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Cyber Security Interview Questions with explanations 2023

In today’s interconnected world, cyber security has become a critical concern for individuals, businesses, and governments alike. With the increasing use of technology in our daily lives, cyber attacks have become more frequent and sophisticated. Causing significant financial and reputational damage to those affected. From phishing scams to ransomware attacks, the threats to our digital security are ever-evolving. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of cyber security and provide tips on how to protect yourself and your organization from cyber threats. Individual can also take help from cyber security course available online to educate themselves. If you are preparing for Cyber Security Interview or Cyber Security Jobs, then you are at right place. Here in this blog you can find top 20 Cyber Security Interview Questions and Answers with real time explanation.

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Cyber Security

1. Explain What is Cybersecurity?

Cyber security, also known as information security. Refers to the practice of protecting electronic devices, networks, and sensitive information from unauthorized access, theft and damage. With the increasing reliance on technology and internet, cyber security has become an increasingly important issue for everyone.

There are many different types of cyber security threats including viruses, malware, phishing attacks, and ransomware. These threats can take many different forms and can be carried out by a variety of actors. Including individuals, criminal organizations, and nation-states.

To protect against cyber security threats, there are best practices that individuals and organizations should follow. These include:

  • Using strong passwords: Passwords should be used for all accounts and should be changed regularly.

  • Installing antivirus software: Antivirus software can help to detect and remove malware from your devices.

  • Keeping software up to date: Software updates often contain security patches that fix known vulnerabilities.

  • Backing up important data: Regularly backing up important data can help to protect against data loss in the event of a cyber-attack.

  • Using two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second factor. Such as a text message or fingerprint, in addition to a password.

  • Be careful of suspicious emails: Phishing emails can look legitimate but are designed to steal personal information or install malware on your device.

  • Limiting access to sensitive data: Only those who need access to sensitive data should be granted permission to access it.

Overall, cyber security is a critical issue that requires ongoing attention and effort. To ensure that electronic devices, networks, and sensitive information remain safe and secure.

2. Explain about types of Cyber Security measures?

Cybersecurity refers to the protection of internet-connected systems. Including hardware, software, and data, from digital attacks, theft, or damage. There are several types of cybersecurity measures that organizations and individuals can use to protect themselves from these threats. Here are some of the most common types of cybersecurity:

  • Network security: This refers to the protection of networks and their infrastructure from unauthorized access or attacks. Network security includes firewall systems, intrusion prevention systems, and virtual private networks (VPNs).

  • Application security: This involves the protection of software applications from cyber threats. This type of cybersecurity includes using secure coding practices, testing and validating software.

  • Information security: This refers to the protection of sensitive information and data from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Information security involves implementing encryption, access controls, and secure storage.

  • Cloud Security: Cybersecurity focuses on securing cloud-based systems and infrastructure. This includes implementing security controls to protect data and applications in the cloud. As well as ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

  • Mobile Security: This involves securing mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, from cyber threats. Mobile security includes using secure operating systems, implementing encryption, and using mobile device management (MDM) tools.

  • Endpoint Security: This refers to securing individual devices, such as laptops and desktops, from cyber threats. Endpoint security includes using antivirus software, firewalls, and intrusion prevention systems.

Overall, implementing a layered approach to cybersecurity that includes several of these types of security measures can help protect against a wide range of cyber threats.

3. What are the advantages of Cyber Security?

There are several advantages of cyber security for individuals and organizations. Some of the most significant advantages include:

  • Protection against cyber attacks: The most obvious advantage of cyber security is protection against cyber attacks. Cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and antivirus software. Can prevent cybercriminals from gaining unauthorized access to sensitive data and systems.

  • Business continuity: Cybersecurity can also help ensure business continuity by preventing or minimizing the impact of cyber attacks. With robust cybersecurity measures in place, organizations can quickly detect and respond to cyber threats, minimizing downtime and disruption.

  • Data protection: Cybersecurity measures can help protect sensitive data, such as financial information and personal information from being stolen. This is particularly important for organizations that handle sensitive information. Such as healthcare providers, financial institutions, and government agencies.

  • Regulatory compliance: Many industries and organizations are subject to regulatory requirements related to data security and privacy. Cybersecurity measures can help ensure compliance with these regulations, reducing the risk of fines and legal consequences.

  • Competitive advantage: Organizations that prioritize cybersecurity can gain a competitive advantage over their peers. Customers and clients are increasingly concerned about data privacy and security. Organizations that demonstrate a commitment to cybersecurity may be more attractive to potential customers and partners.

Overall, the advantages of cybersecurity are significant and wide-ranging, and implementing robust cybersecurity measures is critical for individuals and organizations alike.

4. Explain the difference between Threat, Vulnerability, and Risk?

Threat, vulnerability, and risk are three related concepts in the field of cybersecurity. It’s important to understand the differences between them in order to properly manage and mitigate potential security risks.

A threat is any potential danger or harm that could be caused to an asset or system, either intentionally or unintentionally. Threats can come in many forms, such as malware, hacking, phishing attacks, or physical damage. Essentially, anything that has the potential to cause harm to a system or data can be considered a threat.

Vulnerability, on the other hand refers to a weakness in a system or asset that makes it susceptible to threats. Vulnerabilities can arise from many different sources including software bugs or human error. In essence a vulnerability is a flaw or weakness in a system that could be exploited by a threat to cause harm.

Risk is the likelihood and potential impact of a threat exploiting a vulnerability. It is the chance that an asset or system will be compromised or damaged. Risk is often expressed as a combination of likelihood and impact and is used to help determine the priority and urgency of mitigating potential security issues.

In summary, a threat is a potential danger, vulnerability is a weakness that could be exploited, and risk is the likelihood and potential impact of that exploitation. By understanding these concepts and how they relate to one another, organizations can better assess and manage their cybersecurity risks.

5. Explain, what is Cross-Site Scripting and how it can be prevented?

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) is a type of web security vulnerability that allows an attacker to inject malicious code into a web page viewed by other users. This type of attack can be used to steal user data, such as passwords or session tokens. Attacker can perform actions on behalf of victim user, such as posting unauthorized content.

There are several different types of XSS attacks, including:

  • Reflected XSS: The attacker injects malicious code into a URL that is then reflected back to the user by the web application.

  • Stored XSS: The attacker injects malicious code that is stored in a database or other location. Then executed when a user accesses the affected web page.

  • DOM-based XSS: The attacker injects malicious code that is executed by the victim’s browser, typically by modifying the Document Object Model (DOM) of the page.

Preventing XSS attacks requires a multi-layered approach. Including both technical measures and user education. Some common prevention techniques include:

  • Input validation: All user input should be validated on the server side to ensure that it contains only expected characters and doesn’t contain any malicious code.

  • Output encoding: All user input that is displayed on a web page should be encoded to prevent it from being interpreted as code by the browser.

  • Content Security Policy (CSP): A CSP allows the web application to specify which sources of content are allowed to be loaded on a page, reducing the risk of malicious code being injected.

  • Secure coding practices: Developers should follow secure coding practices. Such as using prepared statements for database queries and using parameterized commands for shell commands. In Order to reduce the risk of code injection vulnerabilities.

  • User education: Users should be educated on how to recognize and avoid phishing attacks. As well as how to verify that a website is legitimate before entering any personal information.

By implementing these prevention techniques, organizations can help to protect their users from the Cross-Site Scripting attacks.

6. Explain major difference between IDS and IPS?

IDS and IPS are two important security technologies used to detect and prevent cyber threats in computer networks. While they share some similarities, there are also key differences between the two.

IDS (Intrusion Detection System) is a security tool that monitors network traffic for suspicious activity. It alerts security personnel when an attack is detected. IDS can be deployed in both network-based and host-based configurations. Network-based IDS typically operates at the network layer and can detect and analyze traffic between network endpoints. Host-based IDS operates at the operating system or application level and can detect suspicious activity on a specific host or device.

IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) is a security tool that not only detects but also actively blocks malicious traffic. IPS operates at the network layer and can automatically respond to detected attacks. By blocking traffic from the attacker’s IP address, dropping packets, or modifying traffic in other ways.

The main difference between IDS and IPS is the level of response to detected threats. IDS alerts security personnel to the presence of a potential threat. But does not actively prevent the attack. IPS, on the other hand, can automatically block or modify traffic to prevent the attack from succeeding.

Another key difference between IDS and IPS is the potential impact on network performance. Because IPS is actively blocking or modifying traffic. It can sometimes have a greater impact on network performance than IDS. Additionally, IDS can be used for monitoring and auditing purposes, while IPS is primarily used for real-time threat prevention.

In summary, IDS and IPS are both are important security technologies used to detect and prevent cyber threats. Both technologies have their place in a comprehensive network security strategy. And can be used in conjunction with other security tools to provide layered protection.

7. Explain what is a Botnet?

A botnet is a network of infected computers or devices that are controlled by a single person or group of cybercriminals. Usually without the knowledge or consent of the device owners. Each infected device, or “bot,” is typically controlled by malware that allows the attacker to remotely control the device. 

Botnets can be used for a variety of malicious purposes, including:

  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks: Botnets can be used to launch DDoS attacks. Which flood a website or server with traffic in order to overwhelm it and take it offline.

  • Spam campaigns: Can be used to send out large volumes of spam emails or social media messages, often with malicious attachments or links.

  • Credential stuffing: This can be used to carry out credential stuffing attacks. In which stolen login credentials are used to gain access to online accounts.

  • Cryptojacking: It can be used to mine cryptocurrency by using the processing power of infected devices without the owners’ knowledge or consent.

  • Data theft: Botnets can be used to steal sensitive information. Such as credit card numbers, login credentials, or personal information.

Botnets can be difficult to detect and dismantle. As they are often spread across multiple geographic locations and use sophisticated techniques to evade detection. However, there are a variety of tools and techniques that can be used to detect and mitigate the threat of botnets. Including firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and antivirus software. Additionally, individuals and organizations can take steps to protect their devices from infection by keeping their software up to date. Using strong passwords, and avoiding suspicious emails or downloads.

8. What is a CIA triad?

The CIA triad is a widely recognized model in information security that stands for Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. It is a framework for ensuring that sensitive information is kept confidential, that data and systems are accurate and trustworthy, and that authorized users have access to information and systems when they need them.

The three elements of the CIA triad are:

  • Confidentiality

  • Integrity

  • Availability

The CIA triad provides a framework for organizations to assess their cybersecurity risks and implement appropriate measures to protect their data and systems. By ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability, organizations can minimize the risk of cyber attacks and ensure that their systems and data are secure.

9. Explain the difference between Symmetric and Asymmetric encryption.

Symmetric and Asymmetric encryption are two methods of encrypting data to secure it from unauthorized access. The main difference between symmetric and asymmetric encryption is in the way they use encryption keys.

In symmetric encryption, the same key is used for both encryption and decryption. This means that the sender and receiver of the encrypted data must share the same key in advance. Symmetric encryption is typically faster and more efficient than asymmetric encryption. But it is less secure because the same key is used for both encryption and decryption.

In contrast, Asymmetric encryption uses two different keys: a public key and a private key. The public key is used to encrypt the data, and the private key is used to decrypt the data. The public key can be shared freely, while the private key must be kept secret. Asymmetric encryption is more secure than symmetric encryption because even if someone intercepts the public key. They cannot decrypt the data without the private key.

Asymmetric encryption is typically slower and less efficient than symmetric encryption. Because it requires more complex mathematical calculations. However, it is commonly used for securing online transactions and communications. Such as SSL/TLS, SSH and S/MIME, because it offers stronger security guarantees.

In summary, symmetric encryption uses the same key for encryption and decryption. While asymmetric encryption uses two different keys as public key for encryption and a private key for decryption. Symmetric encryption is faster and more efficient but less secure. While asymmetric encryption is slower and less efficient but more secure.

Most Asked Cyber Security Interview Questions

10. What are the difference between hashing and encryption?

Hashing and encryption are two different methods of protecting data, but they serve different purposes and operate in different ways.

Difference between Hashing and Encryption

In summary, encryption and hashing are two different methods of data protection. With encryption used for confidentiality and hashing used for data integrity. Encryption transforms data into ciphertext. While hashing creates a fixed-size hash value. Encryption is reversible, while hashing is irreversible.

11. What is a Firewall?

A firewall is a network security system designed to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of predetermined security rules. It acts as a barrier between internal network, internet or other untrusted networks.

Firewalls work by examining data packets as they travel between the two networks. Comparing them against a set of rules to determine whether to allow or block them. These rules can be based on a variety of factors. Such as the source or destination address, type of traffic or content of the packet.

Firewalls can be implemented in software or hardware. It can be configured to provide varying levels of security depending on the needs of the network. Firewall is essential component of any network security strategy, helping to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. And protect against various types of cyber attacks.

12. What is Virtual Private Network (VPN).

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a technology that creates a secure and encrypted connection between a user’s device and the internet. Allowing the user to access the internet securely and privately.

When a user connects to a VPN, their internet traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel to a remote VPN server. This tunnel encrypts all of the user’s internet traffic. Preventing anyone from intercepting or monitoring the traffic. Including internet service providers (ISPs), government agencies, or hackers.

13. Explain the use of VPN?

A VPN can be used to:

  • Protect privacy: A VPN can hide a user’s online activities from their ISP. Preventing the ISP from tracking and selling their browsing data.

  • Secure online communications: A VPN can encrypt online communications. Such as email, messaging, and voice calls, preventing unauthorized access.

  • Access geo-restricted content: A Virtual Private Network can allow users to access content that may be restricted in their country. Such as streaming services or websites.

  • Secure remote access: It can allow employees to securely connect to their company’s network from a remote location. Such as a home office or public Wi-Fi hotspot.

VPNs can be used on a wide range of devices. Including computers, smartphones, and tablets. It can be set up to automatically connect when the device is turned on.

14. Explain about types of Cyber Security?

Cybersecurity is a broad field that covers a range of technologies, practices, and strategies. Aimed at protecting computer systems, networks and data from unauthorized access.

Here are some of the main types of cybersecurity:

  • Network Security: Network security involves protecting computer networks from unauthorized access, viruses, malware, and other cyber threats. This includes securing network devices such as routers, switches, and firewalls.

  • Information Security: Information security involves protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access. This includes data encryption, access control, data backup and recovery.

  • Application Security: Application security involves protecting software applications from cyber threats such as viruses, malware, and hacking attempts. This includes security testing, vulnerability scanning, and secure coding practices.

  • Cloud Security: Cloud security involves protecting cloud-based data, applications, and services from cyber threats. This includes secure access control, data encryption, and secure cloud architecture design.

  • Mobile Security: Mobile security involves protecting mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets from cyber threats. This includes mobile device management, secure mobile app development, and secure network connectivity.

Each type of cybersecurity is essential for ensuring the overall security of a computer system, network, or data. Companies and organizations should implement a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. That addresses all of these types of cybersecurity to ensure that they are adequately protected against cyber threats.

15. What do you mean by honeypots?

Honeypots are a type of cybersecurity tool. It is used to detect and deflect attempts at unauthorized access or attacks on a computer system or network. A honeypot is a computer system or network that is set up to look like a legitimate target to an attacker. But It is actually designed to trap or divert the attacker’s activity away from the real target.

Honeypots can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Detection: Honeypots can be used to detect and analyze the methods and techniques used by attackers. By monitoring the activity of an attacker on a honeypot. Security professionals can gain insights into the attacker’s tactics and motives. 

  • Diversion: Honeypots can be used to divert attackers away from critical systems or networks.

  • Deception: Honeypots can be used to deceive attackers into thinking they have successfully compromised a target. Allowing security professionals to monitor the attacker’s activity and gather intelligence.

Honeypots can be deployed in a variety of ways, including as standalone systems or as part of a larger network. They can also be designed to mimic different types of systems. Such as web servers, email servers, or file servers. Depending on the specific needs of the organization.

16. Explain What is a Null Session?

A Null Session is a type of anonymous session that can be established on a Windows-based computer system. A null session does not require a username or password. It allows an anonymous user to connect to the system and perform certain actions. Such as enumerating shares, resources, and user accounts.

A null session can be used by the attacker to gather information about the target system. Such as the names of user accounts, groups, and shares. This information can be used to facilitate further attacks on the system. Such as brute-force attacks or password guessing.

To prevent null session attacks, it is recommended that organizations configure their systems to limit or disable null sessions. This can be done by applying appropriate security settings and permissions to system resources. Such as the registry, file system, and network shares.

It is also important to keep systems up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. As null session vulnerabilities can be addressed by security updates from Microsoft.

Overall, null sessions are a potential security risk and should be disabled or restricted. Wherever possible to help protect computer systems and networks from unauthorized access and attack.

17. Explain about common types of cyber security attacks?

There are several common types of cyber security attacks that organizations may face:

  • Phishing: Phishing attacks involve tricking users into providing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. These attacks are typically carried out via email or social media and are designed to steal personal or financial information.

  • Malware: Malware is malicious software designed to harm or exploit a computer system or network. Types of malware include viruses, worms, Trojans, and ransomware.

  • Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks: DoS and DDoS attacks involve flooding a network or server with traffic to overwhelm it and cause it to crash or become unavailable. These attacks can be launched from multiple sources simultaneously, making them difficult to defend against.

  • SQL Injection: SQL injection attacks involve exploiting vulnerabilities in web applications that allow attackers to insert malicious code into SQL statements. Potentially giving them unauthorized access to sensitive information stored in a database.

  • Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks: MITM attacks involve intercepting and altering communications between two parties. Often to steal sensitive information such as passwords or banking information.

  • Password Attacks: Password attacks involve attempting to guess or crack passwords in order to gain access to a computer system or network. These attacks can include brute-force attacks, dictionary attacks, or password phishing.

  • Social Engineering: Social engineering attacks involve exploiting human psychology to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information that can compromise security.

  • Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks: APT attacks involve a targeted and persistent effort by an attacker to gain access to a specific system or network over an extended period of time. These attacks are often sophisticated and can be difficult to detect and defend against.

18. What do you understand by Shoulder Surfing?

Shoulder surfing is a type of social engineering attack. In which an attacker observes a person as they enter their sensitive or confidential information such as passwords or PINs. The attacker typically does this by standing or sitting close enough to the victim. To see what they are typing on their computer, mobile device, or ATM machine.

Shoulder surfing can be done in public places. Such as coffee shops or airports, or in more private environments such as offices or homes. It can also be done remotely through the use of hidden cameras or other surveillance equipment.

The goal of shoulder surfing is to obtain sensitive information. That can be used to gain unauthorized access to a person’s accounts, steal their identity or commit other types of fraud.

To protect against shoulder surfing attacks, individuals should take care to shield their screens and keypads. From prying eyes when entering sensitive information, particularly in public places. This can be done by positioning oneself in a way that makes it difficult for others to see the screen. Or by using privacy screens or covers.

19. Explain the difference between black hat and white hat hackers?

cyber security images

Black hat and white hat hackers are two distinct types of computer hackers that differ in their motivations and methods.

Black hat hackers are individuals who use their computer skills to gain unauthorized access to computer systems, networks or data with malicious intent. They engage in illegal activities such as stealing data, spreading viruses and launching cyberattacks for personal gain or to cause harm.

White hat hackers, on the other hand, use their computer skills to identify security vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, or applications. And help organizations to improve their security by reporting the vulnerabilities. They are also known as ethical hackers or security researchers. They work within legal boundaries to identify security weaknesses and recommend fixes to prevent cyber attacks.

In summary, the main difference between black hat and white hat hackers is their intention and ethical approach. Black hat hackers have malicious intent and engage in illegal activities. While white hat hackers use their skills to help improve security and operate within the boundaries of the law.

20. How to prevent data leakage? 

Data leakage can occur due to a variety of reasons. Such as malware attacks, insider threats, social engineering, or unintentional human errors. To prevent data leakage, you can follow these best practices:

  • Implement a strong access control policy: Restrict access to sensitive data only to those who need it for their job responsibilities. Use role-based access control (RBAC) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to limit access and prevent unauthorized access.

  • Use data encryption: Encrypt sensitive data both at rest and in transit using strong encryption algorithms to protect it from unauthorized access.

  • Conduct regular security audits: Regularly audit your systems, networks, and applications to identify vulnerabilities and implement necessary fixes.

  • Train employees: Train your employees on data security best practices. Conduct regular security awareness programs to educate them on how to identify and prevent data leakage.

  • Use data loss prevention (DLP) tools: Implement DLP tools that can monitor and prevent data leakage across your organization’s endpoints, networks, and cloud infrastructure.

  • Use network segmentation: Implement network segmentation to restrict the flow of data. Between different segments of your network, and to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.

  • Regularly backup your data: Regularly backup your data to ensure that you have a copy of it in case of accidental deletion or data leakage.

By following these best practices, you can help prevent data leakage and protect your organization’s sensitive data.

That’s all for now!

In this blog we listed answers to the most frequently asked Cyber Security interview questions with answers. The answers provided here aim to help you have an understanding of Cyber Security basics and advance. You have also understood how you can implement the concepts practically in the real world through scenario-based questions.

Hope this will help you crack your next Cybersecurity interview. You can also visit our other Blog Post based on other trending Technologies.