SIEM Interview Questions

Kickstart your career as a Cybersecurity professional. With the rapid growth in data breach incidents and sophisticated attacks, companies make significant investments in security technologies and solutions. Deploying a Security Operations Centre is a cost-effective strategy to address these cyber threats. The SOC team looks after security incidents across the organization. 

So to help you to clear your interview as SOC analyst, we have provided you with the frequently asked SIEM interview questions and answers in this blog. We have divided these questions into basic, intermediate and experienced levels. So Let's get started with basic questions related to SIEM.

SIEM Interview Questions for Beginners

1. What is SIEM?

Ans: SIEM refers to Security information and event management. It is a software solution that brings together and analyses the activity of numerous resources throughout your IT infrastructure. SIEM gathers security data for network devices, domain controllers, servers, and more. It applies, aggregates, normalizes and stores analytics to that data to detect threats, discover trends and allows the organizations to investigate alerts.

2. What is a firewall?

Ans: A firewall is a device that permits/blocks traffic in accordance with established rules. They are placed on the edge of reliable and unreliable networks.

3. What is CSRF?

Ans: CSRF stands for Cross-Site Request Forgery. It is a Web application vulnerability where the server fails to verify whether the request originated from a trusted client. This request is directly processed. It may be followed by detecting methods, examples and countermeasures.

4. What is security Misconfiguration?

Ans: Security Misconfiguration is a Vulnerability when a network or device or application is configured in a manner so that it can be used by an attacker to make the most of it. It may be as easy as keeping the default username or password unchanged or very easy for device accounts and so on.

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5. What is port scanning?

Ans: Port scanning is a message sending process that collects information about the system, network, etc., by examining the received response.

6. What is compliance?

Ans: Follow a series of standards established by a government or independent organization, or party. An industry that processes, transmits or stores payment information must be in compliance with PCI DSS. Other examples of compliance can be an organization that follows its own policies.

7. How do asymmetric and symmetric encryption differ?

Ans: Symmetric encryption utilizes the same key to encrypt and decrypt, whereas asymmetric encryption utilizes different keys to encrypt and decrypt. Symmetric is generally more quicker, but the key has to be transferred to an unencrypted channel. However, Asymmetric is much more secure but slow. Therefore, the hybrid approach would be considered as the configuration of a channel by asymmetric encryption and sending data by a symmetrical process.

8. How are IPS different from IDS?

Ans: The IDS is a system for detecting intrusions, while the IPS is a system for preventing intrusions. IDS will simply detect the intrusion and let the administrator do the rest for later actions while an IPS detects the intrusion and takes additional steps to prevent the intrusion. A further difference lies in the positioning of the network devices. Though they operate on the same core concept, the placement is different.

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

Ans: XSS stands for Cross-site scripting which is a vulnerability for web applications. The simplest way of explaining it is an example where a user in the input fields types a script on the client-side, and the input is then processed without evaluation. This results in unreliable data being stored and executed at the customer end. XSS countermeasures include input validation, implementation of a CSP, etc.

10. How is encryption different from hashing?

Ans:

  • Encryption can be reversed while hashing is not reversible. 
  • The hashing may be cracked by means of rainbow tables as well as collision attacks but it is not reversible.
  • Encryption assures privacy while hashing assures integrity.

Intermediate level SIEM Interview Questions

11. What are the response codes for a web application?

Ans: 

  • 5xx – Server side error
  • 4xx – Client-side error
  • 3xx – Redirection
  • 2xx – Success
  • 1xx – Informational responses
12. What is a false negative and a false positive when it comes to IDS?

Ans: When an alert is generated by the device for an intrusion which has not really occurred, this is known as a false positive. When an alert is not generated by the device for an intrusion that has actually occurred, this is called a false negative.

13. What is data leakage? How do you identify and prevent it?

Ans: The data leak occurs when data leaves the organization without authorization. Data leaks can occur through printing, email, lost laptops, removable drives, unauthorized downloading of data on public portals, photographs, etc. Different controls may be put in place to ensure that information is not leaked. Some controls can be following an internal encryption solution, restricting uploads on the websites, restricting email to the internal network, restricting the printing of confidential data, and so on.

14. How is SIEM different from IDS?

Ans: SIEM stands for Security Incident, and Event Management System and IDS stands for Intrusion Detection System. Both of them are utilized by the organization to provide effective network and system protection. Both of them collect log data, but contrary to SIEM, IDS does not make it easier to correlate events and centralize log data. As a result, the IDS is only able to detect intrusions, while SIEM enables security analysts to take safety and prevention measures against potential or ongoing attacks.

15. Which of them is better: HIDS or NIDS?

Ans: NIDS is a network intrusion detection system, While HIDS is a host intrusion detection system. Both of them work similarly. Only the placement is different. HIDS is placed on every host while NIDS is placed within the network. For a company, NIDS is preferred because HIDS is hard to handle, and it also consumes the processing power of the host.

16. What are VA and PT?

Ans: VA stands for Vulnerability Assessment, and PT stands for Penetration testing. Vulnerability Assessment is an approach used to identify vulnerabilities within an application or network, while penetration testing is the practice of identifying exploitable vulnerabilities as an actual attacker would do.

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17. Which objects should be included in an effective penetration test report?

Ans: A VAPT report should contain a summary explaining the observations at a general level, as well as the scope, testing period, etc. This can be followed by the number of observations, category wise divided into top, middle and bottom. Include detailed observation as well as replication steps, proof of concept screenshots, and remediation.

18. When to use tracert/traceroute?

Ans: When we cannot ping the final destination, Tracert will assist in finding out where the connection breaks or stops, whether it is an ISP, firewall, router, etc.

19. Explain DDoS and its mitigation.

Ans: DDoS refers to distributed denial of service. When a server or application, or network is flooded with a lot of queries that it is not designed to deal with, making the server inaccessible to legitimate queries, the Requests may originate from a variety of unrelated sources, making this a distributed denial-of-service attack. It may be mitigated by filtering and analyzing the traffic in scrubbing centres. Scrubbing Centers are centralized data clean-up stations in which website traffic is analyzed, and malicious traffic is deleted.

20. What are the objects of a basic web architecture?

Ans: A basic web architecture must contain a front-end server, a database server and a web application server.

SIEM Interview Questions for Experienced

21. How to manage Antivirus alerts?

Ans: Review the Antivirus policy and the alert. If the alert involves a legitimate file, it may be cleared, and if it is a malicious file, then it may be quarantined or deleted. The file hash may be verified for reputation on different websites such as malwares.com, virustotal, etc. The antivirus must be finely tuned to reduce alerts.

22. What are the various levels of data classification, and why is this needed?

Ans: The data must be divided into various categories to be able to define its severity. Without segregation, a piece of information may be essential for one but not for the others. There may be different levels of data classification by the organization; in more general terms, data may be classified as:

  • Public: They are made available publicly. Example: newsletters.
  • Confidential: Available within the company. For example, policies and processes of the company.
  • Top Secret: This leak can have a drastic impact on the organization. For example, trade secrets.
23. What do you think of social media usage at the office?

Ans: Social media can be acceptable; we need to make sure that content filtering is enabled and upload functions are restricted. The read-only mode can be accepted until there is no interference with the work.

24. How do employees become aware of information security policies and procedures?

Ans: This can be accomplished in several ways:

  • Employees are required to complete mandatory information security training when they join the organization. It should also happen every year, and it may be a classroom session followed by online training or a quiz. 
  • Sending notifications regularly as slides, one-pager, and so on to make sure employees are kept informed.

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25. When does the security policy need to be revised?

Ans: There is no set timeline for the security policy review, but it should be done at least on an annual basis. Any changes made must be documented in document revision history and version control. If major changes are made, users should also be notified of the changes.

26. What is meant by Web server hardening?

Ans: Web server hardening is about filtering out useless services that run on different ports and removing default-test scripts from servers. While hardening the Web server is much more than that, and usually, organizations have a custom checklist for servers hardening. All created servers must be hardened, and hardening must be confirmed annually. Even the hardening checklist should be reviewed on an annual basis for new add-ons.

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

Ans: 

  • A report at the CEO level should be no longer than two pages in length:
  • An overview of the status of the organization's security structure.
  • Quantified risk and results from the Annual Loss Expectancy as well as countermeasures.
28. How would you report the risks?

Ans: The risk may be stated, but it has to be evaluated first. There are two ways to assess risk: quantitative and qualitative. This approach is intended for technicians as well as business people. The business guy may see a likely loss in the figures, while the tech guys will see the impact and frequency. According to the target audience, the risk may be evaluated and reported.

29. What is an incident? How can it be managed?

Ans: Anything that compromises the safety of an organization is an incident. The incident process is as follows:

  • Incident Identification
  • Logging it 
  • Investigation and root cause analysis 
  • Communicates or keeps senior management or parties informed.
  • Remediation steps
  • Closure report.
30. What are the different SOC models?

Ans: There are various SOC models:

  • Managed Security Server Providers: Within MSSP, a team of security service providers assists the organization in the monitoring and management of security incidents.
  • In-house model: In this model organization will have its security operation centre. All resources, processes and technologies are maintained throughout the organization.
  • Shared MSSP: Within the MSSP Shared Service Provider team, use its logs and technology, and security incidents are managed at its data centre.
  • Dedicated MSSP: In the dedicated MSSP, the team works on behalf of a client using their resources and technology.
  • Hybrid SOC model: This is a mixture of in-house and MSSP SOC models. In the hybrid SOC model, Level 2 monitoring is done by the organization itself and Level 1 monitoring is managed by MSSP.
Conclusion:

In this blog, we have covered SIEM frequently asked interview questions. We hope you find this blog useful. Reading these questions may help you to answer the questions related to SIEM. If you cannot find an answer to any question related to SIEM, do not forget to comment below.

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Saritha Reddy
Saritha Reddy
Research Analyst
A technical lead content writer in HKR Trainings with an expertise in delivering content on the market demanding technologies like Networking, Storage & Virtualization,Cyber Security & SIEM Tools, Server Administration, Operating System & Administration, IAM Tools, Cloud Computing, etc. She does a great job in creating wonderful content for the users and always keeps updated with the latest trends in the market. To know more information connect her on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.