SIEM Interview Questions

Last updated on Nov 24, 2023

Kickstart your journey as a Cybersecurity expert with advanced skills. In today's digital era, the surge in data breaches and modern cyber attacks has led enterprises to invest in advanced security technologies and strategies majorly. One such effective approach is the creation of a Security Operations Centre (SOC), which serves as a cost-efficient method to combat cyber threats. The SOC team manages and responds to security incidents throughout the organization.

To assist you in the SOC Analyst interview, we have prepared a comprehensive collection of SIEM interview questions and answers, categorized into basic, intermediate, and advanced levels. Let's dive into the essential SIEM-related questions that will prepare you for your interview.

Most Frequently Asked SIEM Interview Questions

SIEM Interview Questions for Beginners

1. What is SIEM?

Ans. SIEM, or Security Information and Event Management, is a sophisticated software tool designed to aggregate, analyze, and manage the security data from various IT infrastructure components, including network devices, servers, and domain controllers. It centralizes security data, applying analytics to identify threats, uncover trends, and aid organizations in responding to security alerts.

2. What is meant by Firewall?

Ans. A firewall is a kind of network security machine/system that observes and manages incoming and departing network traffic based on predefined security procedures. Serving as a barrier between secure and unsecured networks, it decides whether to allow or stop the particular traffic as per predefined set of security policies.

3. What is meant by CSRF?

Ans. CSRF, or Cross-Site Request Forgery is a web security issue that dupes users into running unknown actions on a web app where they’re validated. It exploits a site's trust in a user's browser, leading to potential unwanted commands or data breaches.

4. What is Security Misconfiguration?

Ans: Security Misconfiguration occurs when a device, network, or application is set up incorrectly, creating vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit. Common examples include unchanged default settings or weak security parameters, making systems more prone to attacks.Become a SIEM Certified professional by learning this HKR's SIEM Certification Training!

5. What is Port Scanning?

Ans: Port scanning is a technique used to identify open ports and services available on a networked computer. By sending messages to various ports and analyzing the responses, port scanning helps gather information about a target system's OS, services, and firewall rules.

6. What is Compliance?

Ans: It refers to sticking to a set of rules or regulations built by governments, industry bodies, or enterprises. It ensures that business practices and security measures meet specific conditions, such as the PCI-DSS: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard helpful for payment processing

7. How do Asymmetric and Symmetric Encryption Differ?

Ans: Symmetric encryption uses the similar key for both encryption and decryption, offering speed but requiring secure key exchange. On the other hand, asymmetric encryption uses other keys for encryption and decryption, enhancing security but at a slower pace. A hybrid approach often combines these methods for efficiency and safety.

8. How are IPS and IDS Different?

Ans: Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) detect and alert potential intrusions, while Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) go further by actively preventing these intrusions. IDS monitors network traffic and reports anomalies, whereas IPS not only detects but also takes action to block threats.

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9. What is XSS? How do you Mitigate it?

Ans: Cross-site Scripting (XSS) is a vulnerability in web applications where attackers inject malicious scripts into content from otherwise benign and trusted websites. Mitigation strategies include input validation, Content Security Policy (CSP) implementation, and sanitizing user input.

10. How is Encryption Different from Hashing?

Ans: Encryption is a reversible process to secure data, allowing it to be decrypted back into its original form. Hashing, however, is a one-way function that transforms data into a fixed-size string of characters, which is virtually impossible to reverse.

Intermediate level SIEM Interview Questions

11. What are the Response Codes for a Web Application?

Ans: Web applications use HTTP response status codes to indicate the results of client requests, categorized as follows:

    • 1xx: Informational responses
    • 2xx: Success
    • 3xx: Redirection
    • 4xx: Client errors
    • 5xx: Server errors

12. What is a False Negative and a False Positive in IDS?

Ans: In Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), a false positive occurs when the system incorrectly identifies regular activity as malicious, while a false negative happens when actual malicious activity goes undetected.

13. What is Data Leakage? How is it Identified and Prevented?

Ans: Data leakage is the unauthorized transmission of data outside an organization. It can occur through various means, such as emails, removable drives, or unauthorized uploads. Preventive measures include encryption, access controls, and monitoring of data transfers.

14. How is SIEM Different from IDS?

Ans: While both SIEM and IDS are used for network security, SIEM provides more extensive functionalities. It collects and analyzes log data and helps in event correlation and centralized data management, which IDS lacks.

15. Which is Better: HIDS or NIDS?

Ans: Host Intrusion Detection Systems (HIDS) and Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS) depend on specific organizational needs. HIDS is deployed on individual hosts, while NIDS monitors network traffic. NIDS is often preferred for broader coverage and easier management.

16. What are VA and PT?

Ans: Vulnerability Assessment or VA is the process of finding security issues within a system. At the same time, Penetration Testing or PT imitates cyber threats to exploit these issues, providing a real-time evaluation of security risks.

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17. What Should be Included in an Effective Penetration Test Report?

Ans:  An effective penetration test report should include a summary, scope, testing period, categorized observations, detailed findings with replication steps, proof of concept screenshots, and recommended remediation strategies.

18. When to Use Tracert/Traceroute?

Ans:  Tracert (or traceroute on Unix-based systems) is used to diagnose network routing issues by tracking the path an IP packet takes to reach its destination. It helps in identifying where connections fail or break.

19. Explain DDoS and its Mitigation.

Ans: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks overwhelm a target with excessive traffic to disrupt its normal function. Mitigation involves analyzing and filtering traffic, often using specialized scrubbing centers, to remove malicious traffic.

20. What are the components of Basic Web Architecture?

Ans: Basic web architecture typically includes:

  • A front-end server (user interface).
  • A database server (data storage).
  • A web application server (business logic).

SIEM Interview Questions for Experienced

21. How to Manage Antivirus Alerts?

Ans: Managing antivirus alerts involves reviewing the attention, assessing whether it affects a legitimate or malicious file, and taking appropriate actions like clearing, quarantining, or deleting it. Verifying file reputation on online platforms can also be part of this process.

22. What are the Various Levels of Data Classification, and Why is it Needed?

Ans: Data classification involves categorizing information into levels, like Public, Confidential, and Top Secret, based on sensitivity. It helps in applying appropriate security measures and managing data access effectively.

23. What are your views on Social Media Usage at the Office?

Ans: While social media usage in the office can be acceptable, it should be monitored and controlled, with content filtering and upload restrictions to prevent security risks and ensure productivity.

24. How do employees become Aware of (ISP) Information Security Policies and Procedures?

Ans:  Awareness of information security policies and procedures can be achieved through mandatory training, regular notifications, and continuous updates on security practices.

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25. When should the Security Policy need to be Revised?

Ans: Security policies should ideally be reviewed annually or whenever significant changes occur. It ensures that the policies stay current and effectively address emerging security threats.

26. What is meant by Web Server Hardening?

Ans: Web server hardening involves:

  • Securing a server by turning off unnecessary services.
  • Removing default scripts.
  • Adhering to a custom checklist to strengthen security.
  • Regular reviews and updates of the hardening process are also essential.

27. What can be included in a report at the CEO level from a security standpoint?

Ans: A CEO-level security report should be concise and include an overview of the organization's security posture, quantified risks, annual loss expectancy test results, and suggested countermeasures.

28. How would you report the Risks?

Ans:  Risk reporting involves assessing and presenting risks in quantitative and qualitative terms tailored to the audience, whether technical or business-focused. It helps in knowing the potential impact and frequency of risks.

29. What is an Incident? How Can It Be Managed?

Ans: An incident in cybersecurity is any event compromising security. Its management includes identification, logging, investigation, communication with relevant parties, remediation, and closure reporting.

30. What are the Different SOC Models?

Ans: Different Security Operations Center (SOC) models include Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP), in-house models, shared MSSP, dedicated MSSP, and hybrid models, each offering varied monitoring, resources, and management levels.


This blog has carefully curated a list of frequently asked SIEM interview questions and answers. We hope you find this compilation highly valuable in your preparation. By familiarizing yourself with these questions, you can confidently deal with SIEM interview questions during your interview. If any SIEM-related question is not covered here, feel free to leave a comment below.

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