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Top 45 Qualifying Interview Questions for SOC Analyst

Interview Questions for SOC Analyst

The rise in sophisticated attacks and data breach incidents has made businesses around the world invest significantly in security solutions and services. They are constantly looking for ways to enhance the security amenities that can help them remain protected from any kind of cyber fraud or attacks. This has to lead to SOC deployment in any organization.

What Is SOC?

SOC or Security Operation Center is one of the most effective strategies to defend your business from these cyberattacks. The team at SOC deals with all the security-related incidents and helps them remain protected. SOC team hires SOC analysts to monitor the data log and assess any kind of suspicious exercises being involved in it or not. They need to report the same to the higher authorities.

The demand for a SOC analyst is getting higher with every passing day, and it is a perfect platform to kick start your career. If you are thinking about the same, then you must know that the biggest challenge that you face is in the form of an interview. The candidate must have a basic understanding of malware analysis, networking, and incidence response. To help you out, below mentioned are interview questions for SOC Analyst that can assist you in cracking the job opportunity you have been dreaming about.

Interview Questions for SOC Analyst

1. What are vulnerability, risk, and threat?

You should answer this question by explaining vulnerability, threat, and lastly, risk. You can make things more convincing by sharing examples as well.

When it comes to vulnerability, it is a gap that can lead to huge security loss. A threat is someone who is trying to make the most of that gap in protection. Lastly, the risk is the potential loss that the business might face because of the gap.

For example, using the default password and username for the server in place. The attacker is trying to crack the same and then making the business suffer from huge loss.

2. Can you explain the difference between hashing and encryption?

While answering the respective question, make sure that you keep things straight.

When it comes to hashing, it is irreversible, and encryption is reversible. Encryption reflects confidentiality, and hashing reflects integrity.

3. Do you know any kind of coding language?

When you are answering this question, make sure that you know the basics of the language you speak about. You are not expected to be a pro.

It is not important for an information security professional, but having an understanding of programming languages like HTML, Python, and JavaScript can certainly prove to be an added advantage. These programming languages can be considered to not only exploit the development process but also automate tasks. So, having a basic understanding of these languages can certainly be a plus for the interview.

4. Explain CSRF?

When it comes to CSRF or Cross-Site Request Forgery, it is acknowledged as a web application vulnerability where the server is not going to check whether it is the trusted client who sent the request or not. Without any assessment, the request gets processed right away.

5. Explain Security Misconfiguration?

It is a form of vulnerability when a network or application or a device is configured in a manner that can be misused by the fraudster or cyber-attacker as per their needs. Security misconfiguration means leaving a gap that can be utilized by the attacker for their benefit.

6. Explain a white hat, Black hat, and Grey hat hacker?

While answering this question, make sure that you are keeping things simple and straight.

When it comes to black hat hackers, they are the ones who are hacking without any kind of authorization. Coming to white hat hackers, they are the ones who are performing this exercise with authority. And the ones who are white hat hackers but perform unauthorized hacking activities are acknowledged as Grey hat hackers.

7. Explain the firewall?

Make sure your answer is simple and easy to understand.

When it comes to a firewall, it is a device that blocks or allows the traffic according to the set regulations. These are infused on the territory of untrusted and trusted networks.

You must follow channels like ThreatPost, The Hacker News, Pentest mag, and many more. Following these security forums can help remain updated with all the security-related information and incidents to be aware of.

9. How you can protect your organization from the recent hit virus or attack?

As a security professional, you must answer this question systematically. At first, it is important to find the leakage from where the virus or attackers can come in and fix that. After the same is done, the best solution is to implement to curb the chances of the respective attack. You must explain the process well if the interview has specified the kind of attack.

10. Explain the CIA triangle?

When it comes to C, it stands for confidentiality, which means ensuring that the information is kept secretly. I stand for Integrity, which means now altering the information. A stands for Availability which means the information is available to all the authorized parties.

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11. Which one is better, HIDS or NIDS?

When it comes to HIDS, it means Host Intrusion Detection System, and NIDS means Network Intrusion Detection System. Bot, the system is working on a similar pattern, only the placement is unique. NIDS is located in the network, and HIDS is located on each host. NIDS is preferred because it is easier to manage the same when compared to HIDS.

12. Explain port scanning?

It is a process of sending information to gain more knowledge about the system, network, and many more aspects by assessing the response received.

13. Explain the difference between PT and VA?

When it comes to PT, it stands for Penetration testing and is used for finding vulnerabilities before the attacker does cause a data breach. When it is about VA, it stands for Vulnerability assessment which means looking for the flaws in the respective network or application.

14. Can you name the components that are a must in a positive penetration testing report?

The first thing that the VAPT report must have is a summary that shares the period and scope of testing with high-level observations. You must have to mention the number of observations made, replication steps, and remediation concepts.

15. Explain compliance?

When it comes to compliance it means, following the set of standards authorized by an organization, independent part, or government.

16. What are your Personal certifications and achievements?

While explaining this question, you must make sure to keep things simple. Having SOC certification done by Securium Solution can certainly be acknowledged as one of my personal achievements. After that, you can explain how things got started and what kept you going with your future plans as well.

17. What are the different response codes from a web application?

  • Informational responses - 1xx
  • Success - 2xx
  • Redirection - 3xx
  • Client-side error - 4xx
  • Server-side error- 5xx

18. Can you explain do you use tracert/traceroute?

With the help of the tracert, you can find where the connection gets broken or has it been the ISP, firewall, router, or anything else.

19. Explain DDoS and its mitigation?

When it comes to DDoS, it stands for Distributed Denial of Service. As and when the server or network application is filled with a large number of requests that can be managed and eventually making the server unavailable for legitimate requests. The requests can make way from different sources, and this is why it is acknowledged as distributed denial of service attack. It is mitigated by filtering and assessing the traffic.

20. Explain a WAF and its types?

Make sure you answer this question to the point. When it comes to WAF, it stands for web application firewall, and it is taken into consideration for protecting the application by filtering out malicious traffic.

21. Explain the objects of Basic web architecture?

The objects that a basic web architecture must contain are a web application server, front-ending server, and database server.

22. What’s the best way to manage AntiVirus alerts?

At first, we need to check with the AntiVirus and its alert policy. If it is for the legitimate file, then it can get whitelisted. But, if it is for a malicious file, then it needs to be deleted or quarantined. It is important to fine-tune the AntiVirus to reduce the number of alerts.

23. In the case of IDS, what is a false negative and false positive?

If the device generates an alert during the time of an intrusion when it has not occurred, then it is acknowledged as a false positive. But, if the device has not been alerted about the intrusion that has happened, then it is acknowledged as a false negative.

24. Which one is more acceptable, False positive or False Positive?

Certainly, false positives are a lot more acceptable because false negatives can let the intrusions get in without any notice whatsoever.

25. Differentiate between software testing and penetration testing?

When it comes to software testing, it only deals with the software functionality and nothing related to security. When it comes to penetration testing, it assists in finding any kind of security vulnerabilities.

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26. What’s your point of view on the Blue team and red team?

When comes to the blue team, they are acknowledged in the form of a defender, and the red team is considered an attacker.

27. Bug bounty or security testing?

While answering this question, make sure you support your answer with proper logic. Both the options are good to go with. Just explain the reason.

28. Explain your major projects?

You can explain anything here including how you set up your team, worked on different security practices, and procedures, and achieved the best measures to keep the fraudsters away.

29. Name the tools used to secure a standard network?

End-point antiviruses, firewalls, IDS/IPS, security procedures and policies, password managers.

30. Explain DHCP?

When it comes to DHCP, it stands for dynamic host configuration protocol that is activated to assign IP addresses to the network available on the used devices.

31. How can you prevent Man-in-the-middle-attack?

MITM attack happens when a communication between two parties is intruded on or intercepted by an outside entity

  • Use encryption between both parties
  • Avoid using open wi-fi networks.
  • Use HTTPS, Forced TLS, or VPN

32. What is the job of the network layer in OSI layers?

The network layer is responsible for data routing, packet switching, and control of network congestion. Routers operate under this layer. The network layer finds the destination by using logical addresses, such as IP (internet protocol).

33. What is 2FA and how can it be implemented for public websites?

2FA (two-factor authentication) is an extra layer of security that requires not the only username and password but also something that only the user knows or has (knowledge, possession, inherence)

34. What tools are commonly used to secure a standard network?

Firewalls, end-point antiviruses, security policies and procedures, IDS/IPS, password managers.

35. What are salted hashes?

Salt is random data. When a properly protected password system receives a new password, it creates a hash value of that password, a random salt value, and then the combined value is stored in its database. This helps defend against dictionary attacks and known hash attacks.

36. Can you explain the TCP three-way handshake method?

The TCP three-way handshake is the method used in a TCP/IP network to create a connection between a local host/client and server. It is a three-step method that requires both the client and server to exchange SYN and ACK packets before actual data communication begins.

37. What is XSS, and how will you mitigate it?

Cross-site scripting is a JavaScript vulnerability in web applications. The easiest way to explain this is a case when a user enters a script in the client-side input fields and that input gets processed without getting validated. This leads to untrusted data getting saved and executed on the client-side. Countermeasures of XSS are input validation, implementing a CSP (Content security policy), etc.

38. What is SSDP?

Simple service discovery protocol: The Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) is a network protocol based on the Internet protocol suite for the advertisement and discovery of network services and presence information.

39. When do you use tracert/traceroute?

In case you can’t ping the final destination, tracert will help to identify where the connection stops or gets broken, whether it is the firewall, ISP, router, etc.

40. What steps will you take to secure a server?

Secure servers use the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol for data encryption and decryption to protect data.

  • Have a secure password for the root and administrator users.
  • Make new users that you use to manage the system.
  • Remove remote access from default.
  • Configure firewall rules for remote access.

41. What kind of information would an attacker find if they had access to a domain controller?

A domain controller is a server that responds to authentication requests and verifies users on computer networks. It authenticates users and stores user account information while enforcing security policies for a domain. As a general answer, an attacker would have access to data that determines and validates access to the network.

42. What is the difference between XSS and CSRF?

The key difference between those two attacks is that a CSRF attack requires an authenticated session, while XSS attacks don't. Some other differences are: Since it doesn't require any user interaction, XSS is believed to be more dangerous.

43. What is log parsing?

Each log has a repeating data format which includes data fields and values. However, the format varies between systems even between different logs on the same system. A log parser is a software component that can take a specific log format and convert it to structured data. Log aggregation software includes dozens or hundreds of parsers written to process logs for common systems.

44. Can you list some of the common cyber-attacks?

Malware, Phishing, Man in the Middle, Password attacks, DDOS, Ransomware, Drive-by Downloads, Malvertising.

45. What is Cognitive Cyber Security?

Cognitive Cyber Security is an application of AI technologies patterned on human thought processes to detect threats and protect physical and digital systems Self-learning security systems use data mining, pattern recognition, and natural language processing to simulate the human brain, albeit in a high-powered computer model.


These are a few of the interview questions for SOC Analyst, that can help you crack your opportunity a lot more convincingly. There are many more so, you need to prepare yourself well and give yourself the best chance to succeed in the interview.

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