task of securing the information and data efficiently.

This write-up lists some of the popular cyber security interview questions and answers, which will help you to succeed in a cyber-security interview.

Q1. What are different types of cyber security?

Different types of cyber security are –

  • Application security
  • Cloud security
  • Data security
  • Mobile security
  • Network security
  • Database and infrastructure security
  • Disaster recovery/business continuity planning
  • Endpoint security
  • End-user education
  • Identity management

Q2. Can you tell us the difference between a threat, vulnerability, and a risk?

These are mixed up terms that need to be clearly defined –

Threat – Threats are cybersecurity events that have the potential to pose danger to information or systems.

Vulnerability – This refers to weaknesses in any system. Any system can be exploited through vulnerability

Risk – Often confused with treat, risk is main a combination of threats and losses, usually monetary ones

Q3. What is data leakage?

It refers to an unauthorized data transmission, either electronically or physically from an organization to any external destination or recipient. The most common forms of data leakage are through web, email, and mobile data storage devices.

Q4. Which factors contribute to data leakage?

The most commonly experienced factors are –

  • Outdated data security
  • Human Error
  • Technology error
  • Malware
  • Misuse
  • Physical theft of data
  • System misconfiguration
  • Inadequate security control for shared drives
  • Corrupt hard-drive
  • Unprotected data back up

Q5. How to prevent data leakage?

Since it’s a serious issue, it needs a proper strategy to tackle. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a practice adopted by the organizations to safeguard their data. Under this practice, users are not allowed to send confidential or sensitive information outside of the enterprise network. This requires businesses to distinguish the rules that classify confidential and sensitive information such that it doesn’t get disclosed maliciously or even accidentally by any user.

Q6. What is Security Misconfiguration?

Categorized as system vulnerability, security misconfiguration is a situation when a device/application/network is misconfigured and is prone to exploited by an attacker. A few simple examples of this include leaving systems unattended at public places, sharing passwords of devices and accounts, etc.

Q7. What is CIA Triangle?

CIA triangle is a model for guiding information security policies in any organization. It stands for –

Confidentiality – Maintaining the secrecy of the information

Integrity – Keeping the information unchanged

Availability – Ensuring an all-time availability of the information to the authorized

Also Read>> Cloud Computing: The good and the bad!!

Q8. What are the ways that a malicious user would crack any password?

The most common password cracking techniques are –

  • Dictionary attacks
  • Brute forcing attacks
  • Hybrid attacks
  • Syllable attacks
  • Rule based attacks
  • Rainbow table attacks
  • Phishing
  • Social engineering
  • Shoulder surfing
  • Spidering
  • Guessing

Q9. Name some of the common password cracking tools.

It is a part of ethical hacking, and some of the commonly used password cracking tools are –

  • Aircrack-NG
  • Brutus
  • Cain and Abel
  • DaveGrohl
  • ElcomSoft
  • Hashcat
  • Hydra
  • John the Ripper
  • RainbowCrack
  • Wfuzz

Q10. What is Cryptography?

Cryptography is a combination of two words, which are “crypt” meaning “hidden” and “graphy” meaning “writing.” This is a practice to securing information and communication using codes, and can only be accessible to those who are authorized to read and process it.

Q11. What is XSS attack?

Cross-site Scripting (XSS) is another type of vulnerability that can be technically described as a client-side code injection attack. In this particular attack, an attacker injects malicious data into vulnerable websites. Attack happens when a user visits the web page, as malicious code is then executed. This attack is very harmful for the web application users.

Q12. What are different types of XSS attacks?

There are three types of XSS attacks –

(i) Non-Persistent XSS attack – Here the data injected by attacker is reflected in the response and has a link with the XSS vector

(ii) Persistent XSS attack – Most harmful type of attack, where the script executes automatically the moment a user opens the page

(iii) Document Object Model (DOM)-based XSS attack – An advanced type of XSS attack which happens when a web application writes data to the DOM without any sanitization

Also Read>>What Is ITIL And What Are The Benefits Of An ITIL Certification?

Q13. Can you explain the ways to prevent an XSS attack?

Yes, we can prevent XSS attacks through three ways –

(i) Escaping – It is the process of stripping out unwanted data to secure the output.

(ii) Validating Input – This step ensures that the application is interpreting correct data, while preventing any malicious data from entering.

(iii) Sanitizing – This process involves cleaning or filtering your input data. It also changes unacceptable user input to an acceptable format.

Q14. Explain the difference between Symmetric and Asymmetric encryption.

Symmetric encryption – A conventional Encryption method, executed by one secret ‘Symmetric Key’ possessed by both parties. This key is used to encode and decode the information. Symmetric encryption is carried out using algorithms like AES, DES, 3DES, RC4, QUAD, Blowfish, etc.

Asymmetric encryption It is a complex mode of Encryption, executed using two cryptographic keys, namely Public Key and a Private Key to implement data security. Asymmetric encryption is carried out using algorithms like Diffie-Hellman and RSA.

Also Read>>Top ITIL Interview Questions & Answers

Q15. How would you handle antivirus alerts?

To answer this specific cybersecurity interview question, you would need to use your expertise and experience. A possible reply could be –

On receiving an antivirus alert, one must refer to antivirus policy and then analyze it. If the alert is sourced from a legitimate file, it should be directly whitelisted, but if it comes from a malicious source, it should be deleted. It is mandatory to keep updating the firewall to receive regular antivirus alerts.

Q16. What is SSL Encryption?

Ans. It is the acronym for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an industry-standard security technology that creates encrypted connections between a web server and a browser. SSL is used to ensure data privacy.


Q17. What is a Firewall?

Ans. A firewall is a network security system. It manages the network traffic using a defined set of security rules, and prevents remote access and content filtering. Firewalls are used to protect the systems or networks from viruses, worms, malware, etc.   


Q18. What are cyber attacks?

Ans. Cyber attacks are potential security issues that are created and exploited by malicious users to access or destroy sensitive information, to extort money from users, or to hamper the functioning of the normal business processes.

Q19. What are ITSCM and BCP?

Ans. ITSCM – IT Service Continuity Management is a practice that allows information security professionals to develop IT infrastructure recovery plans

BCP – Business Continuity Planning is the process by which a company creates a prevention and recovery system from potential threats.

Q20. Why is information security policy necessary for the organizations?

Ans. Information security policy is necessary for the organizations because it clearly outlines the responsibilities of employees about the safety and security of information, intellectual property, and data from potential risks.

Q21. What are the most popular work-around recovery options?

Ans. The most popular work-around recovery options are –

  • Fast recovery
  • Gradual recovery
  • Immediate recovery
  • Intermediate recovery
  • Manual workaround
  • Reciprocal arrangements


Q22. What is ISO/IEC 27002?

Ans. ISO/IEC 27002:2013 is an information security standard. It is devised by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). This code of practice provides guidelines for organizational information security standards and information security management practices.


Q23. What are the various response codes that can be received from a web application?

Ans. Response codes received from a web application include –

1xx – Informational responses

2xx – Success

3xx – Redirection

4xx – Client-side error

5xx – Server-side error

Q24. What is the difference between IDS and IPS?

Ans. IDS or Intrusion Detection System detects only intrusions and the administrator has to take care of preventing the intrusion. Whereas, in IPS, i.e., Intrusion Prevention System, the system detects the intrusion and also takes actions to prevent the intrusion.


Q25. Give some examples of web-based service desk tools.

Ans. Some example of web-based service desk tools include –

  • BMC
  • CA service desk
  • Oracle Service Cloud
  • ServiceNow
  • SolarWinds Web Help Desk
  • Spiceworks Help Desk/Cloud Help Desk
  • Tivoli


Q26. What is asynchronous transmission?

Ans. Asynchronous transmission is a serial mode of transmission. It is the process of data transmission, where every character is a self-contained unit. Each character in asynchronous transmission has its start and stop bits, along with an uneven interval between them.

Q27. What is synchronous transmission?

Ans. Synchronous transmission refers to continuous data streaming in the form of signals, accompanied by regular timing signals. These signals are generated by the external clocking mechanisms and ensure that senders and receivers are in synchrony.


Q28. What are the different types of transmission media?

Ans. Transmission media has two broad types –

  • Guided media (wired)
  • Unguided media (wireless)


Q29. What are proxy servers and how do they protect computer networks?

Ans. Proxy servers prevent external users from identifying the IP addresses of an internal network. They make a network virtually invisible to external users, who cannot identify the physical location of a network without knowledge of the correct IP address.


Q30. What are the types of errors?

Ans. There are two categories of errors –

Single-bit error – One-bit error per data unit

Burst error – Two or more bits errors per data unit


Q31. How would you differentiate between Firewall and Antivirus?

Ans. Firewall – A firewall prevents any unauthorized access in the private networks as intranets. However, it does not protect against viruses, spyware, or adware.

Antivirus – An antivirus is a software that protects a computer from any malicious software, virus, spyware, or adware.


Q32. How will you recover data from a Virus-infected system?

Ans. We will install an OS and updated antivirus in a system that is free of any viruses, and then connect the hard drive of the infected system as a secondary drive. The hard drive will then be scanned and cleaned. Data can now be copied into the system.


Q33. What is a traceroute?

Ans. A traceroute or popularly known as tracert are diagnostic commands of a computer network and help the users spot any breakdown of communications. It shows the routers path and helps the users determine the reasons in case of disconnection.

Q34. What are rainbow tables?

Ans. Rainbow tables are the precomputed table to reverse cryptographic hash functions. These rainbow tables contain a significant number of inputs of hash functions and corresponding outputs.

Q35. What is ethical hacking?

Ans. Ethical Hacking is a method to evaluate the security of systems and identifying vulnerabilities in them. It helps to determine if any unauthorized access or other malicious activity is happening in a system, which may result in data or financial loss, or other potential damages.

Browse Courses by Categories

About the Author

Naukri Learning