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The Most Asked Cyber Security Interview Questions (With Answers) for 2024

Ever thought about diving into the world of cybersecurity? Well, buckle up because it’s not just a job—it’s a career path that’s booming like crazy. According to the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), the demand for cybersecurity professionals in India is skyrocketing. They’re predicting a need for a whopping 64,000 of us. And guess what? That’s just the beginning. By 2025, we’re talking about a demand that’s set to explode to 10 lakh employees!


Now, why the sudden surge, you ask? Well, in this digital age where everything from your morning coffee order to your bank details is online, keeping it all safe is kind of a big deal. Cyber threats are evolving faster than ever, and everyone, from big corporations to your grandma’s cat videos, is at risk.


So, if you’ve got a knack for problem-solving, a love for tech, and a passion for keeping things secure, this field might just be calling your name. But here’s the thing: getting into cybersecurity isn’t just about acquiring your tech skills. You’ve gotta be ready to face those cyber security interview questions like a pro.


These interviews? They’re not just about your textbook knowledge. They’re about showing you can handle the heat when faced with real-world scenarios. Think: how would you handle a data breach or thwart a phishing attack?


But hey, don’t stress! Prepping for these interviews is all about getting your hands dirty (not literally, of course). Dive into those cybersecurity basics, understand the latest threats, get cosy with encryption, and know your way around network security like the back of your hand.


So, gear up, dive into those cyber security interview questions, and get ready to lock down a career that’s not just in demand; it’s crucial for our digital world’s safety.


Table of Contents:



Cyber Security Interview Questions for Freshers


  1. What is the main objective of Cyber Security?

    The primary objective of cybersecurity is to protect digital systems, networks, devices, and data from unauthorised access, attacks, damage, and other security breaches. This field aims to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information in the digital realm.

    In essence, cybersecurity seeks to safeguard:

    • Confidentiality: Ensuring that sensitive information is accessible only to authorised individuals or entities.
    • Integrity: Guaranteeing the accuracy and trustworthiness of data and systems, preventing unauthorised modifications, alterations, or deletions.
    • Availability: Ensuring that systems, services, and data are accessible and usable by authorised users whenever needed.

    Cybersecurity employs various strategies, technologies, practices, and measures to defend against a wide range of cyber threats, including malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, data breaches, insider threats, and more. The ultimate goal is to create a secure digital environment where individuals, organisations, and systems can operate safely and effectively.



  1. What is Cryptography?

    Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques used to secure communication and data, protecting information from unauthorised access or alteration. It involves the conversion of plaintext (readable data) into ciphertext (encoded, unintelligible data) using various algorithms and keys. The primary goals of cryptography include confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation.


    There are two main types of cryptography:

    • Symmetric Cryptography
    • Asymmetric Cryptography (Public-Key Cryptography)

    Cryptography plays a pivotal role in ensuring secure communication over networks, securing transactions, protecting sensitive data, and enabling secure authentication mechanisms. It forms the backbone of various security protocols, including SSL/TLS for secure web browsing, digital signatures for authentication, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), and more.


  2. What is the difference between threat, vulnerability and risk?

    In cybersecurity, the terms threat, vulnerability, and risk are interconnected but represent distinct concepts:

    • Threat: A threat refers to any potential danger or harmful occurrence that can exploit a vulnerability and negatively impact the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of a system or data. Threats can come in various forms, such as malware, hacking attempts, natural disasters, human error, or even internal sabotage.
    • Vulnerability: A vulnerability is a weakness or flaw in a system’s design, implementation, or configuration that could be exploited by a threat. It can be a loophole in software, a misconfiguration in a network, a lack of security updates, or any other aspect that could be exploited to compromise the security of a system. Vulnerabilities create opportunities for threats to cause harm.
    • Risk: Risk is the likelihood or probability that a threat will exploit a vulnerability and the potential impact or damage it could cause. It’s the assessment of the potential loss, harm, or disruption that could result from a successful exploit. Risk takes into account the combination of the likelihood of an event occurring and the severity of its consequences.

    In short, a threat is a potential danger, a vulnerability is a weakness that can be exploited by a threat, and risk is the estimation of the potential impact or harm that may occur if a threat successfully exploits a vulnerability. Managing cybersecurity involves identifying and addressing vulnerabilities to mitigate risks posed by various threats.


  3. What’s the difference between IDS and IPS?



Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)


Monitors network traffic and system activities for suspicious behaviour or known attack patterns.

Monitors network traffic and system activities for threats and actively blocks or prevents them.

Response to Threats

Detects and raises alerts or log entries to notify security personnel about potential threats or breaches.

Actively intervenes by automatically taking actions to prevent or block identified threats in real time.

Action Taken

Does not take direct action to prevent or halt threats; relies on human intervention for further investigation and response.

Takes immediate and automated actions, such as blocking malicious traffic, resetting connections, or applying predefined rules, to prevent threats from progressing.


Passive monitoring system.

Active control system.


Notifies about potential threats

Actively prevents and blocks threats.


Detection and alerting.

Prevention and immediate response.

Human Intervention

Required for further investigation and response based on alerts.

Minimal, as automated actions are taken in real-time.

  1. What is a DoS (Denial of Service) attack? How can it be prevented or mitigated?

    A DoS (Denial of Service) attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal functioning of a network, system, or service, making it inaccessible to legitimate users by overwhelming it with a flood of illegitimate traffic or exploiting cybersecurity vulnerabilities. There are different types of DoS attacks:

    • Volume-Based Attacks
    • Protocol-Based Attacks
    • Application Layer Attacks

    Preventing or mitigating DoS attacks involves a combination of proactive measures:

    • Implementing Network Security Measures
    • Traffic Monitoring and Detection
    • Configuring Network Devices and Software
    • Utilising DoS Mitigation Services
    • Scaling and Redundancy
    • Incident Response Planning

    Have a well-defined incident response plan to quickly respond and mitigate the impact of a DoS attack if it occurs. Maintain backups and disaster recovery plans to minimise downtime and data loss.

    By combining these preventive measures and maintaining a proactive stance towards monitoring and response, organisations can significantly reduce the risk and impact of DoS attacks on their networks and services.


Cyber Security Interview Questions for Intermediate


  1. What are the steps involved in hacking a server or network?

    The following steps are taken to gain unauthorised access to a server or network:

    • Gain entry to your web server.
    • Utilise anonymous FTP to enter the network, extract additional information, and conduct port scans.
    • Monitor file sizes, open ports, and system processes for insights.
    • Execute basic commands on the web server, like “clear cache” or “delete all files,” exposing underlying server data. This aids in acquiring sensitive information usable in targeted exploits.
    • Establish connections to other network sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) to retrieve deleted data through the server using a covert channel.
    • Access internal network resources and data to gather comprehensive intelligence.
    • Employ Metasploit to access these resources remotely for further exploitation.


  1. What is SQL injection?

    SQL injection is a cyber attack that targets databases through malicious input in a web application’s input fields. It occurs when an attacker inserts or “injects” SQL code into input fields, tricking the application into executing unintended SQL commands.

    This exploit takes advantage of vulnerabilities in poorly sanitised user inputs, allowing attackers to manipulate database queries and potentially gain unauthorised access to the database. SQL injection can lead to data leakage, modification, or deletion, and in severe cases, it can provide attackers with control over the entire database server.



  2. Explain the principles behind the Zero Trust security model.

    The Zero Trust security model is built on the premise of mistrust. It assumes that threats can originate from both outside and inside the network, therefore advocating for a stringent security approach that verifies and authenticates every access request and device, regardless of its location—inside or outside the traditional network perimeter.


    Here are the key principles of the zero-trust security model:

    • Never Trust, Always Verify: The core tenet is to eliminate the assumption of trust, requiring continuous verification of all entities trying to access resources within the network.
    • Least Privilege Access: Users and systems are granted the minimum level of access and privileges necessary to perform their specific tasks. This reduces the potential attack surface and limits the damage a compromised account or system can cause.
    • Micro-Segmentation: Instead of relying on a single perimeter defence, Zero Trust advocates for segmenting the network into smaller zones, allowing for stricter controls and containment if a breach occurs.
    • Continuous Monitoring and Analytics: Real-time monitoring and analysis of network traffic, user behaviour, and device health are crucial. Any deviations from normal patterns or suspicious activities trigger immediate responses.
    • Adaptive Security Controls: Security measures should be adaptive and context-aware, adjusting dynamically based on changes in user behaviour, device posture, or perceived threats.
    • Encryption and Data Protection: Encrypting data both at rest and in transit ensures that even if accessed, the data remains incomprehensible to unauthorised parties.
    • Policy-Based Controls: Policies are centralised, consistently enforced, and managed across the entire network. These policies govern access controls, authentication, and authorisation rules.

    By embracing these principles, Zero Trust aims to enhance cybersecurity by creating a more resilient and proactive defence posture, mitigating risks associated with assumed trust, and significantly reducing the likelihood and impact of potential security breaches.



  3. What is a proxy firewall?

    The proxy firewall oversees application-level data by employing a firewall proxy server. This server initiates and manages a procedure on the firewall, mimicking services as though they were operational on the end host.

    Within the application layer, various protocols exist, such as HTTP (used for sending and receiving web pages) and SMTP (facilitating email communication on the Internet). A proxy server, like the Web Proxy Server, operates akin to an emulation of the behaviour exhibited by the HTTP service. Likewise, the FTP proxy server replicates the functionality of the FTP service.


  4.  Explain SSL Encryption.
    The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) ensures security for data exchanged between web browsers and servers. Through encryption, SSL safeguards the connection between your web server and browser, preserving the confidentiality of all transmitted information and shielding it from potential attacks. One of the protocols within SSL is the SSL recording protocol.


Cyber Security Interview Questions for Experienced


  1. What is the man-in-the-middle attack?
    The man-in-the-middle attack is a sophisticated cyber threat where an attacker positions themselves between two communicating parties, essentially intercepting and potentially altering the data being exchanged. This intrusion enables the attacker to manipulate the communication flow, deceiving both parties into believing they’re interacting over a secure channel. This unauthorised access grants the attacker the ability to eavesdrop on sensitive information, modify messages, or even inject malicious content into the communication stream without the knowledge of the communicating parties. Ultimately, it undermines the trust and confidentiality of the exchange, posing significant risks to data integrity and security.


  1. What is the difference between HIDS and NIDS?

    Host-based Intrusion Detection Systems (HIDS) and Network-based Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS) serve distinct purposes in cybersecurity:

    HIDS focuses on the individual host, treating it as its own entity within the larger network. It operates on standalone systems like computers or servers, analysing and monitoring their internal activities. By scrutinising incoming and outgoing files or data, HIDS compares current system states with previously captured snapshots of the file system. Any divergence from these snapshots could indicate a potential security breach or attack on the host.

    On the other hand, NIDS operates at various installation points across the network, irrespective of specific hosts. It functions in diverse environments, including mixed or hybrid setups like networks, clouds, or interconnected systems. NIDS is vigilant for signs of malicious or anomalous behaviour within the network. Upon detection, it triggers alerts to notify administrators of potential threats within the network environment.




  1. What is RSA?
    The RSA algorithm operates as an asymmetric encryption method, functioning with two distinct keys known as the public and private keys. The public key is openly shared with all users, while the private key is kept confidential, as the name implies.


  1. What is the Blowfish algorithm?

    Blowfish, developed by Bruce Schneier in 1993, emerged as an alternative encryption technique to DES. It offers notably enhanced speed compared to DES and maintains exceptional encryption capabilities without any known effective cryptanalysis methods to date. Notably, it was among the pioneering secure block cyphers that were patent-free, ensuring unrestricted access for all users.


    Key aspects of Blowfish include:

    • Block size: 64 bits
    • Variable key size: Ranges from 32 bits to 448 bits
    • Number of subkeys: 18 (P array)
    • Rounds: 16
    • Replacement boxes: 4 (each containing 512 entries of 32 bits)


Wrapping Up


In a world where our lives are increasingly intertwined with technology, the significance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. It’s the shield protecting our digital existence, safeguarding everything from personal data to critical infrastructure. As the demand for cybersecurity professionals skyrockets, the need for skilled and adept individuals in this field has never been more pressing.


This is where the Certificate Program in Cybersecurity Essentials & Risk Assessment at Hero Vired steps in, equipping aspiring professionals with the knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to combat the ever-evolving cyber threats. By empowering individuals with top-notch education and practical training, Hero Vired is not just training experts, it’s nurturing defenders of our digital world, securing our present and shaping a safer, more resilient future for us all.




Start by investigating the company's cybersecurity protocols, examining the job description, refining technical skills, and rehearsing typical interview queries. Insight into the company's culture and values can elevate your approach.
Employing the 5 Cs - change, continuity, cost, compliance, and coverage - in cybersecurity aids in navigating the perilous realm of cyber threats. Embracing these approaches enables businesses to protect network resources and maintain seamless operations.
The need for cybersecurity roles is soaring, with an anticipated 18% growth in the next five years. This field revolves around shielding computer networks and data from unauthorised use, access, or harm. It encompasses diverse professionals with varying skill levels.
Most organisations, around two-thirds, face a shortage of necessary staff to address and prevent security issues, as reported by 67% of the 14,865 cybersecurity professionals surveyed.
  • Explain the XSS attack and how to prevent it. 

  • What is an ARP, and how does it work?

  • What is port blocking within LAN?

  • What protocols fall under the TCP/IP internet layer?

  • What is a Botnet? 

  • What are salted hashes?

  • Explain SSL and TLS. 

  • What is data protection in transit vs data protection at rest?

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