Top 63 Network Security Interview Questions & Answers

Are you preparing for an Interview? Are you looking for Network Security Interview Questions and Answers? Have you applied for a Network security-related job? Here are the top 63 Network Security Interview Questions and Answers. Read the full blog, so that you will not miss any questions and answers. Believe me, you will come across these network security questions and answers during your interview. Check out our latest Network Security Interview Questions.

Few tips from my side. No matter which interview you are attending be confident enough, Answer your interview questions with confidence, be loud, believe in yourself and definitely, you will crack it.

Do check out general interview questions and answers which should also help you when you are asked generic questions related to your attitude, aptitude.

Table of Contents

How do you crack a Network Security Interview?

  1. The most important thing, believe in yourself, be confident, 
  2. Show some passion towards your job, let the interviewer know how passionate, how interested you are about the job. 
  3. Be prepared for the network security interview question and answers. 
  4. If possible, let the interviewer know that you have some practical knowledge, rather than just theoretical things. Take a pen and paper and explain it, rather than just speaking. 
  5. Let the interviewer know what you don’t know. Admit it, acknowledge what you don’t know.

What are the fundamentals/basics of network security?

Network security is the mechanism of taking precautionary measures to secure the underlying networking infrastructure from unauthorized access, misapply, malfunction or break down, modification, destruction, or inappropriate disclosure.

Top 63  Network Security Interview Question and Answers

1: Explain risk, vulnerability, and threat, w.r.t  network security?

A risk is defined as, A  system being secure but not secured adequately, thereby increasing the chances of a threat.

Vulnerability is a lack or rift in your network security or equipment

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Threat is a powerful negative activity or trouble facilitated by a vulnerability that results in an undesirable impact on an application.

2: How do you educate yourself on Network security related news? How do you get your Network Security News from?

 Network security incidents are on the news every day. Make sure you keep checking them, for Network Security Management-related news sources, you can check on Twitter, Reddit, and Team Cymru. Whenever an interviewer asks these kinds of questions, make sure you answer them, with the latest news.

3: Talking about your home network security, do you have any WAP(Wireless Access Point), If so how do you maintain it?

There are manys ways of securing a WAP(Wireless Access Point),, but the most favourable are

  1. Employing MAC address filtering
  2. Using WPA2(Wi-Fi Protected Access II) 
  3. Not transmitting the SSID

4: Which is terrible in terms of Firewall detection, and why? A false positive or a false negative?

A false negative is terrible. A false positive is simply an appropriate result that just got falsely flagged. It’s not fatal or difficult to correct. But a false negative means that something unacceptable has dropped through the firewall undetected, and that means something serious is going on.

5: What are the three types of user authentication?

Something you know – It includes passwords and pins, which you can easily remember and type.

Something you have – which includes physical objects like smartphones or USB drives

Something you are – here you can use your fingerprints, or facial expressions, or palms.

6: Distinguish between a white and black hat hacker and grey hat hacker?

White hat hackers or ethical hackers test a system to secure vulnerability, they help cybersecurity analysts.

Black hat hackers break into computer systems and they bypass security protocols and they are responsible for scripting malware, which is used to boost access control to the systems.

Grey hat hacker is a computer network hacker, who violates the rules, and they are not malicious hackers, sometimes they do it with the public interest.

7: Distinguish between symmetric and asymmetric encryption.

Symmetric encryption uses only one key for both encryption and decryption. Whereas asymmetric encryption uses 2 different keys, it uses a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption.

8: Which among these is a more secure project: open source or proprietary?

Open source is more secure than proprietary. Here the whitehat hackers can easily fix the problems.

9: Describe the salting process and what are its uses? Answer them?

Salting is an approach that typically refers to password hashing. It’s a unique value that is added to the end of the password to generate a particular hash value. They are used to secure passwords

10: When you are working with a Linux server, what are the three major steps to take for securing it?

The three significant steps to take care of while working with a Linux operating systems server are operating system encryption and you have to keep your attacks surfaces to a minimum.

11: “ Man In The Middle attack(eavesdropping )” How do you deal with this kind of attacks? Answer them?

A man-in-the-middle attack happens whenever there is a third party involved, which is monitoring and controlling the conversations between the two parties, where the latter is completely uninformed of the situation. There are ways to deal with it. One is both parties should engage in end-to-end encryption. The other way is to avoid open wifi networks

12: If you get a phone call from a prominent executive of your organization . He or she tells you to corner company policy to suit them, so that they can use their personal device to do company tasks. What would you do?

The first and foremost thing to do is , to let your manager or higher officials know about it.They are the best people to sort this kind of stuff.

13:  Name some of the common Cyberattacks?

  • Man in the middle or eavesdropping 
  • Smurf attacks
  • Teardrop attacks
  • Ping of death attacks
  • Drive-by attacks
  • DDoS

14: How do you see the objective of information security management within a business or system?

  1. Safeguard  uninterrupted network availability to all user
  2. Inhibit illegitimate network access
  3. Safeguard the privacy of all user
  4. Used to Protect the networks from malware, hackers, and DDoS attacks
  5. Secure all sensitive  information from corruption and fraud

15: What security measures will you use on your own personal network? Can you answer these types of questions?

 This has to be a clear answer like, you need to state that you will use Firewalls, You will use antivirus software to protect your system or computer  from malware,you are going to update your passwords frequently and you will create a VPN i.e Virtual private network

16: HTTPS or SSL which one of these is the better security measure?

HTTPS i.e HyperText Transfer Protocol provides secure communications. SSL is just a protocol that secures communications online.

17: What would be the possible result of an attack on a computer network?

The possible result of an attack on a computer networks are:

  1. There would be a data or information  loss
  2. Assets can be misused
  3. DoS(Denial of Service)
  4. DDoS attack(Distributed DoS)
  5. Loss of trust among the customers
  6. It reduces the value with the shareholders 

18: List the best defenses against a brute force login attack?

  1. You need to set a minimum length for a password. The longer the password,  the stronger it is.
  2. You need to include special characters, alphanumeric characters, uppercase and lowercase letters so that the password is very strong enough.
  3. You need to set a limit for login, for example, set your login limit to 3, If you fail to set the password within the 3 limits, then it has to throw an error in the computer.

19: What would you do If you have discovered an active problem on your system’s security network, but it is out of your scope and there is no way that you can fix it. 

First, put all your effort into resolving it, and still if you don’t get it, mail it to the concerned person, who is in charge of it. Make sure to put your boss in the CC of your email, so that you keep him informed.

20: Define Firewall and its uses?

A Firewall is a network security mechanism, where it audits all the incoming and outgoing network movement and it decides whether to block or allow specific network traffic based on a certain set of rules. It secures all your sensitive data. Firewalls are a line of defense in any network security.

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21: Explain data leakage in your terms?

Data leakage is the illegitimate transmission of sensitive data from within an organization to an external target destination. It can be used to describe sensitive data that is transmitted electronically or physically. Data leakage threats usually happen via the web and email, but they can also happen via mobile data storage mechanisms like optical media, USB keys, and laptops.

22: Distinguish between IDS and IPS(Intrusion Prevention System)?

IDS i.e Intrusion Detection system and IPS i.e Intrusion Prevention System are very important for cybersecurity.IDS just monitors the system and it just sends an alert, when it finds anything suspicious. IPS controls the systems, it prevents packets from delivering, if anything suspicious is found.

23: Define Forward Secrecy?

Forward secrecy, specifies an encryption system that changes the keys that are used to encrypt and decrypt sensitive information frequently. This process assures that even if the latest key is hacked, only a minimal amount of sensitive information is exposed.

24: Explain the steps to set up a firewall?

  1. Secure your firewall, so that you give access to the user you trust
  2. It is used to protect your network’s resources, and plan a structure where these resources are grouped.
  3. You need to configure an access control list(ACLs)
  4. You need to build other firewall services
  5. Test your firewall structure, so that it is blocking the traffic, according to the rules
  6. You need to maintain the firewall so that it operates optimally.

25: Define CIA triad

 Confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA), is a security model that underlines core data security purposes and it serves as an ultimate guide for organizations to safeguard their sensitive information.

26: Define three-way handshake?

A three-way handshake is a process used in TCP/IP networks to build a secure connection between a client and a server. A three-way handshake is a three-step process, as the name suggests, in which both the client and server exchange and acknowledge data before the real communication starts.

27: How different is encryption from hashing?

Encryption is a two-way function, whatever is encrypted, can also be decrypted with the use of a proper key. On the other hand, hashing is a one-way function that shuffles plain text to yield a unique message. There is no reversal of the hashing process, to expose the authentic password.

28: Why are internal threats more dangerous than external threats?

Internal threats are the ones, which originate within the organization, which have access to the network security resources, they can misuse their access control, which includes data loss, installing malware, or causing DoS i.e Denial of service attack. Whereas for external threats, firewalls make it hard for them.

29: Define SSL Encryption?

SSL i.e Secure Socket Layer is a network security technology for building an encrypted link between a server and a client.

30: Distinguish between Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing?

Vulnerability Assessment is a mechanism of finding and calculating the vulnerability of a system, on the other hand, Penetration testing generates a list of vulnerabilities ranked by their severity.

31: Explain traceroute and its uses?

Traceroute is a network security distinguishing tool that is used to record the real-time, pathway taken by a data packet on an IP network from the origin to the destination, and reporting all the IP addresses of the routers it traversed in between.

32: Define Phishing-attacks and how it can be prevented?

Phishing is a cybersecurity attack that uses fake emails as its sword. The main intention here is to trick the email recipient, It makes them believe that the message is very important to them (for example, a message from someone in their organization and it makes the recipient click on that link). The main intention here is to steal sensitive data, i.e data loss(like credit card or account details).

As a preventive measure for phishing-attacks, you need to verify the site, before you click on any links, install Anti-Phishing software tools.

33: Explain Cognitive Cybersecurity?

 Cybersecurity: As there is an increase in cyberattacks, AI, i.e Artificial intelligence helps resource-intensive security movements and analysts, to stay away from the potential threats. Cognitive Cybersecurity is an appliance of Artificial Intelligence,  It is based on Man’s thought process to detect any potential threats.

34: Define Port Scanning?

A port scanner is an appliance, which is designed to examine a port or server for open ports. It is mainly used by administrators to check network security policies. It is also used by attackers to know which network security services are running on a host.

35: Filtered ports or closed ports , which of these do you prefer for your firewall?

It’s a bit tricky, If it is for an intranet site, or for a small company web server or a back-end network security, they will go with closed ports, because these network security servers are not targeted by DDoS.

36: Differentiate between HIDS and NIDS?

HIDS i.e Host Intrusion Detection System is used to examine specific host-based behaviors, like what web application are they using, and what files have been accessed, basically, they detect any changes that have been incurred internally.

NIDS i.e Network Intrusion Detection system analyses the flow of data between two systems. It detects any potential threats entering into the system  It also detects the malicious behavior of your networks.

37: Define Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS Attack) and how do you prevent it?

Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS Attack) happens when servers and networks are overloaded with enormous amounts of traffic. The main intention here is to destroy the website or network security server, with multiple requests, to bring down the system or slow down the system. You can see this kind of attack with organizations or companies which provide online services.

Prevention:

  1. The best solution is to develop a DDOS inhibitor plan
  2. Safeguard your network security framework
  3. Maintaining a strong network security  infrastructure
  4. You need to practice the basics of network security 
  5. You need to understand all the warning signs that pop out

38: Can Identity theft be prevented? Answer this in your own words?

Yes identity theft can be prevented ,few ways are

  1. You need to safeguard and protect your personal and sensitive information
  2. Think before you provide any personal data to any online websites, you may experience data loss
  3. Use your Social Security Number only when needed
  4. Use strong and unique passwords , so that they cannot be hacked easily , and regularly change your passwords.
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39: What is Patch Management How often you need to perform this?

Patch management is a mechanism  of distributing and employing updates to software and it is important to do the patch management, on a weekly basis or monthly basis.

 40: How to reset a password-protected BIOS configuration?

BIOS passwords are mainly used to add extra security services to computers. When you forget your password, then you land on changing the password, so to reset it, you need to open the Personal Computer, then open the cabinet and you need to remove the battery for 20-30 minutes and then put it back,  Now it will reset all the BIOS settings and even the password is also reset.

41: What is XSS attack and what measures do you take to prevent it?

XSS known as Cross-site scripting attacks are a type of boosters, where malicious scripts are boosted into websites, where the latter is unknown about it.

As a preventive measure, you need to filter the input upon arrivals, you need to implement a content security policy.

42: What are the goals of information security within an organization?

The main goal of information security within an organization is confidentiality, you need to maintain confidential information while transmission. The other goals are to maintain integrity and availability.

43: Name the  protocols that fall under TCP/IP internet layer?

  1. Internet Protocol(IP)
  2. Address Resolution Protocol(ARP)
  3. Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP)
  4. Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)
  5. Internet Group Message Protocol (IGMP) 

44: In terms ofCryptographically speaking , which method is used to build a shared secret over a public medium?

Diffie–Hellman key exchange (DH) method , securely exchanges cryptographic keys over a public channel.

45: What If someone steals the server’s private key, and  they decrypt all previous data sent to that server?

 When given encrypted data i.e ciphertext from a safeguarded encryption system i.e cipher, nothing will be exposed about the unencrypted data i.e plaintext by the ciphertext.

46: Define SSL and TLS

SSL Secure Sockets Layer and TLS Transport Layer Security are both cryptographic protocols. They both securely transfer sensitive information to and from the server.

47: Name the different layers of the OSI model?

There are seven different layers namely

  1. Physical Layer
  2. Data Link Layer
  3. Network Layer
  4. Transport Layer
  5. Session Layer
  6. Presentation Layer
  7. Application Layer

48: Differentiate  between VPN and VLAN?

VPN refers to remote access control  to organizational networks, whereas VLAN works within the same location of the company network security.

VPN is a mechanism to establish safeguard access to the network security, for the secure transmission of information or data transmission, whereas  VLAN is a subcategory of Virtual Private Network(VPN)

49: Name  the response codes that can be received from a HTTP Request?

  • 100 continue
  • 101 switching protocol
  • 102 processing
  • 103 early hints

50: Which is  the most effective measure to take against a CSRF( Cross Site Request Forgery Attacks)?

By Using the Anti CSRF tokens , you can protect the CSRF i.e Cross Site Request Forgery Attacks.

51: Define  ARP ?

ARP is one of the most influential protocols, of the Network layer in the OSI, it helps to find the MAC address, where the IP address of the system is already given, the main function of ARP is to convert 32 bit into a 48 bit MAC address 

52: Define rainbow tables?

Rainbow tables are used to crack password hashes, when a computer or system user enters some password, the system hashes the password and it compares the hashed password to the already stored password, if both the hashes are matched, the user gains access control to the network security ie. Network access.

53: Distinguish  between Diffie-Hellman and RSA?

In the Diffie-Hellman , each party generates both the public and private keys, but it shares only the public key. When the client on the other side, verifies the key, then only the information is shared.

RSA, also known as asymmetric cryptography ,uses the combination of both the public and private keys for information security.

54: Explain data protection in transit vs data protection at rest?

Data protection at rest, plans to safeguard, inactive data stored on any system’s device or a network.

Data protection in transit , ensures safeguard transmission of data from one network to the other network.

55: Define an Intrusion Prevention System?

IPS is a network security fix, prevention mechanism, which examines network traffic flows and it detects and blocks vulnerability. 

56: Define Network Access Control?

NAC is a mechanism of keeping illegitimate users and systems out of a private network,  only authorized users to gain access to their network.

57: Name the types of Errors?

There are two types of errors namely, Burst error and single bit error.

58: Differentiate between HTTP and HTML?

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a language used for web page development and it is related to web page designing. HTML is written in between the tags, here the data in between the tags is content or information.

HyperText Transfer Protocol is a mechanism of transferring information to the World Wide Web(WWW),  it is a Web-based protocol.

59: Name some common block cipher modes?

  • ECB Electronic Code book
  • Counter Mode
  • Cipher Feedback Mode
  • Cipher Block Chaining

60: Name  some examples of symmetric encryption algorithms?

  • Diffie-Hellman algorithm
  • RSA Algorithm
  • ECC Algorithm
  • DSA Algorithm

61: How do you  defend against CSRF?

One attack of the CSRF is when a user logs into their bank account, it tricks the user to click on a link, when the user does it, then there will be a data loss to the user. The user has to check the site thoroughly before taking any actions.

62: Explain Secure remote access?

Security remote access refers to security policy,quick fixes to prevent illegitimate access to the network,  secure remote access maintains confidentiality and it secures your information.

63: Tell me something about Remote Access VPN ?

A Remote access Virtual private network, enables secure use of applications , to the users who are working remotely.

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