Top 21 Information Security Analyst Interview Questions In 2021 [With Answers]

The rate at which the Information technology industry has evolved had startled and amazed even some of the best experts. Nowadays it is difficult to imagine life without computer networks, the world wide web, and the entire information technology infrastructure. With such rapid progress, there has been a profound increase in the generation rate of digital information. Like every information, this too is crucial at times and needs to be protected from cyber goons, hackers, and online criminals. This led to the creation of an entirely new specialized profession, which is Information Security analyst.

Scope and Nature Of The Job

The primary role of an information security analyst is to protect the organization’s I.T. infrastructure, network, and digital information from possible cyber attacks and security lapses, as any small data breach can lead to losses. which in the case of bigger organizations, runs in millions of dollars. It is true that the role might sound challenging and assumes a lot of responsibility. But at the same time, you will be compensated handsomely and will be extended lucrative benefits.

21 Best Interview Questions To Study and Evaluate

1) What Do You Mean By BIOS and Its Successor?

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the various important information technology’s terminology.

Sample Answer

BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It is basically firmware that is used to initialize a hardware system at the time of starting or powering on a computer system also known as booting up. It also provides runtime services to the operating system used by the particular computer system as well as the programs installed. It has been superseded by UEFI, which stands for United Extensible Firmware Interface. It is similar to BIOS and is the very first program to run while booting up a computer system. It is more advanced and powerful in comparison to BIOS.

2) How Aware Are You Of Cross Site Scripting?

This is a highly relevant interview question especially designed for this profile. This question would test your understanding and grip on the various principles of preventing a cyber attack.

Sample Answer

Yes, sir, I am fully aware of the same. Cross-site scripting is similar to that of an injection attack. An unethical hacker, under cross-site scripting, tries to inject malicious bugs or viruses into the web browser of the user. As soon as a user enters the web browser the malicious code gets executed. This is the most common issue in JavaScript. A hacker through this can steal vital information and data from your computer system.

3) Explain Salted Hashes In Brief.

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the various important information technology’s terminology.

Sample Answer

Almost all digital accounts and services are locked using a password. A user of digital services is often promoted and encouraged to set a tough password, so as to enable more security and integrity of the account. Salted hashes are a technique of creating effective and trustworthy passwords that are difficult to breach as well as a hack. In salt hashing, a unique value or term is added at the end of a password to make it strong and effective.

4) Can You Work Under Stress?

This is a common interview question through which an interviewer wants to judge your opinion and approach towards working for long hours and handling high volumes of data every day.

Sample Answer

Yes sir, absolutely. I have the ability to perform effectively while undertaking and executing huge volumes of work on a particular day. For this, I always maintain my physical strength by performing Yoga daily and even engaging myself in intense physical exercises, for at least 3 days a week. Further, I am a regular meditation enthusiast and do it daily for at least 15 mins. This has enhanced my focus and concentration levels to the zenith, which further helps me in working under stressful conditions.

5) How Do You Prioritize Tasks?

This is a trending interview question through which an interviewer wants to know your own technique of prioritizing several tasks.

Sample Answer

Sir, I completely understand the relevance of this question. In order to complete the given tasks in a time-bound manner, it is necessary to prioritize them effectively using a standard technique customized as per your preference and style. For me, I always prepare a list of all the tasks that have to be performed during the day, by arranging them in ascending order on the basis of their difficulty level. The most difficult task is always at the top of my list and gradually we move towards easy tasks. My prime motive for doing so is because I feel, executing tough tasks at the starting of the day, helps to enhance productivity because you are usually fresh in the morning.

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6) What Is Your Opinion Towards Pilferage and Will You Ever Engage Yourself In Something Like This??

Information technology organizations, like every other company, are too marred by a few unethical activities such as robbery, pilferage, and stealing. This question tests your opinion towards such malafide practices and you are expected to give a convincing response.

Sample Answer

In my opinion, it is horrendous and pathetic to steal in one’s own organization. I totally, condemn such a practice and vehemently oppose it. Be assured, I would never engage myself in such unethical activities. I am a disciplined and committed individual, willing to serve the organization with my passion and skills. I am not here, to run my own organization into a loss. I again declare, that I will never do such things and If I ever encounter any of my colleagues doing so, I would immediately bring it to the notice of my manager.

7) Are You Willing To Work In Unfixed Rotational Shifts?

This is a trending interview question and must be prepared sincerely. Try to answer it in a positive manner, as due to huge workloads this is a primary requirement.

Sample Answer

Yes sir, I am ready and up for the challenge. I totally, understand the need for working in rotational shifts. I have no obligations or any preferred time of working. I just want to be a part of the workforce and contribute to the organization with all my passion and skills. Be assured, I would never complain of working in rotational shifts. Further, I always maintain my physical fitness, so as to plug a common health crisis happening due to working in rotational shifts

8) Name Three Ways To Authenticate A Person Online.

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the various aspects of cyber attacks and its prevention.

Sample Answer

Sure sir, these are:

  • Passwords (something they know)
  • Token and (something they have)
  • Biometrics (something they are)

9) Name and Explain In Brief Any Free and Open Source Web Server.

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the web servers.

Sample Answer

Sir, I would choose the Apache HTTP server for this answer. It is a free and open-ended web server, written in C and XML language. It is similar to Unix or Microsoft Windows and was originally based on the NCSA HTTPd server. It has several unique features such as:

  • It helps in balancing the load using reverse proxy and caching
  • It is highly scalable and is already used to power more than 100,000 websites
  • Excellent ability to throttle bandwidth
  • Perl, PHP, and Lua scripting are already embedded in this wonderful web server.

10) What Is Your Understanding Of Penetration Testing?

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the various ways to encounter and check a cyber attack.

Sample Answer

Penetration testing is a technique or procedure to identify whether or not your computer system is vulnerable to possible cyber attacks. In this technique, a cyber attack is simulated and performed upon the targeted computer system. The outcome, usually tells an ethical hacker, about all the possible vulnerabilities like, sensitivity to unsanitized inputs that are more prone to injection attacks, etc. It is a common tool to understand the possible security breaching scenarios and prepare an optimal strategy so as to secure the target IT infrastructure.

11) Can You Protect Data While In Transit?

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the various ways to protect your digital data.

Sample Answer

Data moves. It is common for data to move from one location to another location using a home network or through the internet. We can protect the data, while it is moving and such an act is commonly referred to as data protection while moving. In order to do so, an information security analyst has to either encrypt the data before making a move or use encrypted connections such as HTTPS, SSL, etc, so as to protect the content of data while it is in transit. Thus, whatever the method be, encryption plays a key role in the protection of data.

12) How Do You Protect A Wireless Internet Access Point From Possible Attack?

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the protecting various key I.T. access points.

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Sample Answer

There are basically three ways to protect a wireless access point from possible exploitation and misuse, which are:

  • Using WPA2
  • Not telecasting the SSID
  • Using address filtering

13) If You Were An Animal, What Would You Like To Be?

This is a tricky and deep interview question in which you have to relate yourself to a live animal. Every animal, like humans, has its own unique characteristics and abilities to perform. Choose an appropriate animal, considering the designation of the job as well as the job profile.

Sample Answer

I would prefer to become a Bald Eagle. Not because it is a selfish animal, but because it has immense levels of patience and an exceptionally powerful determination and willpower. Sitting on the cliff, waiting for bait, for long continuous hours, with high levels of concentration and focus, is not an easy task. I am truly and deeply inspired by this fascinating bird and wish to be like it.

14) Explain In Brief A Black Hat.

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the various types of hackers available in the cyber market.

Sample Answer

A Black hat is generally worn by a person of low morals, ready to extend threats and do harm to you. In the cyber world, a black hat simply refers to unethical hackers. These hackers are ready to break into your cyber system and attack using malware, virus, or bugs. It is common for such hackers to breach the security protocols and hack vital digital information, for personal financial gains. It will not be wrong to term them as cybercriminals, involved in digital or cyber espionage and stealing.

15) What Do You Mean By An ‘Ethical Hacker’?

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the various types of hackers available in the cyber market.

Sample Answer

In this world, there is evil as well as good. Unlike a black hat, who are unethical hackers, there are white hats too, who are ethical hackers. These white hat-bearing hackers, perform almost all the activities similar to that of a black hat hacker, but they do so, after gaining authorized access and most importantly permission of the developer organization. Their primary responsibility is to identify bugs and educate an organization on possible security breaches and security lapses. They usually perform penetration testing in order to do so.

16) What Motivates You To Work?

This is a regular interview question through which an interviewer wants to know your primary motivational factors. Just share a genuine response, no matter considering its impact, as a true and honest answer always work like a magic.

Sample Answer

Being a person from not so affluent financial background, there has been a constant issue of money within my family. In a family of six members, I am the sole breadwinner, and hence my urge to earn money motivates me to work hard and push my boundaries. Further, I have always been an aspirational person, who wants to move forward and advance in my career, so as to gain widespread recognition and an enhanced salary. This honest answer of mine, in no way, makes me a mercenary or greedy individual.

17) When Can You Start?

It is common for interviewers to ask about your availability during the interview session itself. While immediate starters are most preferred, yet most of the employees are unable to start immediately. Hence, just share a genuine and true quote of your availability status.

Sample Answer

  • For Employed Individuals: Sir, I am currently serving ABC Corporations as an accountant. Since I was desperate for a job change I had already submitted a notice with my human resource manager. I expect to get a relieving letter with the next 6 days. In order to give you an exact quote. I would like to state (___mention the date of your joining____) as my preferred joining date, which includes two days of the buffer.
  • For Freshers/Unemployed Individuals: Sir, I confirm that I can start immediately, because neither I am currently serving any organization nor Have I any obligation or commitment to fulfill.

18) What Is Your Major Strength?

This is a common interview question through which an interviewer wants to judge your level of self-awareness and your ability to conduct self-scrutiny. This question must be answered after conducting a serious self-analysis. If possible, prepare a written report and list at least your two major strengths.

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Sample Answer

In my humble opinion, my ability to remain calm, composed, and patient even in the most depressing and distressing situations, is my major strength. I believe I have the ability to make informed as well as crisp decisions, related to my profile, due to this major strength. I am looking forward to further hone my this skill along with acquiring a few more while working with your esteemed organization.

19) Explain SSL In Brief.

This question tests your knowledge and grip on the core I.T. concepts.

Sample Answer

Sure Sir. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is the most widely followed and used cryptographic protocol that provides security by establishing a secure channel between two devices or computer networks that are interacting and communicating with each other, either over the internet or any internal/home network. This could be further explained using a classic example. Whenever we type the name of a website in the address bar, SSL transforms HTTP to HTTPS, where ‘S’ mentioned in the end as a suffix, stands for Secured.

20) Why You Chose Us?

This is a tricky question that evaluates your seriousness, loyalty, and commitment towards the organization you have applied with. Always answer this question in a positive manner, by mentioning a few strengths and unique features of the organization.

Sample Answer

Being a pioneer in the field of information technology and branches spread across the nation, you have more than 50,000 loyal customers as well as more than 5000 happy employees in your workforce. There is superior goodwill of this organization in the market, as you have excellent working culture coupled with some thoughtful and sensible anti-harassment policies. I would love to be a part of this organization and ready to work with all my zeal, passion, and labor.

21) Do You Have Any Questions For Us?

Almost all the interview sessions held for different positions across the world are concluded through this question. Through this question, an interviewer gives an opportunity to a candidate to ask a few questions from the interviewer itself, which might be related to the organization, its work culture, the job profile, job description, etc. A candidate must seriously attend to this question and frame a few relevant questions to be asked by the interviewer.

Sample Questions

  • What are the various health benefits extended by the organization to its employees?
  • Do you provide maternity/paternity benefits to the employees of the company?
  • What is the organization’s policy in relation to harassment, bullying, and teasing at the workplace?
  • What are the work timings?
  • What are the various educational and training programs initiated by an organization in order to train its employees?

References

  1. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-financial-and-quantitative-analysis/article/security-analyst-monitoring-activity-agency-costs-and-information-demands/A18A24F6921C3DE5C3CF1FDBCA30C299
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/074756328590010X

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