As technology progresses and more aspects of our lives migrate online, the demand for cyber security expertise continues to increase. These individuals are responsible for protecting a company’s computer networks and digital data against unwanted access, theft, or damage. If you wish to work in cyber security, you must be prepared to answer challenging interview questions. This article will present a list of the top 30 cyber security interview questions and answers to help you prepare.
1. Are You Accustomed To Working In A Fast-Paced Setting?
Because I have worked in a fast-paced atmosphere for many years, I am extremely comfortable doing so. As a former cyber security specialist, I simultaneously monitored many servers. It required me to prioritize my work and multitask swiftly. For instance, when an alert sounded, I would assess the situation and determine whether quick action was required. If not, I’d label it urgent and deal with it later.
2. What Are The Most Crucial Abilities Someone Must Possess To Work In Cyber Security?
Problem-solving and communicating well are the two most critical talents for a cyber-security specialist. Because I have these talents, I can analyze a situation, come up with solutions to the problem, and then convey those answers to the other members of my team or other specialists. However, being attentive to detail is something else that I believe to be very important. It enables me to discover any possible problems before they escalate into huge concerns.
3. What Cyber Security Qualifications Do You Hold, And How Have Those Certificates Benefited You Professionally?
I am currently certified in two different areas of cyber security. First, I am a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, which is short for Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). This certification demonstrates that I possess the knowledge and competence necessary to defend a company from various forms of cyber-attack. The Certified Information Security Manager credential is my second qualification; its abbreviation, CISM, stands for Certified Information Security Manager. Again, this certification demonstrates that I have the skills necessary to oversee a group of information security experts.
4. What Do You Believe To Be The Most Difficult Obstacle That Cyber Security Professionals Are Now Facing?
In my opinion, one of the most critical difficulties that cyber security experts are presently facing is that many firms do not have a sufficient number of specialists. It indicates that fewer individuals are available to manage the jobs, which can lead to exhaustion and blunders. For businesses to efficiently assign work and guarantee the safety of their systems, I believe they must increase the number of professionals they employ.
5. Provide An Instance Where You Successfully Deployed A Security Measure To Prevent A Data Leak.
In my previous employment as a cyber security specialist, I was responsible for monitoring all incoming network traffic. One day, I discovered that multiple illegal people had accessed our system. After additional investigation, I discovered that one of our employees had unknowingly installed malware on their computer. It provided access to our system via their device hackers. I told my boss immediately so that we could take action. Then, we developed new policies for employee devices to ensure that they would not be susceptible to such assaults in the future.
6. What Steps Would You Take If You Found Out A Coworker Was Stealing Company Information To Sell On The Dark Web?
To begin, I would try to talk to the person about the activities they took. Then, if they continued to steal data despite my repeated requests for them to stop, I would immediately report them to my supervisor or the human resources department. Because it is against the law to steal company data to make personal gains, I would want to ensure that the appropriate authorities were aware of the situation.
7. There Is A Large Amount Of Malware On One Of The Company’s Servers. Still, You Lack Time To Eradicate It All Before A Significant Event. What Do You Do?
First, I would identify whether there are any files on the server that I require for the event, and then I would delete all malware from those files. If not, I would eliminate all malicious software from the server. In this manner, I can ensure that the organization has access to vital information while ensuring that the event runs smoothly.
8. What Steps Would You Take If You Were Responsible For Monitoring A Vast Network Of Servers But Lacked The Necessary Time To Carry Out All Of Your Responsibilities?
If I didn’t have enough time to finish my responsibilities, I would first check that I have protected all crucial systems from attack. Then, I would put most of my attention into monitoring the network that had the most dangerous components. In conclusion, within the allotted amount of time, I would monitor the remaining systems as much as possible.
9. How Frequently Do You Suggest A Business Update Its Security System?
Depending on the organization’s size, I typically propose updating the cyber security system every two years. For example, I would suggest a yearly update if a company has more than 500 employees. If fewer than 100 employees are fewer, I suggest a review every three years. Because hackers are more likely to attack larger organizations, their systems are regularly updated. On the other hand, smaller businesses may not be as appealing to hackers; thus, their systems do not require as frequent updates.
10. Have You Worked With Compliance Officers To Ensure That Your Organization Complies With Industry Standards?
In my previous position as a specialist in cyber security, I collaborated closely with the company’s compliance officer to devise strategies for preserving compliance with federal requirements. For instance, I assisted the compliance officer when we discovered that our current firewall was insufficient to secure sensitive data. Then, based on legal requirements, determining which new firewalls would be most suitable for the firm.
11. What Is The Objective Of A White Box Test And A Black Box Test In Penetration Testing?
A white box test occurs when an organization grants testers complete access to the source code of its network. This type of test can effectively detect software application vulnerabilities that are difficult to detect with black box testing. Utilizing automated techniques to scan a system without understanding its inner workings constitutes black box testing. During the initial assessment of a client’s network, I often conduct black box testing since it helps me discover areas where I need to conduct the additional study.
12. We Want To Ensure That Our Staff Is Well-Versed In Cyber Security Best Practices. So What Is The Greatest Technique For Motivating Employees To Adopt New Digital Security-Enhancing Habits?
I’ve discovered that making it easy for employees to adopt new behaviors is the most effective approach to persuade them to do so. For example, when I worked at Safaricom Company, we established a new password policy mandating that all employees update their passwords every 30 days. In addition, we forced them to use passwords comprised of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Then, we developed an online application for employees to generate these passwords. It made it much simpler for our staff to adhere to the new policy since they no longer needed to remember many difficult passwords.
13. What Action Would You Take If You Discovered An Active Malware Infestation On One Of The Organization’s Servers?
If I identified an active malware infection on one of the company’s servers, I would quarantine it to ensure that no other systems are compromised. Then, I would employ antivirus software to eliminate the malware. Lastly, I would restore the machine to its original condition before the virus attack.
14. Describe The Risks, The Vulnerabilities, And The Threats.
A system is considered vulnerable if there is a hole in the safeguards. That is in place to defend it; a threat is an adversary who finds a vulnerability and takes advantage of it. Risk is the potential for a loss to occur if a vulnerability is taken advantage of. For instance, if a corporation continues to use the same login and password for a server, an adversary might easily break into the server and compromise the data using the same credentials. Therefore, the amount of loss that could be incurred as a direct consequence of the data breach would be the risk.
15. What Exactly Is The Difference Between Symmetric And Asymmetric Encryption, And Which One Is Considered To Be The Superior Method?
When using symmetric encryption, both encrypting and decrypting processes use the same key. On the other hand, asymmetric encryption makes use of several separate keys. The symmetric algorithm is typically more efficient but requires the key to be transmitted across an insecure channel. Although asymmetric communication is more secure, it is also slower. Combining the two methods, first establishing a channel with asymmetric encryption and then transmitting the data using a symmetric process, would be the most effective strategy.
16. What Exactly Is Meant By The Abbreviation Xss, And How Do You Plan To Protect Against It?
17. What Methods Are Employed To Prevent A Brute Force Attack?
Brute Force Attack is a trial-and-error method application programs use to decode encrypted data such as data encryption keys or passwords. It is a strategy for identifying the correct credentials by repeatedly trying all conceivable approaches. It is possible to avoid Brute Force attacks by employing the following strategies:
- Increasing password strength: Include different character formats to strengthen passwords.
- Restriction login attempts: establish a limit on login failures.
- Two-factor authentication: Use this security measure to prevent brute-force attacks.
18. What Steps Can You Take To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft?
You can prevent identity theft by taking the following steps:
- Protect your documents.
- Avoid disclosing confidential information online.
- Safeguard your Social Security number.
- Do not submit your financial details on websites that lack credibility.
- Protect your system with a sophisticated firewall and anti-spyware software.
19. Describe Social Engineering Techniques.
Social engineering refers to a range of evil techniques intended to influence and deceive users into committing security breaches and divulging sensitive information. In social engineering, a hacker manipulates a target through common communication channels such as phone conversations, text messages, and emails to obtain sensitive information without technical knowledge. Phishing, whaling attacks, spear phishing, watering holes, baiting, quid pro quo, vishing, pretexting, and tailgating are forms of social engineering.
20. What Are The Popular Authentication Mechanisms For Network Security?
- Biometrics – A recognized and registered bodily characteristic of a user that is used exclusively for identifying them.
- Token – A token is utilized for system access. Having lengthy credentials makes it more difficult for hackers to access accounts.
- Transaction Authentication – A one-time PIN or password is used to validate an individual’s identification when completing online transactions.
- Multi-Factor Authentication is a security mechanism that requires multiple authentication factors.
- Out-of-Band Authentication – This authentication requires two distinct signals from two distinct networks or channels. It protects online banking from the majority of hacking and identity theft threats.
21. What Is The Difference Between Black Box And White Box Testing?
The tester has no understanding of the IT infrastructure during black box testing. In this case, testers will be uninformed of the application and will be required to obtain information independently. Based on the collected data, testers will detect any system vulnerabilities. It is crucial since it simulates an external hacker’s attack. A white box attack imitates an insider, who may be an employee attempting to generate unjustified profits. In this type of testing, the tester has a comprehensive understanding of the IT infrastructure.
22. What Is Phishing, And How Can It Be Stopped?
Phishing is a harmful attempt to steal sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, etc., through fraudulent messages and emails by masquerading as an authorized entity in electronic communication. We can use the following methods to prevent phishing:
- Utilize firewalls on your systems and networks.
- Enable comprehensive antivirus protection with internet security.
- Whenever possible, utilize two-factor authentication.
- Maintain sufficient security.
- If you do not trust a website, do not enter sensitive information such as financial or digital transaction details.
- Keep abreast with the most recent phishing efforts.
23. How Do You Strengthen The Authentication Of Users?
Authentication of users is a crucial component of data security. A user’s username and password are required for simple authentication. However, I suggest going a step further and employing two-factor authentication. It requires the user to give identification, a password, and a response to a security question or a code sent to a known device.
24. Describe In Your Own Words Confidentiality, Integrity, And Availability.
- Confidentiality: Only authorized personnel should have access to and be able to read the information. It should be inaccessible to unqualified persons. The information should be strongly encrypted so that it cannot be read or understood, even if it is accessed by hacking.
- Integrity: Verifying that an unauthorized party has not altered the data. Integrity guarantees that data has not been altered or distorted by unauthorized persons. Suppose an authorized individual or system attempts to edit the data, and the update fails. In that case, the data should be rolled back and not be corrupted.
- Availability: The user should access the data anytime they require it. We should address hardware maintenance, regular upgrades, data backups and recovery, and network bottlenecks.
25. In Your Experience, What Exactly Is A Virtual Private Network (Vpn)?
VPN is an abbreviation for Virtual Private Network. It’s used to establish a secure, encrypted connection. When using a VPN, the data from the client is routed to a point within the VPN. It is encrypted before being delivered over the internet to a second point. The data is decrypted and delivered to the server at this stage. When the server responds, the response is encrypted in the VPN and decoded at another point. The decrypted data is then provided to the client. The sole purpose of a VPN is to encrypt data transmission.
26. What Exactly Is A Firewall? How Do You Configure It?
A firewall is a network security device that monitors both incoming and outgoing network traffic. Firewalls, which block suspicious or malicious traffic, are regarded as the first line of defense in the subject of network security.
To configure a firewall, we must:
- Protect the firewall. Only authorized administrators should be able to access the system.
- Identify firewall zones. Evaluate valuable assets and categorize them according to function and sensitivity. Create an associated IP address structure.
- Construct access control lists These rules specify which vehicles are permitted to enter and exit specific zones.
- Configure firewall services and log as required. Configure your firewall to report to your logging server and eliminate unnecessary services.
- Test. Utilize vulnerability assessments to verify that the firewall obeys the access control list parameters.
27. What Kinds Of Threats Might A Business Face?
There are a variety of threats that a business may face; we can categorize them as follows:
- A firm may face numerous dangers, which can be classified as follows on a bigger scale:
- Natural disasters beyond human control, such as tornadoes, fires, and floods, are examples of natural dangers.
- Artificial: These are risks caused by humans, such as theft, hacking, and so on.
- Technological: These hazards might be a software fault, a server failure, or any other type of technical failure.
- This category includes any electric outage or short circuit problem.
28. Describe SQL Injection. How Can We Avoid This?
SQL injection is an injection attack in which an attacker executes malicious SQL commands in the database server behind a web application, such as MySQL, SQL Server, or Oracle. The objective is to get illegal access to sensitive data, such as client information, personal data, and intellectual property details. In this assault, the attacker can add, change, and delete database records, resulting in a loss of data integrity for the company. Methods of preventing SQL injection:
- Restriction of database read access
- Cleanse data by restricting the use of special characters
- Validate user inputs
- Utilize prepared remarks
- Verify for active patches and updates
29. What Distinguishes Vulnerability Assessment From Penetration Testing?
Although the phrases Vulnerability assessment and penetration testing are distinct, they both serve a vital purpose in securing the network environment.
Vulnerability Evaluation includes defining, detecting, and prioritizing vulnerabilities in computer systems, network infrastructure, apps, etc., and providing the company with the necessary information to rectify the faults. While penetrating Security, also known as penetration testing or ethical hacking, is the process of testing a network, system, application, etc., to identify exploitable flaws. Most commonly, it is used to augment a web application firewall in the web application security (WAF) context.
30. What Precautions Do You Take To Ensure That Your Computer Is Safe?
One must take several precautions to keep their computer secure. Several of these steps include:
- Implement a two-factor or multi-factor authentication system
- Use uncommon numeric and alphabetic passwords and protect them
- Regularly update your computer system
- Install a reliable antivirus to safeguard your PC against malware.
- Utilize a dedicated firewall to minimize threats.
- Install anti-phishing software to detect bogus emails.
- Encrypt data to reduce data loss and leakage
- Lastly, it is vitally important to safeguard your DNS.
Ensure you understand what a standard cyber security job entails and what rewards you can expect at this career stage. Finally, conclude the interview with a concise summary of your talents and suitability for the position. You use the interviewer’s questions and the candidate’s responses to emphasize the desired attributes. Companies are interested in individuals; you are not a server providing remote responses. You can rely on your cyber security knowledge to answer interview questions and make the case that you are the ideal candidate for the position.