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50 Cyber Security Interview Questions & Answers

Cyber Security has become the need of the hour. Industries across domains are extensively investing in hiring Cybersecurity Analyst and professionals to protect their networks, systems, applications and data from malicious attacks. As a result, the job market in this field has become competitive, so it is always a win-win to prepare yourself with Cyber Security Interview Questions.  

This rise in competition is particularly due to a sudden shift to technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Cyberbullies continuously keep an eye out on every activity taking place over the web. Cybersecurity Ventures reports that the global cybercrime rate is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of £9 trillion by 2025, from £2.49 trillion in 2015.  

So, if you are someone looking for a future-oriented career, the field of Cybersecurity has a lot to offer. Not sure where to start? Check out these top 50+ Cyber Security Interview Questions and Answers for freshers & experienced. It will help you to ace your Cybersecurity job interviews.

Table of Contents 

1) Cybersecurity Basic Interview Questions and Answers 

2) Cybersecurity Interview Questions for Intermediaries 

3) Cybersecurity Interview Questions for the Experienced 

4) General Cybersecurity Interview Questions 

5) Conclusion

Cybersecurity Basic Interview Questions and Answers 

These are the Cyber Security Basic Interview Questions for Freshers. If you have little experience in the field, prepare yourself with these questions to crack top jobs in Cybersecurity. Below are the Interview Questions and Answers for beginners:

1) Define Cyber Security. 

Cyber Security is a set of technologies involving practices and processes to protect computer networks, systems, applications, devices and databases from digital security threats. Industries across domains depend on Cyber Security for a safe and secure transfer of services. 

Cyber Security Training

2) What are the key elements of Cyber Security? 

The key elements of Cyber Security are:

  1) Network Security 

  2) Application Security 

  3) Information Security 

  4) End-user Security 

  5) Operational Security 

  6) Disaster Recovery Planning 

3) What are some Cyber Security risk management measures? 

Cyber Security risk management measures could be:

  1) Cyber Security training programs

  2) Regular software update

  3) Privilege Access Management (PAM) solutions

  4) Multi-factor access authentication

  5) Advance data backup

4) Name some common Cyber Security attacks. 

Common types of cyber-attacks include phishing, malware, password attacks, drive-by download, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), SQL injections, man-in-the-middle attacks, insider threats and zero-day exploits.

5) What is risk, vulnerability, and threat? And how are they different from each other? 

Risk: Risk means loss of privacy, integrity, information or control over systems. It reflects the supposed impacts on organisational operations.  

Vulnerability: Weaknesses in the security systems that make the threat even more dangerous.  

Threat: Potential attackers or attacks that illegally seek to access data, interrupt digital operations or steal confidential information.  

An attacker seeks the vulnerabilities in the company systems and poses a threat causing potential risk to the organisation. 

6) Define Traceroute. What are its uses? 

Traceroute is a tool to frame and track the path for the data to travel across devices and networks. It records the IP addresses of all the packets it passes through while travelling to the destination.  

It uses Internet Control Message Protocol(ICMP) to show the time a data packet takes for each hop during the transmission. If a packet is lost during the transmission, the Traceroute identifies the point of failure. 

7) How is 2-Factor Authentication implemented for public websites? 

2-Factor Authentication is also known as multi-factor or dual-factor authentication. It requires a strong password and a username. It is implemented when the users enter the password. They are asked for a security code sent to their mobile or email address to log in to the website. 

8) What do you understand by the term Cryptography? 

Cryptography is used to securely communicate and keep confidential data online away from third parties or outsiders. It is used to design algorithms, cyphers, and other security measures that codify and protect company and customer data. 

9) What is cybercrime? Explain with examples. 

Cybercrime is any criminal activity that occurs over the internet. Its examples can be phishing, misusing personal information (identity theft); hacking, spreading hate and inciting terrorism; grooming.

10) List some differences between IDS and IPS.

Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

IDS is a network infrastructure that only detects intrusion by hackers. 

IPS is a network infrastructure that prevents intrusion by hackers. 

It is a monitoring system that analyses the network traffic for potential cyber-attacks. 

It is a control system that stops the signals from being delivered. 

IDS is less efficient. 

IPS is more efficient. 

It detects port scanners, malware, and other intrusions. 

It does not send malicious signals if the traffic is from a familiar threat. 

It requires a human or another system to keep a watch on the results. 

It requires regular database updates with the current threat information. 

11) List the response codes that can be received from a web application.

When a client makes a request, the server responds back with HTTP response codes to indicate that their request has been taken into account. These are: 

1) 1xx (Informational responses) - Implies that the request is received, and the process is continuing.  

2) 2xx (Successful responses) - Implies that the request is received, analysed and accepted successfully.  

3) 3xx (Redirection responses) - Implies that the request needs to be completed or further action needs to take place.  

4) 4xx (Client errors) - Implies that the request cannot be fulfilled or has incorrect syntax.  

5) 5xx (Server errors) - Implies that the server has failed to fulfil the client's request. 

12) Define CIA Triad

CIA means Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. It is a model designed to control and strategize security policies for data within an organisation. 

1) Confidentiality limits information to unauthorised access.

2) Integrity ensures that the data is reliable and trustworthy.

3) Availability provides readymade access to data for authorised users.

13) How can we set up a firewall? 

The steps to configure the firewall are as follows: 

1) Secure the firewall with a password to allow authorised users only.  

2) Build firewall zones by examining the priority assets and clubbing them together.  

3) Develop access authorisation lists to determine the traffic flow into and out of each zone.  

4) Configure other firewall services by disabling the extra services that are not in use.  

5) Test the configuration to ensure that correct traffic is being blocked. 

14) Can you list various types of phishing? Also, mention the ways to mitigate it. 

The most common types of phishing are: 

1) Email phishing – It includes regularly sending corrupted files, images, and links through emails that are supposed to be from a trusted source.  

2) Spear phishing – The attacker pursues a specific user and convinces them that the malicious communication is an internal request from the organisation, thus stealing the information.  

3) Whaling – This attack targets high-profile individuals, such as company officials. The target is to personate as a legitimate email while encouraging the victims to perform a secondary action, such as a wire transfer of funds.  

4) Smishing and vishing – This attack involves fraud through text messages, phone calls, voicemail and even email. The aim is to get the user to click on a fraudulent link. While smishing stands for SMS phishing, vishing means voice phishing.  

5) Angler phishing – It is a new type of phishing targeting social media users. Users get messages from a known source, such as a company asking to participate in a survey to obtain users' personal information.   

Ways to mitigate phishing are: 

1) Avoid sharing confidential and personal information 

2) Do not browse from unknown and untrustworthy sources 

3) Configure firewalls 

4) Install antivirus software with internet security 

5) Use anti-phishing toolbar

6) Use two-factor authentication

15) What is the use of SSL Encryption? 

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Encryption is the standard security protocol technology used to protect server–server, server – client and client–client information in online transactions and maintain data integrity. 

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Cybersecurity Interview Questions for Intermediaries 

If you possess an experience of two-three years and looking to further enhance your career, ace your interview with these Cyber Security Interview Questions and Answers:

1) How can you differentiate between Hashing and Encryption?



Hashing is a keyless one-way function to convert data into hash keys. 

Encryption is a two-way function to convert plain text into unreadable ciphertext. 

Hashed data is irreversible. 

IEncrypted data is reversible, i.e., it restores data to its original form using a key.  

It is used to verify the information. 

It is used to transmit information safely. 

2) Differentiate between Vulnerability Assessment (VA) and Penetration Testing (PT).

Vulnerability Assessment (VA) 

Penetration Testing (PT) 

It is the process of identifying and prioritising vulnerabilities in a network.  

It is the process of testing a network to identify vulnerabilities in the target. 

The organisation is aware of the weaknesses in the network that controls the traffic. 

Here, the organisation would have set up the possible security measures they could think of, and test other ways their system or network may be hacked. 

Vulnerability assessment is conducted at regular intervals in case of a change in the system or network. 

Penetration testing is conducted yearly in case of massive changes. 

3) What do you mean by salted hashes?

If two users have the same password, hashes are created for the same password. It gives the hacker an opportunity to crack the password easily through a dictionary or a brute-force attack. Thus, to avoid it, the hash value is combined with a random salt (random data), and then these salted hashes are stored in its database. It helps in defending against attacks. 

4) Explain the three-way handshake process. 

TCP/IP networks use a three-way handshake process to develop a connection between a local host and a client. It is called a three-way handshake as it includes three steps where the host and the client can reliably exchange packets. Those steps are: 

1) Synchronise Sequence Number (SYN) is sent to the host to inform them about the client’s request to connect with the host. 

2) Synchronise Sequence Number and Acknowledge Packets (SYN+ACK) acknowledges to the setting if the client’s request has open ports. 

3) The client responds back with ACK to establish a connection through which data transfer will take place.

Explain the three-way handshake process

5) What is the OSI model and its different layers? 

Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model uses a standard protocol to facilitate communication at two endpoints in a network. It was introduced by the International Organisation for Standardisation. This model has seven layers: 

1) Physical layer (layer 1) - Responsible for the transfer of raw bits over a network.  

2) Data-link layer (layer 2) - Responsible for handling the flow and format of data over a network.  

3) Network layer (layer 3) - Defines the physical path of data in a network.  

4) Transport layer (layer 4) - It allows the transfer of data across networks using transmission protocols such as TCP and UDP.  

5) Session layer (layer 5) - This layer is responsible for connecting the system and other applications and controlling sessions and ports in the network.  

6) Presentation layer (layer 6) - This layer encodes and decodes data to be available in a usable format.  

7) Application layer (layer 7) - This layer is responsible for human and computer interaction in a network for the user to perform network-related functions. 

6) Explain Identity Theft and ways to prevent it. 

Identity Theft occurs when the attacker impersonates to target user's private data. There are several ways to prevent Identity Theft: 

1) Avoid sharing personal information online  

2) Set a strong and unique password  

3) Use an updated version of the browsers  

4) Install specialised malware and spyware tools  

5) Always keep your system and the software updated  

6) Buy from known and trusted sites  

7) Protect your Social Security Number (SSN)

7) Is it possible to reset a password-protected BIOS configuration? If yes, how can you do that? 

Basic Input or Output System (BIOS) is firmware stored on a memory chip that is run first when a computer is started. The BIOS initialises the hardware, then loads and starts the main operating system. 

Once the BIOS password is set, it is hard to recover. The user will have to: 

1) Shut down the system 

2) Remove the CMOS battery 

3) Move the Password Clear jumper in the pins 

4) Re-install the system top cover and re-attach the power cords 

5) Further, power on the system and access the BIOS Setup utility 

8) What is Botnet? How is it important to Cybersecurity? 

Botnet is a group of interconnected computers that infect are infected by malware where each device is in control of one or more bots. They perform Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks, steal information and spam, and provide attackers with access to the entire network.

9) How are HIDS and NIDS different?

Host Intrusion Detection System (HIDS)

Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS)

HIDS is a host-based intrusion detection system that detects attacks involving hosts.  

NIDS is a network-based intrusion detection system to detect attacks involving networks. 

It can track live data and flag issues as they occur within an enterprise network. 

Reviews historical data to identify unconventional cyberattacks. 

Studies the action of a particular host/application. 

Studies the network traffic across all the devices. 

10) Differentiate between Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption.

On the basis of 

Symmetric Encryption 

Asymmetric Encryption 


It is used for huge data transfer. 

It is used for safely exchanging secret keys. 


ISymmetric encryption is faster but prone to risks. 

Asymmetric encryption works slowly because of high computation. 


The algorithms are DES, 3DES, AES and RC4. 

The algorithms are Diffie-Hellman and RSA. 


Uses a single key for encryption and decryption. 

Uses public keys for encryption and decryption. 

11) What do White Hat, Black Hat, and Grey Hat hackers mean? 

White Hat hackers – Is an ethical hacker who uses their hacking skills to identify weaknesses in hardware, software or network security systems.  

Black Hat hackers – Is an unethical hacker who uses their hacking skills by violating standard rules to steal confidential data for financial gains.  

Grey Hat hackers – Is a blend of both a White Hat hacker and a Black Hat hacker who may sometimes violate ethical standards but also does not intend to damage the network entirely. 

12) How can you ensure the security of the company’s server? 

To ensure that the company's server is sure, it is important to use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption to protect it from unauthorised access.  

This can be done through the following: 

1) Establishing a password-protected network for root and administrator users  

2) Create new users for your system who will manage it  

3) Avoid providing remote access to default administrator accounts  

4) Further, firewalls, intrusion prevention software, and 2-factor authentication can help in server security 

13) Define VPN. 

VPN or Virtual Private Network is a technology to develop safe and secure internet connections while using public networks. It conceals your data and IP address in an encrypted virtual tunnel, thereby preventing outsiders from tracking user activities.

Define VPN

14) Define Brute Force Attack. What are the ways to prevent it? 

A Brute Force Attack is a form of cryptographic hack that works on a trial-and-error method to break security credentials and encryption keys to gain unauthorised access to systems and networks. This action can also be automated using software to login credentials. Some of the ways to prevent Brute Force Attacks are: 

1) Use Captchas  

2) Limit logins trials to specified IP address 

3) Use two-factor authentication  

4) Deploy unique login URLs  

5) Trace server logs 

6) Make the root user inaccessible

15) Explain the difference between Salting and Hashing.



Salting is the technique of adding a unique value to the password to create a new hash value.  

Hashing is primarily used to authenticate data of any size to a fixed length. 

It adds extra security to the hashing process. 

Hashing is a one-way function. 

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Cybersecurity Interview Questions for the experienced 

It is always better to be up-to-date with the technological market, even if you have mastered a specific field. So, if you have loads of experience and looking for a change of job, follow these questions:  

1) What is data leakage and its types? 

A data breach or data leakage is the intentional or unintentional release and transfer of confidential data into unauthorised hands from within the organisation. It can be of various types, such as: 

1) Accidental breach: It means that data transfer occurred unintentionally. 

2) The disgruntled or Ill-intentioned employee: It involves data revelation through violation of company policies by a former employee holding grudges. 

3) Electronic communications with malicious intent: While electronic mediums can transfer and allow external access, the hacker with this advantage can transfer data to external parties. 

2) Explain Port Blocking within LAN. 

Port blocking within LAN means restricting users from accessing bulk services within the Local Area Network (LAN). This includes blocking physical ports such as USB, removable devices, DVD/CD-ROM, floppy, mobile phones, and many other plug-and-play devices.  

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) identifies Internet traffic by combining port number and transport protocol and entirely blocking it. 

3) What is a MITM attack? How to prevent it? 

Man-In-The-Middle (MITM ) attack is a practice that a hacker follows by eavesdropping or impersonating two parties (user and application). The main aim of the attacker is to steal personal and confidential information like login passwords, account details and credit card numbers, etc. 

1) To prevent a MITM attack, you need to: 

2) Avoid using public Wi-Fi connections 

3) Use SSL/TSL 

4) Force HTTPS 

5) Use Virtual Private Network 

6) Strong router login credentials 

7) Deploy well-built Intrusion Detection Systems 

4) You notice an unusual activity of your mouse pointer: it starts to move around on its own and clicks on various icons on the desktop. What would you do in this situation? Select the applicable method. 

1) Seek the help of a co-worker 

2) Disconnect the mouse 

3) Turn off the computer 

4) Report the supervisor 

5) Disconnect your computer from the network 

6) Run anti-virus 

The answer is option D and option E. 

This activity seems suspicious as an unknown user seems to have control access to your system remotely. Therefore, immediately report it to the respective supervisor. Keep the computer disconnected from the network for a while. 

5) Explain compliance in Cybersecurity. 

Compliance in Cybersecurity is an organisational risk management system that standardises rules and regulations for the users to follow the national and state-level cyber laws to protect sensitive data and safeguard network infrastructure. 

6) Explain SQL injection and how to prevent it. 

SQL injection is a Cyber Security Attack that inserts harmful SQL codes into the database server of an application. Therefore, they are able to access, modify and delete data illegally and without the knowledge of the authorised user. Ways to prevent an SQL injection attack are: 

1) Validate user inputs 

2) Use prepared statements 

3) Check for regular system updates and patches 

4) Put a limit on read access to the database 

7) What is meant by Cyber Security risk assessment? 

Risk assessment in Cyber Security implies the process of detecting, examining, and evaluating vulnerable sets of information. It helps in ensuring that the Cyber Security controls of the organisation are apt to the risks that it may face.

What is meant by Cyber Security risk assessment

8) What is the difference between VPN and VLAN?

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN)

VPN is a service technology. 

VLAN is a type of subnetwork. 

It ensures that the users are able to connect securely to various networks.  

It groups remote devices together to enhance communication among the devices and simplifies the process of modification in network infrastructure. 

VPN logically separates the networks within the same location. 

VLAN is used to connect two points in a secured and encrypted tunnel. 

9) How to prevent DDoS attacks? 

DDoS means Distributed Denial of Service that targets a server or a website to make it inaccessible to the intended users. The steps to prevent a DDoS attack are as follows: 

1) Recognise system vulnerabilities and reduce them. 

2) Configure Firewall and router 

3) Improve server redundant Internet connectivity 

4) Scale up your computation resources 

5) Determine abnormal traffic 

10) What does an Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) mean? How does it work? 

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is a method of mapping network layers in an OSI model. It connects an Internet Protocol (IP) address to a fixed physical machine address, also known as a Media Access Control (MAC) address.  

It sends a request packet to the entire LAN network; then checks for the machines in the network to match that particular IP address. If the IP address matches that of the machine, it answers back. Thus, ARP updates the cache for further use and communication. 

11) What is meant by port scanning? 

Port scanning is a network reconnaissance technique that identifies open ports and services available on a computer network. While attackers use port scanning to steal information to exploit vulnerabilities; on the other hand, administrators use port scanning to examine the security of the network. 

12) What is an XSS attack? How can we prevent it? 

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks are a kind of injection attack where the attacker-infected scripts are injected into the target servers permanently. The attacker pretends to be a victim user, thus accessing and stealing the required confidential information. Some ways to prevent XSS attacks are: 

1) Filter user input 

2) Encode special characters 

3) Sanitise XSS HTML 

4) Use anti-XSS tools 

5) Use Content Security Policy (CSP) 

13) How often should patch management be performed? 

Patch management should be performed as soon as the new update and software are released. Two patches should be scheduled in a week. In case of zero or no vulnerability, they should be deployed as soon as possible.

14) What is data protection in transit vs at rest?

Data protection in transit 

Data protection at rest 

Data is transferred from the network to the client. 

Data remains in the database or on hard drives. 

Data is protected while in transit. 

Data is protected when at rest in firewalls and antiviruses. 

Vulnerable data is protected from MITM attacks, eavesdropping, etc. 

Vulnerable data is protected from possible breaches even when stolen or downloaded.

15) Explain cognitive security. 

Cognitive security in Cyber Security refers to the application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning technologies to behave like a human through the process of detecting security threats to the system's physical and intellectual property.  

The computer systems are inserted with large data packets, which they process using AI and ML algorithms. These systems are manufactured to recognise and mitigate threat patterns and process new data. 

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General Cybersecurity Interview Questions 

Interviewers always ask some common questions to all the candidates, whether you are a fresher or an experienced individual. These questions primarily test your soft skills and your basic knowledge of the industry. 

1) Introduce yourself. 

Introducing yourself is the very first step to making an impression on the interviewer, so it is important to get it right. A few tips to give your introduction are: 

1) Begin with personal information such as your name, place of birth, interests and hobbies. 

2) Proceed with your educational qualifications. Remember to talk about your most recent degree. 

3) Further, talk about your previous job and particularly mention your achievements. 

4) Most importantly, be confident. 

Note: if you are a fresher, mention some of your achievements during college.

What are your strengths and weaknesses

2) What are your strengths and weaknesses? 

It is important to be realistic while mentioning your strengths. Never exaggerate your strengths, and never hide your weaknesses. Confide that you are willing to work on your weaknesses. Also, provide examples while talking about your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, you can talk about your contribution to various team projects that led to exceptional results, so you can say that you are a team player. 

3) What has been your biggest challenging project? 

Everybody makes mistakes. Do not decline on having faced any challenges. Also, do not entirely blame another person for the problems and issues. Mention realistic instances and challenges you had to deal with, even if it seems small. You can begin by explaining the problems and go on to talk about how you overcome that by taking charge. Ensure the interviewer that you are willing to learn from mistakes and discuss how you will take measures to improve in your new role. 

4) How do you see Cybersecurity as a career in the coming years? 

Although this is a subjective question that will depend on the interviewee's view, however, to demonstrate your expertise in the field, it is always better to look for future opportunities in the industry.   

You can mention that cybersecurity is a continuously developing industry, creating ample opportunities for professional growth. You can also provide instances of emerging technologies and trends in the industry. Further, mention the scope of increasing roles and responsibilities in cybersecurity at companies. It would be icing on an icing-on-the-cake if you could also mention your growth within and outside the domain. 

5) What basic skills should a Cybersecurity Analyst have?

To answer this Cybersecurity Interview Question, you can begin with the technical skills that a Cyber Security analyst requires to have. Further, you can conclude by talking about soft skills. Some of the technical and soft skills of a cybersecurity analyst are mentioned below: 

Technical skills – Intrusion detection, network security control, operating systems, incident response, cloud, DevOps, threat knowledge, scripting, controls and frameworks. 

Soft skills – Communication, collaboration, adaptability, risk management, critical thinking 

You should also be skilled at using data management tools such as MS Excel, MS Word or Google Docs to be able to fulfil daily tasks. 


The continuously evolving field of cybersecurity has a lot on its plate if you are willing to snatch a bite. According to the Time of India reports, 3.5 million roles will open in the field of Cyber Security across the world by 2025. So, if you want to build a future in cybersecurity, prepare yourself with the Cyber Security Interview Questions for Freshers, intermediaries and experienced provided in this blog.  

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