Your Ultimate Guide to Cybersecurity Interviews: 50+ Questions Explained

Cybersecurity Interviews Questions Techhyme

In an age where digital landscapes have become the playgrounds of innovation, cybersecurity stands as the fortress safeguarding our virtual existence. As organizations increasingly rely on technology to conduct their operations, the need for adept cybersecurity professionals has skyrocketed.

If you’re preparing for a cybersecurity interview or simply looking to deepen your knowledge in the field, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 50+ fundamental interview questions and answers to help you navigate the intricate world of cybersecurity.

Q1. What is an output device of a computer?

An output device of a computer is a component that is connected to the computer for producing meaningful information processed from the raw data inserted through input devices.

Examples: monitor, speaker.

Q2. What are storage components? Name some of them.

The storage component of a computer is the data storage bank to keep the data saved on the secondary location, where the data can be easily accessed and managed.

The storage components include the following:

  • Hard disk drive (HDD)
  • Flash disk drive (FDD)
  • Optical disk drive (ODD)
  • Magnetic tapes

Q3. What are the major prospective technologies that could govern the future computers?

AI, quantum computing, nanotechnology, and parallel processing.

Q4. What are the basic elements of a computer network?

The basic elements of a computer network are hosts, connecting media, and connectors. But the modern communication networks are not that simple. Some of the major elements used to form a modern computer network are as follows:

  • Hosts
  • Routers
  • Switches
  • Hubs
  • Firewalls
  • Servers
  • Cables/links
  • Protocols
  • Connectors

Q5. What is Internet? Name some of the major hardware elements of the modern Internet.

The Internet is a gigantic network of thousands of networks connected with each other through backbone connectivity and routers. Some of the major hardware elements of modern Internet are as follows:

  • Internet cloud (general name of the entire infrastructure of the Internet)
  • Edge router
  • Core router
  • Firewalls (hardware version)
  • Switches
  • Hubs
  • Servers

Q6. What is the basic difference between WWW and the Internet?

Many people confuse the terms: WWW (World Wide Web) and the Internet. In fact, they are different things.
The Internet is a gigantic network of networks, which may use different protocols for their communication at local network level, while WWW is the combination of all information including all web resources and users that use the HTTP.

Q7. Define cybersecurity.

The short definition of cybersecurity is, “The protection of software, hardware, and data resources connected and stored on the Internet is known as the cybersecurity”. From an individual to a large corporation, everybody is concerned about the security of their online data, software, and information.

The protection of the personal, financial data, commercial data, business-critical information, operational continuity, data integrity, and availability of online software services fall in the cybersecurity domain. Regulating the physical access and control-ling the malicious intrusion, allowing the authorized access, encrypting the valuable information, and safeguarding the privacy are the components of cybersecurity.

Q8. What is a cyberattack?

A cyberattack is a deliberate and malicious electronic attempt by one party, which may be either an organization or an individual to breach into the cyber environment of the other party – an individual or an organization – to steal, delete, or damage the valuable information.

Q9. What are confidential data? Name some examples.

Confidential data are sensitive data that should not be known by someone or some party who is not authorized to read or see that. Often, these are about personal data or data that may have significant implications when exposed to the public arena. Some examples of confidential data include the following:

  • Intellectual property
  • Personal identity information
  • Credit card information
  • Bank account information
  • Personal health information
  • Business or trade secrets

Q10. What are the major sources of breach of availability?

The main sources of breach of availability may include the following:

  • Failure of hardware
  • Malfunction of software
  • Choking of data bandwidth
  • Redundant arrangement failures
  • Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks

Q11. How could the hackers breach integrity of data?

The hackers achieve the data integrity breach through multiple ways as mentioned below:

  • Introduction of malware on the server
  • Undoable malicious encryption of data
  • Manipulation of original data
  • Introduction of viruses
  • Malicious insiders

Q12. What is DoS Attack? What are the general symptoms?

Denial of service or DoS is an Internet security-related event in which the hackers attack a particular server running some Internet services to prevent it from working normal or to stop the services. In this case, the servers are overwhelmed with the flooding of superfluous messages.
The major symptoms of being the victim of DoS attacks (for a legitimate user) include the following:

  • Inability in accessing a website
  • Delay in accessing online service
  • Huge delays in file opening on the websites
  • Increased volume of spam emails
  • Degradation of performance of services

Q13. What is the difference between DoS and DoS attack?

Whenever legitimate service is denied for a user for some invalid cause, DoS situation may occur which means the service is not given. This can happen due to software bug, hardware failure, environmental conditions, and other external issues; however, when an active attacker intentionally causes a DoS situation, it is called DoS attack. That means, to be considered as an attack, there must be an active attacker behind that to make data and services unavailable to the user who needs it via legal means.

Q14. What is MITM?

In the “Man-in-the-Middle” or MITM cyberattack, the hacker intercepts the normal connection between the user and the web server without any knowledge of both user and server. The legitimate communication link between the two entities is exploited, intercepted, and decrypted to steal the personal information for malicious use.

Q15. What is Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is a relatively new form of cyberattack to be used for stealing the “cryptocurrency”. This attack mines processor’s power through malicious software on the cryptocurrency miner machines of the legitimate users. In this form of cyberattack, the processing power of the legitimate cryptocurrency machines is hijacked and used for cryptocurrency mining to earn rewards.

Q16. Why could cyberstalking be dangerous? Explain.

Cyberstalking is a systematic approach of harassing done through email, phones, SMS (short message service), chats, and other forms of communication. The main components used in the communication to threaten the targeted entity include defaming, false allegations, slandering, and other forms of blackmailing.

Digital cyberstalking is similar to the offline or physical stalking done in the streets, at home, or at shopping centers through different traditional modes of communication. The impact of the cyberstalking on the teenage group is much pervasive and widespread. They happen to be so sensitive and less mature to handle the pressure of blackmailing targeted on them.

In certain conditions, people succumb to the pressure and commit some serious life-threatening acts such as suicide and other such things. Hence, it could really affect the mental health of the youth within some period of time.

Q17. What is a malware?

A malware is basically an unwanted software or programming code that runs on a computer and may cause harm or jeopardize the normal functions of a computer.

Q18. What is WannaCry ransomware?

WannaCry is a ransomware crypto worm, which targeted computers (when it first appeared) running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. In plain words, this is a kind of malware which attacks a computer and locks it demanding some ransom or payment to get it unlocked.

Q19. What kinds of impact power grid hacking can do?

Power grid hacking is potentially very dangerous. These kinds of hacker attacks can have serious impacts on the country:

  • Hackers can target infrastructure such as power grid, power generation, water supply, and aviation.
  • The hacking impact on sewerage can flood the US cities with the sewer water.
  • Utilities such as water, electricity, gas, and transportation can be stopped.

Q20. Name at least five well-known attacks which could have significant impact on the systems.

The known attacks are:

  • VPNFilter cyberattack
  • WannaCry ransomware attack
  • Petya cyberattack
  • Power grid hacking
  • Shadow Network attack

Q21. Name some variants or other names of the WannaCry ransomware.

WannaCry is also known very well with the following names:

  • WannaCryptor
  • WannaCrypt0r
  • WannaCrypt0r 2.0
  • Wanna Decryptor
  • Wanna Decryptor 2.0

Q22. What is a computer virus?

A computer virus is a malicious computer program, which is designed to alter the computer functions, slow down the computer performance, and damage the valuable files on the computer drive. The virus programs are executable files when run on any machine by mistake, or through any trick or click, it will get activated and will start altering the computer configurations and the process, which are used for smooth operation of the computer.

Q23. State the main sources of virus propagation.

The main sources of virus propagation include the following:

  • Copying on hard drive
  • Data copying through flash
  • Email attachments
  • Short text messages
  • Scam websites
  • Scam social media links
  • Infected file downloading from Internet
  • Visiting infected websites

Q24. How is the name Trojan horse given?

The concept of the Trojan horse in the modern computer terminology resembles 100% with the story of Trojan horse in the Greek mythology. According to the old mythology, the Greek developed a wooden Trojan horse, which would house many soldiers inside the wooden compartment of the Trojan horse.

The people of the Troy city would pull the Trojan to the city and the soldiers hidden inside the Trojan horse would come out in the night and open the gates of the cities. They would call their fellow soldiers to come in and overrun the city to conquer. This is the same concept behind Trojan horse attack.

Q25. Why is rootkit malware considered one of the nastiest?

The rootkit malware subverts the request sent to the operating system from reaching to the desired API (application programming interface) and responds with fake responses. Moreover, when someone requests the operating system to start the antivirus or anti-malware application to scan the computer, the request is interrupted from reaching to the operating system. The rootkit interrupts the request and sends the user a fake response that the requested program is not working at that time.

Rootkit is considered as one of the nastiest forms of malware programs that is not easily detected and removed from a computer once it has established the privileges to access and control the OS through available vulnerabilities in the OS and other applications.

  • VPNFilter cyberattack
  • WannaCry ransomware attack
  • Petya cyberattack
  • Power grid hacking
  • Shadow Network attack

Q26. What is the main purpose of a spyware?

A spyware snoops the way user uses the Internet. In most cases, the spyware programs are used to learn the habits of the computer users so that proper and focused digital marketing campaign through emails and other online sources can be implemented.

Q27. What are the major classes of cybersecurity?

The cybersecurity threat can be classified into the following:

  • Computer security
  • Network security
  • Data security

Q28. What is a firewall software?

Firewall is the first line of defense for a computer, when it is connected through the Internet or other networks. A firewall is a type of security software that is able to check and monitor traffic coming from certain sources and leaving for a certain port or destination.

Firewall software is used as the first line of defense for any kind of security threat originating from the external sources in a connected environment. It is also the last security checkpost for any traffic originating from your computer. There is a hardware version of firewall as well.

Q29. What is antivirus?

Antivirus is one of the fundamental security tools that are recommended for every computer whether that is connected to the external world through Internet or even it operates in stand-alone position or in the silos. Antivirus software is a security software utility that is able to detect different types of viruses and malware programs on computers. It is also able to remove, delete, and quarantine a virus that has already affected the computer.

Q30. What is spam email and spamming?

Spamming is one of the major sources of spreading malware programs on the Internet. Many spammers send malicious code, such as spyware, malware, and viruses, through different kinds of unsolicited emails from different sources. The first spam email is considered to have been delivered through digital communication system about 40 years ago, in 1978 or so.

Email spamming remedies date back to the middle of the 1990s when it became nastier for the companies and email users to sort out the good and bad emails. A huge time was consumed on reading those unsolicited emails, which caused a huge loss to the company productivity. At that time, two IT engineers started working on this problem by sorting out the IP addresses, servers, locations, company names, and other information from where the spamming emails were originating.

That list was later used on the routers to filter the spamming emails through the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) on the Internet. They named it as the Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS). The name was a bit difficult, so they reversed the order of the words to make it SPAM.

Q31. Note a few steps and measures to keep your browser safe.

The main settings of the browser to keep one’s computer safe from any malicious attempt are as follows:

  • Set privacy settings to high level.
  • Use separate strong password-based user groups.
  • Do not save passwords on browsers.
  • Do not login as an administrator unless you really need it.
  • Activate the safe browsing settings on the browser.
  • Your browsing traffic should be attached with “Do Not Track” request.
  • Activate SSL and HTTPS settings.
  • All pop-ups, plugins, and other activities should be denied or asked to get permission from the computer admin.
  • Computer resources and content access settings should be very strong.
  • Always check for harmful software installed on your browser or computer.

Q32. What is the main objective of a password?

The basic objective of using a password is to authenticate your authority to access certain resources. The technique of code word to verify a certain authenticity of person, event, or any other activity was used between two communicators in the old ages. The concept of password can be divided into two major eras: the traditional era and the digital era.

Q33. Name different forms of modern-day passwords.

There are different types and forms of passwords used in the modern world. The following are a few among them.

  • Conventional password
  • Biometric passwords
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Social media logins
  • Email logins
  • One-time password (OTP)
  • Smart keys and physical tokens

Q34. What are the major threats to passwords theft?

The major threats to the password theft include the following:

  • Eavesdropping
  • Guessing of password
  • Cracking passwords through computing software
  • Offline cracking of hashes
  • Password recovery or reset cyberattack techniques
  • Same password used on multiple accounts
  • Using default passwords of the system
  • Malicious software on your computer such as sniffers and keyloggers
  • Backdoor exploit
  • Malicious plugins
  • Phishing

Q35. What is over-the-shoulder technique of hacking password?

This is a traditional way to steal any critical information like password. The bad guys try to steal your password when you enter it into the system or online service. This technique is also useful when you write your password on some diary or paper. The hackers try to peep over to see your passwords in different forms in this method.

Q36. What are the qualities and features of a strong password?

The qualities and features of a strong password include the following:

  • Non-guessable
  • Longer length
  • Complex pattern of characters
  • Complex combination of characters
  • Based on the out-of-the-box ideas
  • Not influenced with the personal behaviors and information
  • Better password management

Q37. What are the key factors for cybersecurity awareness?

The awareness of the cybersecurity includes the following important factors:

  • Continuously educate the people about cybersecurity.
  • Make the users realize the importance of password security.
  • Train about keeping the software updated.
  • Provide guidelines on how to deal with unknown emails.
  • Train for the potential social engineering ways that exploit the innocence of people.
  • Implement proper system logout and monitoring mechanism.

Q38. If we constitute steps of activities after a cyberattack has hit, what those will be?

If we constitute steps of activities after the cyberattack has hit and also has been detected, we need to do these:

  • Survey: Survey the attack to know about vulnerability, damage, and attackers.
  • Limit: Limit the attack by blocking, diverting, and isolating the system and traffic.
  • Record: Record the impact by recording effects, levels, and disruptions.
  • Engage: Engage with concerned agencies and authorities.
  • Notify: Notify the affected users and seek legal counseling.
  • Learn: Learn a lesson from the attack and prepare for better preventive steps.

Q39. What are the main three tasks for cyberattack prevention?

The approach of prevention of cyberattacks falls in the three major activities as listed below:

  • Detection of cyberattacks
  • Prediction of cyberattacks
  • Prevention of cyberattacks.

Q40. What is Metaheuristic?

Metaheuristic is a higher-level procedure or heuristic designed to find, generate, or select a heuristic (partial search algorithm) that may provide a sufficiently good solution to an optimization problem.

Q41. What are the main firewall types?

Firewalls can be either a software program installed on the servers, computers, or routers to safeguard any computer, server, or even the entire system or it can be a dedicated hardware device loaded with the dedicated firewall software on it. In our daily use, for PCs, and mobile devices, we use the software firewalls installed on those devices to protect us from external deliberate attacks by the hackers.

Q42. What are the main threat points of vulnerability in a wireless network?

The major threat points vulnerable to security breach in a wireless network include the following:

  • Bluetooth connection
  • ZigBee connection
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • Wireless access point
  • Wireless network cards

Q43. Name the major data encryption and security protocols used by the wireless networks.

The major data encryption and security protocols used by the wireless networks are listed below:

  • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access v2 (WPA2)
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access v3 (WPA3)

Q44. What is passive attack?

In passive attacks, the hackers only try to intrude into the wireless network communication to steal the information about the network and passwords. They do not try to damage the digital resources or take any materialist advantage.

But they take the information, which can be used for the active attacks in the future. In passive attacks, a hacker just listens to the inbound and outbound traffic of the wireless communication. The main objective of the hacker in passive attack is just to gather sensitive information, which is useful for carrying out active cyberattacks on the wireless networks.

Q45. Write about the major vulnerabilities of WPA protocol and WPA2 protocol.

The major vulnerabilities of WPA protocol are summarized in the following list:

  • It uses encryption RC4, which is vulnerable to DoS attacks.
  • It uses the MIC value in the EAPoL message in plain text, which is easy for the hackers to attack and break.

Similarly, the main vulnerabilities of WPA2 protocol are as follows:

  • The “hole196” is one of the most known vulnerabilities.
  • The CCMP protocol used in WPA2 encryption mechanism is vulnerable to Time-Memory-Trade pre-computation attack.

Q46. What are the main points that are normally exploited by the cybercriminals?

The main points that are normally exploited by the cybercriminals include the following:

  • Introduction of poisonous links by using the black SEO
  • Malicious links and emails for phishing purpose
  • Text messages and popup notifications
  • Identity theft techniques
  • Social engineering methods
  • Software vulnerabilities to send virus, Trojan horse, and worms
  • Operating system vulnerabilities
  • Vulnerabilities in browsers
  • Fake websites and offers
  • Exploit your personal information that you provide
  • Rogue and public access point vulnerabilities
  • Use of weak passwords
  • Bad password management
  • And yes, your own carelessness

Q47. What is HTTP?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol precisely HTTP is an application-layer communication protocol that is used for establishing the Internet communication between client and server. A client is any software browser that is used to send the request for accessing certain resources located on the web server. The web server has the sever part of the HTTP that provides response to the requests originated from the HTTP client.

Q48. What is HTTPS?

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. HTTPS uses a digital certificate signed by the certificate authority (CA). The websites purchase those certificates from the CAs for their websites. Normally, two major types of certificates are used in the HTTPS websites, which are listed below:

  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS)

Q49. What is SET?

Secure Electronic Transactions, precisely SET is a comprehensive communication protocol for maintaining the full security of the online payments and financial transactions.

Q50. What are the main scoring algorithms used by Web Fraud Detection System (WFDS)?

The main scoring algorithms used by the WFDS are as follows:

  • Predictive Behavioral Scoring Model
  • Rule-Based Scoring Model
  • Hybrid Scoring Model

Q51. State the major threats related to mobile security.

The major threats related to mobile security are listed below:

  • Increasing menace of ad click frauds
  • Increased Trojan attacks
  • Botnet activities
  • Crypto-mining malware attacks
  • Spyware attacks
  • Root malicious attacks

Q52. Why is securing mobile device so important?

The security of mobile device is very important because of the following things:

  • It is used as your camera for recording your memorable movements with the help of photos and videos.
  • It is your communication partner through voice calls, SMS, chats, video calls, emails, and other applications.
  • It is used as a computer device for Internet browsing and online shopping.
  • Smartphone is your guide to new area through maps and GPS (Global Positioning System).
  • Mobile device is your entertainment partner.
  • Mobile is used as the payment wallet for traditional shopping.
  • Mobile device is used for physical access management and even for the digital access management tool.
  • You store your valuable contacts and your personal information.
  • You use it as your temporary data storage.

Q53. What is Android?

Android is the leading mobile operating system in the world. It is developed by the Google Corporation in alliance with many other companies under Open Handset Alliance (OHA). This platform is based on the modified Linux kernel and released as an open source code.

Q54. What is the main downside of the branded and locked phones?

The major downside of the branded and locked phones is that the data of the user is routed through one carrier and the remote access is also enabled in certain cases. Thus, the security concerns increase while the user uses the branded and locked phones.

Q55. State a potential problem associated with the updating process of Android operation system.

One of the main problems with the Android operating system update is that the companies that use the operating system on their devices are not bound to the newly developed updates. So, the updating of the Android operating system normally gets delayed.

Q56. Why are industrial standards important?

Industrial standards play a very critical role in all types of industries. The standards are the defined guidelines, best practices, and rules to achieve any certain objective in that particular industry.

Q57. Name two industrial standards that deal with the information technology control within an IT organization.

ISO/IEC 27001 & 27002 Standards. These two standards deal with the information technology control within the IT organizations. The standards are developed by the International Organization of Standards commonly referred to as ISO.

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