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An Overview Of Some Cybersecurity Interview Questions

By Tom Seest

What Are Some Cybersecurity Interview Questions?

Cyber security is the practice of safeguarding computers, networks, and data from malicious attacks. It also involves ensuring that information is only accessible by authorized individuals or systems.
Cybersecurity is an intricate field requiring a deep comprehension of both basic and technical cybersecurity concepts. Prepare yourself for your cybersecurity interview by learning common questions related to this field and answering them confidently.

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What Is a Firewall?

A firewall is a computer security system that monitors both inbound and outgoing network traffic. It filters out unauthorized, unknown, or suspicious communications and allows only safe ones that have been approved by you or your network administrator for entry.
A firewall scans a network’s main entry point and ports where exchanges with external devices, using pre-established rules to identify incoming packets. It then uses these packets to differentiate between benign and malicious data.
Packets contain information about the source and destination of data, as well as how it should be transmitted. Firewalls use this data to assess whether or not the packet complies with certain rule sets and then prevent it from entering their protected network.
Firewalls come in many different flavors, each targeting different parts of the network. For instance, a circuit-level firewall checks data packets sent during a TCP handshake.
Stateful inspection firewalls scan all data packets against a threat database to decide whether they should be allowed or blocked. Furthermore, it takes into account the context of each connection when assessing packets associated with that specific connection or port.

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What Is a Three-Way Handshake?

A three-way handshake is a protocol used by web browsers on the client side to establish trust before data transmission takes place. It guarantees an encrypted connection between devices before any information can be sent over the wire, enabling users to navigate the Internet safely and securely.
The 3-way handshake is the fundamental algorithm used by TCP to establish a connection. It involves three messages – SYN, SYN-ACK, and ACK – sent between the client and server before any information exchange takes place.
In this handshake, the client sends an SYN message with its sequence number, and the server responds with an SYN-ACK message containing its own sequence number. Finally, the client sends an ACK message in acknowledgment of the server’s SYN-ACK, and the connection is established.
The three-way handshake also includes a FIN (for finish) segment. When the server sends back its FIN sequence number, the client sets its acknowledgment flag to ‘1’ and sends it back with an acknowledgment number greater than this value.

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What Is a Response Code?

Response codes are informational codes generated by an HTTP server to instruct it how to process a request. They form part of an extensive array of codes required for any successful online interaction.
Cybersecurity is a branch of information security that protects data and systems from attacks. It involves both technical solutions as well as ongoing monitoring and management to ensure maximum protection is maintained.
Interview questions in cybersecurity often center around fundamental concepts like firewalls and three-way handshakes. But interviewers also look for candidates’ personalities when asking these questions.
In this instance, one way to demonstrate your enthusiasm is by discussing a challenging work experience and how you handled it. Doing this helps the interviewer get an insight into your personality as well as whether or not you are capable of working well within a team.
HTTP status codes in this family signify success in various forms: the request has been accepted, a new one has been created, or an issue has been rectified. These messages bring good news to those who need it most–log administrators, website visitors, or programmers alike.

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What Is a CIA Triad?

A CIA triad is a model of data security that emphasizes the balance between confidentiality, integrity and availability. It was developed as the cornerstone model for security infrastructure and is widely adopted by enterprises and security professionals around the world.
Confidentiality refers to keeping sensitive data private and only accessible by authorized personnel. This may include safeguarding information against outsiders or hackers.
Integrity means ensuring data is accurate and complete, which could include making sure systems and databases are updated regularly.
Availability refers to the ability for data to be accessed when needed. This could include keeping servers and devices up and running during emergencies.
The CIA triad is not a static goal or status; rather, it remains open-ended and balanced, which can be beneficial as organizations expand or introduce new devices and data infrastructures.
The CIA Triad provides a useful framework for setting up security policies, but it may not always be the most suitable approach when faced with specific scenarios such as social engineering or phishing attacks that target employees. Furthermore, its limitations lie in not providing comprehensive guidance on creating strong procedures and making sound judgments.

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What Is the Difference Between Hashing and Encryption?

Cryptography encompasses hashing and encryption, both of which scramble readable data into an unbreakable form called ciphertext that cannot be deciphered.
Encryption is a two-step process that utilizes a key to unlock ciphertext and restore it back to its original form as plaintext. This is the only way to safeguard your sensitive information from cybercriminals or unauthorized parties who might misuse it to invade privacy, steal identities, or commit other crimes.
Hashing is a one-way function that transforms data to a fixed length. This provides significant security benefits since hackers won’t be able to deduce how long or short input data really is.
Hashing is a widely used method for password storage, as it makes the password shorter and harder to crack by cyber criminals. But this approach alone is not secure enough; to make hashed passwords as secure as possible, each must be salt with a unique value.

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What Is a Brute Force Attack?

Brute force attacks are a popular method by which hackers gain access to networks and systems. They also permit attackers to try numerous usernames and password combinations until one works.
These brute force attacks are the digital equivalent of trying each key on a locked door and can take an incredibly long time to complete. Therefore, the most effective defense against such attacks is increasing the time required for success as well as implementing account lockouts after a certain number of unsuccessful login attempts.
A hacker’s primary motivation for employing a brute force attack is financial gain, but they can also use it to steal information. For instance, hackers may steal user browsing data and sell it on to advertisers.
Alternatively, they could use the information for identity theft or doxxing. They could even hack into a device and insert spyware to collect personal data.
A reliable solution is to use tools that automate the process of guessing and finding combinations of characters and passwords. One such example is John the Ripper, an open-source software application that lets users run dictionary attacks and decrypt passwords.

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What Is a Traceroute?

Traceroute is an invaluable tool for monitoring data packet movement through a network. It can assist in diagnosing connectivity problems, measuring network performance, verifying routing information, and more.
Traceroute is a utility that runs on most operating systems (Windows, MacOS, and Linux). It may come as part of a TCP/IP package or be installed separately as an independent tool.
Traceroute utilizes ICMP messages and TTL fields in IP headers to communicate with routers along the path of a data packet. Each router subtracts a TTL value from a traceroute packet, and if that value exceeds the one set by the starting router, it sends an ICMP time-exceeded message back to the sending computer.
As each router responds to an ICMP time-exceeded packet, it reports back its TTL value and uniquely identifies itself by IP address. By comparing these results with other traceroute packets sent by different routers, you can identify which particular router is responsible for the issue at hand.
To run a traceroute, open a text editor such as TextEdit or Microsoft Word and enter the IP address or hostname of your target host. When complete, the output will show how many hops were necessary to reach that location, along with its name, IP address, and response time for each hop.

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