How to Ace Cybersecurity Analyst Interview Questions: A Helpful Guide

How to Ace Cybersecurity Analyst Interview Questions: A Helpful Guide | Cybersecurity | Emeritus

With cyber crimes becoming a pressing concern, there has been a growing demand for proficient cybersecurity analysts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth of 35% for information security analysts in the next ten years, making it one of the fastest-growing occupations. If you are preparing for a lucrative career in this field, prepare to ward off the competition with this comprehensive guide to potential cybersecurity analyst interview questions.  

General strip banner

Entry-Level Cybersecurity Interview Questions

1. Tell Me the Purpose of a Firewall. What is the Best Way to Set it Up?

A firewall is a system that provides network security by establishing a boundary between an external network and the guarded network or system. It is primarily used to detect and protect the network from malware and other malicious activities. To set up the firewall you need to:  

  • Secure the firewall 
  • Architect firewall zones and IP address structure
  • Configure access control lists 
  • Configure other firewall services and logging
  • Test the firewall configuration
  • Manage firewall continually 

2. Define Botnet. Is it Crucial in Cybersecurity?

A botnet is a collection of connected devices infected by malware and under the remote control of cyber criminals. Botnets are a massive cybersecurity concern as they are hard to detect and can be used to launch sophisticated attacks that can cause extensive damage. 

3. Tell Me the Meaning of VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps establish encrypted connections that protect the network from malicious activities. VPN has numerous benefits such as hiding the user’s IP address, securing data transfer, and encrypting online activities on public networks. 

4. Tell Me the Meaning of a Man-in-the-Middle Attack

A man-in-the-middle attack is a cyber attack where attackers insert themselves into a communication between two parties and intercept their data by impersonating them. This attack can steal personal information such as account details and login credentials. 

5. Define Traceroute

Traceroute is a network diagnostic tool for tracing the path an IP packet takes across one or many networks. It is a useful tool to check response delays and points of failure. 

What is smishing in cybersecurity

6. Tell Me the Meaning of XSS

XSS, also known as Cross-Site Scripting, is a web security vulnerability that allows an attacker to inject malicious client-side code scripts into a website. It allows an attacker to modify Document Object Model (DOM), crash the server, and hijack sessions, among other things. 

7. Tell Me the Response Code for a Web Application

1xx: Informational 

2xx: Success

3xx: Redirection

4xx: Client Error

5xx: Server Error

Top Cybersecurity Interview Questions

1. Tell Me the Different Layers of the OSI Model

Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model provides a standard for different computer systems to communicate with one another.  

  1. Physical layer is responsible for the data transfer from sender to receiver
  2. Data link layer is responsible for setting up links across a physical network 
  3. Network layer manages data transmission between two networks
  4. Transport layer coordinates data transfer across network connections
  5. Session layer handles communication between the two devices
  6. Presentation layer is responsible for performing syntax processing
  7. Application layer directly interacts with data from the user. 

2. Explain the CIA Triad

CIA stands for Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. This model is the basis for the development of security systems.

3. Tell Me the Difference Between Vulnerability Assessment (VA) and Penetration Testing (PT)

Vulnerability Assessment (VA) measures vulnerabilities in IT structures and prioritizes the flaws for fixing. Penetration Testing (PT) recreates the behavior of external and internal cyber-attacks to draw insights into ways a system can be hacked. 

4. What is a Brute Force Attack? Tell Me the Best Way to Prevent it

A brute force attack is a hacking method that uses trial and error to guess login credentials and encryption keys. Some ways to prevent brute force attacks are password length, limiting login attempts, and password complexity. 

cybersecurity-threats5. Tell Me the Best Way to Secure a Server

Some of the best practices for securing a server are: 

  • Using VPN 
  • Configuring file backups 
  • Installing SSL certificates 
  • Upgrading software and OS regularly 
  • Using firewall protection

6. What is Port Scanning?

Port scanning is a method for determining open ports and services available on a network. Some common port scanning techniques include TCP connect, ping scan, stealth scanning, and USD.

7. What is a Three-Way Handshake?

A three-way handshake is a method used in TCP/IP networks to create a connection between a host and a client. It is primarily used to create a TCP socket connection to reliably transmit data between devices.

Scenario-Based Cybersecurity Interview Questions

Here are some of the scenario-based cybersecurity analyst interview questions you should also look at: 

  1. How should you perform an initial risk assessment? 
  2. How would you monitor and log cybersecurity events?
  3. What do you do when a mouse on your computer screen starts to move on its own and click on things?

How do You Prepare for a Cybersecurity Interview?

  • Make sure your resume is well done
  • Do thorough research on the company
  • Prepare with mock interview questions
  • Always ask a few questions at the end
  • Do not lie about possessing a skill you do not have

Top Companies That Hire Cybersecurity Analysts

Here are some of the top companies that hire cybersecurity analysts:

  1. Apple
  2. Deloitte
  3. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  4. Jacobs
  5. Accenture

By now you must have a good understanding of cybersecurity analyst interview questions and what to expect on your interview day. To upskill and gain a competitive edge in the job interview, do explore these cybersecurity courses offered by Emeritus.

By Krati Joshi

Write to us at

learn cybersecurity

About the Author

Content Marketing Manager, Emeritus Blog
Manasa is the content ninja that every brand needs. Apart from being an expert in tech-related trends and digital marketing, she has found her calling in edtech. Her 10-year-long tryst with education started with a teaching fellowship for underprivileged children, followed by a stint as an edupreneur. It gave her the perspective she now uses to create impactful content for Emeritus. Manasa loves the life of a digital nomad that allows her to travel and hopes her reels go viral on the Gram.
Read more

Courses on Cybersecurity Category

Courses inCybersecurity | Education Program  | Emeritus


Professional Certificate in Cybersecurity

24 Weeks


Starts on: June 25, 2024

Courses inCybersecurity | Education Program  | Emeritus

NUS School of Computing


3 Months


Starts on: June 27, 2024

Courses inCybersecurity | Education Program  | Emeritus

NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Cyberattack Detection and Response Strategies

6 Weeks


US +1-606-268-4575
US +1-606-268-4575