Cybersecurity is crucial to every organization. Cybersecurity demand is high in almost all industries across the world. Every organization has a cybersecurity team to secure its assets. So, Learning security practices in top universities like the Stanford cybersecurity course comes with many advantages that include personalized mentorship, a comprehensive curriculum, etc and helps you to build a great Cybersecurity career.

    The cybersecurity job market is in the super-niche skills areas. The average salary for cybersecurity professionals ranges from $35,000(25th percentile) to $139,000 (75th percentile) per annum in the United States. The average highest salary is around $218,000 per annum according to ZipRecruiter. The available jobs are 

    • Cyber Security Analyst
    • Cyber Security Consultant
    • Cyber risk security consultant
    • Information Security Analyst
    • Cybersecurity Security Operations center analysts etc

    Cybersecurity Interview Questions 

    • Explain your understanding of cybersecurity?

    Cybersecurity was formerly called Information Security which is the branch of security that deals with securing assets such as data, infrastructures, and anything that has value to the organization. Cybersecurity contains more than 10 domains that form a diverse range of securing the organization and its assets.

    • Explain the need for cybersecurity in organizations? 

    Increasingly using technology, the internet, digitization of the assets, and data pose security risks and threats to every business. The threats or risks can either be man-made or environmental that cause a negative impact or a high probability of occurrence which must be neutralized or minimized to safeguard the assets of the organization. 


    • Secure data and assets of the organization
    • Treat cybersecurity risks
    • Enhance the smooth functioning of the organization
    • Reduce the number of threats to the organization
    • Safeguard the assets whether unintentional or intentional action
    • Eliminate internal and external fraud
    • Safeguard the privacy of the individual etc

    • Explain about IPS and IDS

    IPS is s/w or the h/w that prevents unauthorized and malicious intrusions to the private network, endpoint systems, or any other infrastructure systems. IPS stands for Intrusion Prevention System. It detects and also prevents.

    IDS is s/w or the h/w that detects or monitors the unauthorized and malicious intrusions to the private network, endpoint systems, or any infrastructure. IDS stands for the Intrusion Detection System. The activity is reported or alerted to the administration or SIEM system.

    • What do you know about the Firewall?

    A firewall is a device or s/w that controls the traffic, only legitimate traffic is allowed through. Unauthorized and malicious traffics are not allowed to the private network. It is used to segregate the private and public networks. It is used to control the traffic in and out of the organization.

    • Which is better on a firewall closed port or filtered port? Why?

    The closed port means no application or services or users are allowed or using that port, this can be opened if required. The filtered port is the one that has security devices such as a firewall controlling the traffic through that port. When not used it is better to close the port and when the port is being used or opened it is better to control the traffic through that port.

    • Discuss NIDS, HIDS

    NIDS, Network Intrusion Detection System used to detect and alert the administrator on a possible intrusion in the network. It is used mainly on the internet-facing network. 

    The HIDS, a Host-based Intrusion Detection System used to detect or monitor the anomaly and alerts the administrator on any intrusion at the endpoint systems such as laptops/desktops, etc. 

    • Technically explain data leakage 

    Data Leakage is the unintentional or intentional loss of data from the private systems to the public systems by the users or malicious intruders. For example, a user can copy the organization’s sensitive data from the private network by transferring the files to his pen drive or DVD or send it across to a public network through email or upload to public sites. Similarly once the outside unauthorized intruder comes into a private network and gains access to sensitive data such as credit/debit cards or health records from the organization to public misuse of data.

    • Explain port scanning and how it is done? 

    Port scanning is a way of ethically finding whether any unused or unknown or open ports are there in the network which can be used by the hacker to compromise the security of the organization. This is done by port scanning software such as Nmap, Nessus, or GFI Vanguard, etc. These are vulnerability assessment tools that detect the status of the port and provide us the report to secure the ports.

    • Why is a VPN required?

    VPN, Virtual Private Network helps to securely connect to the private network and systems from external devices such as laptops/desktops by tunneling through the internet. The VPN tunnels are encrypted and only connected securely. 

    • Explain about white, black, and grey hat hackers?

    White hat hackers intrude into the private network with malicious intent having acquired knowledge about the password, user name, open port, and other vulnerabilities.

    Black hat hackers use brute force methods to intrude into the private network with malicious intent.

    Grey hat hackers have some knowledge about the private network and use it to intrude inside the private network for malicious purposes.

    • How to establish a LAN?

    LAN stands for Local Area Network that is to connect the computers inside the building such as home or office building or school building etc. It uses the LAN cable to connect various computers based on typical LAN network topologies such as STAR or MESH or Hybrid etc.

    • Briefly explain congestion control?

    • Congestion in the traffic which is caused by 
    • Denial/ distributed denial of Service attacks DoS/ DDoS
    • When the LAN/WAN/Wi-Fi has high latency 
    • When too many users access the same network/device/application

    There are several ways to control these DoS and DDoS attacks as mentioned below 

    • Closing the unknown port and secure the ICMP alerts 
    • Install anti-DDoS software or device

    In the same way, by having a robust high-speed network we can solve the latency problems. A load balancer or application cache can be used to manage several users accessing the same network or try to increase the bandwidth.

    • How to protect the user when both the stages in a 2-factor authentication are hacked?

    When a 2-factor authentication system is hacked then we need to have a multi-factor authentication system that is more than 2 factors such as having the token etc. We need to secure our emails and passwords from phishing or social engineering attacks in the first place. The passwords need to be changed regularly and must be known self only. There are other systems such as role-based access, security levels, and access levels, and multi-factor authentications.

    • Explain about Ransomware?

    Ransomware is a cyber-attack that causes losing control of the systems or devices or applications or network to the malicious hacker who controls part of your assets and demands a ransom for releasing the systems. What is the first step that you take if you are attacked by Ransomware? 

    • Can you see any vulnerabilities in connecting a vending machine to the network of the company?

    A vending machine connected to the network of the company may have vulnerabilities such as being misused for an intentional playful act, a compromised vending machine can be used for dispensing money or coffee or products. Somebody getting access to the port to which it connects may misuse it, or someone who has weak authentication may lose his control over the vending machine, etc.

    • Steps of penetration testing and tools used in it?

    • The steps used in penetration testing are,
    • Preparation for the testing
    • Identification of the network or application
    • Gathering information about the systems
    • Penetrate through the systems by using white, grey, or black hat ways
    • Putting the dummy payload into the systems,
    • Finding other ways to ethically hack the systems
    • Then pulling out the report etc

    The tools used are Metasploit, Netsparker, Acunetix, Core Impact, etc

    • How to change the DNS settings in Windows / Linux?

    Windows 🡪 DNS can be control panel- network and sharing center-change adapter settings-select the adapter- select the internet protocol and change the DNS server settings

    Linux 🡪Edit the file /etc/resolv.conf

    • What encryption does TLS use (asymmetric and symmetric)?

    TLS uses both asymmetric and symmetric encryptions.

    • Differentiate RSA and Diffie-Hellman?

    RSA is used for actual asymmetric key encryption. It generates a public-private key pair and uses them for exchanging data.

    The Diffie-Hellman algorithm is used for key-exchange which generates a secret key. Both parties use a common key to exchange data using symmetric key encryption.

    • Differentiate Hashing, Encryption, and Encoding?

    1. Encoding is used to transform data into other formats by using a scheme that is publicly available which can be later reversed
    2. Hashing is used to secure a file or data such as a password
    3. Encryption is the data into an unreadable format using an algorithm.
    • Differentiate Block cipher and Stream Ciphers?

    Both of them encrypt and decrypts text at a time.  The former one does it in blocks and the latter one does it by taking one byte of text at a time

    • Compare HTTPS, TLS, and SSL in terms of security?

    • HTTPS – protects and secures the website
    • TLS – secures the communication and works as an improved version of SSL
    • SSL – helps in secured communication.
    • Explain the working of a buffer overflow?

    This is a situation where the running program writes data outside of RAM that it is not intended for.

    • How to handle account brute force?

    You can prevent this cybercrime by changing the password periodically and by having a complex password that is more than 8 characters long, 1 special character, 1 uppercase, 1 number, and at least 1 lower case.

    • Explain cross-site scripting in simple terms?

    Cross-site scripting is a security vulnerability that allows users to change the code of the application that is delivered and executed in the web browser.


    In this article, we have seen the Top 25 interview questions and answers in cybersecurity. ‘Great Learning’  cybersecurity course provides an opportunity for professionals aspiring to take up a career in cybersecurity. 

    Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.