A Guide to Scenario-Based Cyber Security Interview Questions

Shifa cyclewala
3 min readOct 3, 2023

Understanding Scenario-Based Interview Questions

Scenario-based questions assess your problem-solving skills, technical knowledge, and ability to think critically under pressure. In the context of VAPT, interviewers often present hypothetical situations to evaluate your approach to real-world cybersecurity challenges.

Scenario-Based Interview Questions

Scenario 1: Web Application Vulnerability
Describe how you would identify and exploit a SQL injection vulnerability in a web application. What would be your approach to mitigate this vulnerability?

Example Answer : To identify and exploit a SQL injection vulnerability, I would start by inputting malicious SQL code into the application’s input fields. If the application is vulnerable, it might display database-related errors or behave unexpectedly. To mitigate this vulnerability, I would recommend using prepared statements or parameterized queries to validate and sanitize user input, ensuring that the SQL code cannot be injected into the application’s database queries.

Scenario 2: Network Penetration Testing
You’ve been tasked with assessing the security of a corporate network. How would you conduct a network penetration test, and what tools would you use? Provide examples of potential vulnerabilities you might encounter.

Example Answer : For a network penetration test, I would use tools like Nmap and Wireshark to scan the network and analyze network traffic. I would look for open ports, services, and vulnerabilities in the network devices. Common vulnerabilities include weak passwords, outdated software, and misconfigured firewall rules. Documenting these vulnerabilities and providing recommendations for mitigation, such as regular security patching and implementing strong access controls, would be part of the solution.

Scenario 3: Social Engineering Attack
Explain a scenario where a social engineering attack compromised a company’s sensitive data. How can organizations educate their employees to prevent such attacks, and what security measures can be implemented?

Example Answer : In a social engineering attack scenario, educating employees about phishing emails and suspicious requests is crucial. Implementing email filters to detect phishing attempts, conducting regular security awareness training, and establishing a clear protocol for verifying sensitive requests can prevent such attacks. Additionally, organizations should enforce a strict policy against sharing sensitive information over the phone or email without proper verification.

Scenario 4: Incident Response
You discover a security breach in a company’s network during a penetration test. What immediate steps would you take to contain the breach, investigate the incident, and prevent future occurrences?

Example Answer : Upon discovering a security breach, the first step is to contain the breach by isolating affected systems. Simultaneously, I would start an investigation to identify the source and extent of the breach. This involves analyzing logs, network traffic, and other relevant data. After understanding the incident, I would develop a remediation plan, which might include patching vulnerabilities, resetting compromised credentials, and enhancing security measures. Finally, a post-incident report outlining lessons learned and recommendations for preventing future incidents should be prepared.

Scenario 5: IoT Security
Discuss the challenges and security considerations associated with Internet of Things (IoT) devices. How would you assess the security of a network connected to various IoT devices?

Example Answer : Securing IoT devices involves ensuring that they have strong, unique passwords, updating firmware regularly to patch known vulnerabilities, and segmenting IoT devices from the main network to limit potential damage in case of a breach. Implementing encryption protocols and using IoT security platforms can add an extra layer of protection. Regular security assessments, including penetration testing and vulnerability scanning, are essential to identify and address security flaws in IoT devices and the network they are connected to.

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