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Top 30 CISSP Interview Questions and Answers [2024 Updated]

Last updated on Jun 19,2024 223 Views

Maria is a passionate tech enthusiast trying to break down complex concepts... Maria is a passionate tech enthusiast trying to break down complex concepts into easy-to-understand stories.

One in-demand certification for cybersecurity is the CISSP Certification, which is commonly known as Certified Information Systems Security ProfessionalCISSP is a globally recognized certification focusing on various aspects of cybersecurity, including risk management and security policies. It is offered by (ISC)², i.e., The International Information System Security Certification Consortium. These CISSP Interview Questions and Answers will help you prepare yourself for security-related interviews and CISSP exam preparation as well.

Cybersecurity is a broad and complex field that involves protecting computer systems, networks, and data from unauthorized access, attacks, and damage. Cybersecurity professionals ensure that information is accessible only to those who have the proper authorization and put in place measures to prevent unauthorized alteration, modification, or deletion of information. The growing demand for cybersecurity professionals is likely to persist as organizations strive to strengthen their cyber defenses because of the persistent cyber threats

Becoming a cybersecurity professional involves a combination of education, hands-on experience, and continuous learning. CISSP Certification is an important milestone for cyber professionals as it validates their skills, opens up career opportunities, provides industry recognition, and contributes to continuous learning and development.

Now, let’s explore the CISSP Interview Questions and Answers in according to the eight domains of CISSP.  We have more than 30 CISSP interview questions and answers line up below. 

Domain 1. Security and Risk Management Interview Questions

1. Explain the CIA triad.

The CIA triad consists of three core principles: Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. These principles form the basis for designing and implementing security measures to protect information assets. 

What is CIA Triad - Most asked CISSP Interview questions


Confidentiality: Confidentiality means that information is only available to authorized individuals, entities, or processes. It deals with safeguarding data against unauthorized access and disclosure.

Integrity: Integrity ensures that information remains accurate, complete, and reliable throughout its lifecycle. It involves protecting data from unauthorized modification, alteration, or corruption. 

Availability: Availability ensures that data is accessible when needed by authorized users. It involves ensuring that systems, networks, and data remain operational and accessible, even in the face of disruptions, failures, or attacks.

2. What are the steps you need to take for risk management in your organization?

There are five main steps involved in risk management. They are

Identify Risks: This step includes Identifying potential risks that could affect the objectives of the organization. This deals with identifying internal and external factors that may lead to threats. 

Assess Risks: Evaluate the impact of identified risks. This step involves analyzing the probability of each risk occurring and estimating the severity of its impact. Risk assessment techniques such as qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis can be employed.

Risk Prioritization: It deals with ranking risks according to their impact to determine which ones require immediate attention for mitigation. Consider factors such as the organization’s risk tolerance and available resources when prioritizing risks.

Risk Mitigation: This step involves developing and implementing strategies to reduce identified risks by taking preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of risks. Common risk mitigation strategies include risk avoidance, risk transfer, risk reduction, and risk acceptance.

Risk Monitoring: This step deals with continuously monitoring the effectiveness of risk management measures. This step involves monitoring key risk indicators (KRIs) and performance metrics to track the status of identified risks.

3. What is Privacy? What are the OECD privacy guidelines?

Privacy is the ability of individuals to control access to their personal data and to make decisions about how that information is collected, used, shared, and stored by others. Personal data must be well protected to comply with current privacy laws and to protect the value of the information and of the organization itself. 

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international organization dedicated to establishing international standards and policies, as well as finding solutions to social, economic, and environmental challenges.

OECD guidelines are based on these following principles:

  • Collection limitation principle
  • Data quality principle
  • Purpose specification principle
  • Use limitation principle
  • Security safeguards principle
  • Openness principle
  • Individual participation principle
  • Accountability principle

4. Can you suggest some methods to enforce personnel security policies and procedures in your organization?

  1. Candidate Onboarding: A new candidate represents a risk to security, and every organization should make sure company security policies, acceptable use policies, and other agreements are reviewed prior to giving a new employee their system credentials.
  2. Candidate Termination: Prior to an employee leaving, user system access should be disabled, and the information about the employee’s termination should be conveyed to all relevant parties within the organization.
  3. Job Rotation: Job rotation is an HR management strategy where employees are moved through a variety of positions or tasks within an organization instead of being permanently assigned to a single role or department. Job rotation is useful for protecting against fraud and provides cross-training so that an individual can’t commit fraud and can cover it up.
  4. Implement the Need-to-Know and Least Privilege Principle: This Need-to-Know principle states that individuals should only be granted access to information or resources that are necessary for the performance of their job responsibilities. The principle of least privilege (PoLP) dictates that individuals should be granted the minimum level of permissions required to perform their job functions.
  5. Policies: Enforce personnel security policies such as Nondisclosure agreements (NDA) and Noncompete agreements (NCA). They are contracts in which the parties agree not to disclose any information mentioned in the agreement.

Domain 2. Asset Security Interview Questions

5. Explain Data Classification Roles.

  • Data Owner: The data owner is an individual within the organization who has ultimate responsibility for the protection and management of specific datasets. 
  • Data Custodian: The data custodian is responsible for implementing and enforcing data classification policies and controls to protect classified data. 
  • Data Steward: The data steward manages and maintains specific datasets or data domains on a daily basis.
  • Data Subject: A data subject is a living person whose personal information is being collected, stored, processed, or otherwise handled by an organization or entity.

6. Explain the Information life cycle.

The information life cycle refers to the stages through which information passes from its creation or acquisition to its disposal. This is commonly used in information management to understand and manage the flow of information within organizations. 

Information Life Cycle

  1. Create: The information life cycle begins with the creation or acquisition of data. This can include generating new documents, creating databases, extracting data from external sources, or receiving information from customers, suppliers, or other stakeholders.
  2. Store: Once created, information is stored and organized for easy access and retrieval. This may involve saving files to a network drive, storing data in a database, or organizing documents in a content management system.
  3. Use: Authorized users access and use the information for various purposes. This can include analyzing data for decision-making, sharing documents with colleagues, or using information to complete tasks or projects.
  4. Share: During this stage, authorized users access and share the information for various purposes. Information is shared through communication channels such as email, instant messaging, video conferencing, or internal social platforms. Access to information is controlled to ensure that only authorized individuals or groups can view or modify it.
  5. Archive: When data is no longer actively used for day-to-day operations, information may be transferred to long-term storage for archival purposes. Archiving involves moving information from active, primary storage to secondary storage or archival systems designed for long-term preservation.
  6. Destroy: If information is no longer necessary or required to be retained, it is securely disposed of or destroyed to prevent unauthorized access, misuse, or exposure. Destruction methods may include shredding physical documents, wiping or degaussing magnetic media, or securely deleting digital files using data destruction software.

7. What are some methods to protect data in transit?

Data in transit refers to information that is actively being transferred or transmitted between systems, networks, or devices. This can include various types of data, such as emails, files, messages, or streaming media, as it travels from a source to a destination over a network.

  • End-to-End Encryption: E2EE is a security measure that protects data during transmission by limiting access to only the sender and the intended recipient(s). End-to-end encryption secures data on the sender’s device, keeps it encrypted as it travels across the internet, and decrypts it only when it reaches the recipient’s device.
  • Link Encryption: Link encryption is a method used to secure data as it travels across a communication link or network segment. In link encryption, data is encrypted and decrypted at the endpoints of the communication link, ensuring that the data remains secure as it traverses the network.
  • Onion Network: The Onion Network, often referred to as the Tor network, is a very effective method of protecting data in transit, as it aims to provide anonymity and privacy for users when accessing the internet. The name of the network is in reference to the layers of encryption used to protect user data.

8. What are some methods for Information Obfuscation?

Information obfuscation methods are techniques that obscure or conceal sensitive or confidential information, which is employed to protect data privacy, intellectual property, or sensitive information.

  • Concealing Data: It completely removes access to sensitive data. Concealing involves replacing sensitive data with placeholder characters or tokens while preserving the data format and structure. For example, masking can be used to conceal portions of credit card numbers, social security numbers, or personal identification information (PII) in databases or logs. 
  • Pruning Data: It refers to the process of selectively removing or trimming unnecessary or redundant data from a dataset, database, or storage system. The goal of pruning data is to optimize storage resources, improve data quality, and enhance system performance. 
  • Fabricating Data: It involves creating and inserting false or misleading information into datasets, documents, or systems to obscure or protect sensitive or confidential information. This technique is used to intentionally introduce noise to confuse or mislead unauthorized parties attempting to access or analyze the information.
  • Encrypting Data: Encryption is the process of converting plaintext data into ciphertext using cryptographic algorithms and keys. Encryption helps protect data confidentiality and integrity.

Domain 3. Security Architecture and Engineering Interview Questions

9. Explain any five secure design principles.

  • Defense in depth: Defense in depth involves implementing multiple layers of security controls throughout a system. This approach ensures that even if one layer of defense is breached, other layers remain intact to prevent the risk.
  • Secure defaults: Secure defaults often adopt a “default deny” policy for access control, meaning that access is denied by default unless explicitly allowed. This principle ensures that only authorized users, services, or processes have access to resources, reducing the likelihood of data breaches.
  • Zero Trust: Zero Trust works on the principle of “never trust, always verify,” meaning that trust is never assumed based on location or network topology. This approach requires continuous verification of trust before granting access to resources.
  • Privacy by Design: Privacy by Design (PbD) is a principle that advocates for embedding privacy considerations into the design and development of systems. PbD is closely related to secure design principles as it aims to ensure that privacy protections are integrated into the architecture and functionality of the system, alongside security measures.
  • Shared Responsibility: Shared responsibility is a secure design principle that emphasizes the collective responsibility of multiple stakeholders—such as developers, administrators, users, and third-party service providers—in ensuring the security of systems, applications, and data. This principle acknowledges that no single entity can be solely responsible for security and that a collaborative effort is required to protect against threats.

10. What are Security models? Explain any one security model.

Security models are conceptual frameworks used to enforce security policies and access controls within a computing environment. These models provide a structured approach to managing security requirements. There are several security models. One such security model is the Bell-LaPadula model.

The Bell-LaPadula model is a security model used primarily for confidentiality enforcement in computer systems. This model has become a foundational concept in the field of computer security. The model is based on the principle of mandatory access control (MAC), where access to resources is determined by security labels associated with subjects and objects. In the Bell-LaPadula model, Each piece of information and each user in the system is assigned a security label that indicates its security level. 

Some Properties of  Bell-LaPadula model include:

  • Simple Security Property – No Read: According to the Simple Security Property, a subject with a particular security clearance is not allowed to read information at a higher security level. Subjects can only access information at a lower security level.
  • Star Property – No write: The Star Property states that a subject is not allowed to write information to a lower security level. 
  • Strong Star Property: The BLP model enforces the Strong Star property, which ensures that the system is highly secure. The subject cannot read and write the files on the upper Layer or the lower Layer.

11. Explain TCSEC and ITSEC.

TCSEC and ITSEC are two Evaluation criteria systems for measuring security architectures.

Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC)

Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria, also known as The Orange Book, is a well-known framework for evaluating computer system security features. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in the 1980s.

The classification levels under this evaluation criteria are:

Class A – Verified Protection

Class B – Mandatory Security Protection

Class C – Discretionary Security Protection

Class D – Minimal Protection

The Orange Book only measures the confidentiality of single-box architectures. Because of these limitations, Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria (ITSEC) was designed.

Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria (ITSEC)

The Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria is a security evaluation framework Developed in the late 1980s by several European countries to provide a standardized methodology for evaluating the security features and capabilities of computer systems. ITSEC had ‘E’ levels of assurance. E levels range from E0 to E6.

12. How to reduce risk in mobile-based systems?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) solutions help organizations secure mobile devices and applications. Some ways to reduce risk in mobile-based systems are:

  • Policy Awareness: Use policies like Acceptable Use,  BYOD/CYOD (Bring Your Own Device/Choose Your Own Device), along with proper education, awareness, and training.
  • Remote Access Security: Remote access security is crucial for reducing risks associated with mobile-based systems, as it ensures that authorized users can securely access corporate resources and data from remote locations while minimizing the potential for unauthorized access and data breaches. VPN capabilities should be enabled.
  • Endpoint Security Solutions: MDM-provisioned software should be installed on mobile devices to enforce security policies, monitor device health, and detect and respond to security threats on remote devices.
  • Application Whitelisting: Whitelisting can be implemented by organizations to control which applications should be installed on the user’s device. Application whitelisting can still be a valuable security measure for mobile devices, helping to mitigate risks associated with unauthorized or malicious software execution.

Domain 4. Communication and Network Security Interview Questions

13. What are the steps you followed to set up Wi-Fi in your home?

Step 1: Choose a Wi-Fi Router

Select a Wi-Fi router that meets your internet usage needs. 

Step 2: Connect the Router

Connect the router to your internet modem via Ethernet cable. Most routers have a WAN port where you’ll connect the modem. 

Step 3: Access Router Settings

Connect a device to the router’s default Wi-Fi network or connect directly via an Ethernet cable. Open a web browser and type the router’s IP address in the address bar. Log in to the router’s administration interface using the username and password provided in the router’s documentation.

Step 4: Configure Wi-Fi Settings

You can configure the Wi-Fi network name, security settings, and Wi-Fi password. 

Step 5: Test and Troubleshoot

Test your Wi-Fi network to ensure that devices can connect and access the internet reliably. 

Step 6: Secure Your Network

Enable additional security features such as guest networks, MAC address filtering, and firmware updates to improve the security of your Wi-Fi network.

14. What is the OSI model?

OSI stands for Open Systems Interconnection. The OSI model is a framework that standardizes the functions of a computing system into seven distinct layers. Each layer serves a specific purpose and interacts with subsequent layers to facilitate communication between devices and systems. The seven layers are:

OSI Model

15.  What are the Network attack phases?

Network attacks typically involve multiple phases, each designed to achieve specific objectives in compromising the target network or system. 

Any successful attack will have the following phases:

  • Reconnaissance
  • Enumeration
  • Vulnerability analysis
  • Exploitation

Network Attack Phases

16.  What are DoS and DDoS attacks?

In a DoS (Denial-of-Service) attack, a single attacker or a small group of attackers targets a server, network, or application by flooding it with a high volume of traffic. This flood of traffic consumes the target’s resources, causing it to become unresponsive.

In a DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attack, multiple devices, known as botnets, are coordinated to launch simultaneous attacks against a single target. These devices could be infected computers, smartphones, IoT devices, or servers controlled by the attacker. The coordinated attack amplifies the impact of the attack.

Domain 5. Identity and Access Management (IAM) Interview Questions

17. What are Access control services?

Access control services refer to the set of mechanisms and policies implemented to regulate and manage access to resources, systems, and data within an organization’s IT environment. 

Access Control Services

  1. Identification is the process of uniquely identifying individuals, devices, or entities seeking access to systems, resources, or data within an organization’s IT environment.
  2. Authentication is the process of verifying the Identity of users or entities who want to access a system.
  3. Authorization determines the resources that authenticated users are allowed to access based on their Identity, roles, permissions, and privileges.
  4. Accountability plays a crucial role in maintaining security, compliance, and trust by holding users accountable for their actions. It is making sure that appropriate identification, authentication, and authorization are monitored.

18. What are the three types of authentication?

  • Authentication by knowledge involves something the user knows, such as a password, PIN, passphrase, or answers to security questions. These are commonly used in username/password authentication schemes.
  • Authentication by ownership uses something the user owns, such as a physical token, smart card, mobile device, or hardware security key. These tokens generate one-time passwords (OTPs) that are used for authentication.
  • Authentication by characteristic involves factors such as biometric characteristics (e.g., fingerprint, iris scan, facial recognition, voice recognition, or behavioral biometrics). Biometric authentication makes use of physical traits to verify an individual’s Identity.

Two-factor authentication requires users to ensure any of the above two factors of authentication to verify their Identity.

Multi-factor authentication uses two or more authentication methods to verify a user’s Identity.

19. What are the potential risks related to IDaaS?

IDaaS stands for Identity as a Service. It is a cloud-based service that provides identity and access management capabilities to organizations. 

    1. IDaaS solutions store sensitive user authentication data and access controls in the cloud, making them potential targets for cyberattacks, data breaches, and security incidents.
    2. Organizations that rely on IDaaS solutions are dependent on the service provider’s infrastructure. Any disruptions from the provider could impact the organization’s ability to authenticate users and access critical resources.
  1. Storing user authentication data and identity information in the cloud raises concerns about data privacy. 

20. How often should access reviews be performed?

Access reviews should be performed regularly to ensure that users’ access rights and permissions remain appropriate with their roles and responsibilities.  Access of an employee should be reviewed and approved by the owner at the change of role. Any access that is not needed should be removed. When an employee leaves the company, their access should be reviewed, and all access should be removed.

Domain 6. Security Assessment and Testing Interview Questions

21. What is the role of security professionals?

    • Security professionals assess security risks and vulnerabilities across the organization’s IT infrastructure.
    • They design and implement security architectures to protect against cyber threats.
    • They use network traffic and system logs to detect and respond to security incidents in real-time.

22. What is the difference between Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing?

Vulnerability Assessment Penetration Testing
Performed in minutes/hoursPerformed in several days
Using Standard scanners

Using advanced techniques


23. What is the difference between Key Performance Indicators and Key Risk Indicators (KRIs)?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)Key Risk Indicators (KRIs)
Lagging IndicatorsLeading Indicators
Tracks Internal PerformanceTracks Internal and External Risks
Measured Monthly/Quarterly
Measured Weekly/Daily/Hourly
Non-Financial Measures

Financial and Non-Financial Measures


24. What is Banner grabbing and OS fingerprinting?

Banner grabbing involves retrieving information from network services or applications by connecting to open ports on target systems and capturing the response messages sent by the services upon connection.

OS fingerprinting involves analyzing network packets or responses from target systems to identify unique characteristics or patterns that can be used to determine the operating system.

Domain 7. Security Operations Interview Questions

25. What are the steps included in the forensic investigation process?

Forensic investigation is a systematic process used to collect, preserve, analyze, and present digital evidence related to cybercrimes or security incidents. 

  1. Identification: The identification phase involves recognizing the occurrence of a security incident or potential breach.
  2. Preservation: Preservation is critical to prevent the destruction of digital evidence.
  3. Collection: Forensic investigators gather relevant digital evidence from various sources, such as computers, servers, network devices, storage media, logs, and databases.
  4. Analysis: The analysis phase involves examining the collected evidence to uncover insights and identify potential security breaches.
  5. Reporting: Documentation is essential to record findings, observations, methodologies, and conclusions reached during the investigation process.

26. What are Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems?

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems are comprehensive solutions that provide organizations with real-time visibility into their IT infrastructure and network security by collecting, analyzing, and correlating security event data from various sources. 

SIEM Steps:

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems
27. What is Malware?

Malware refers to any type of software or code designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems and networks. Malware is created by cybercriminals with malicious intent and can take various forms, including viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, spyware, adware, and rootkits. Once introduced into a system, malware may replicate itself or exploit vulnerabilities to infect other systems within the same network or organization.

28. What is Patch management?

Patch management is the process of identifying, acquiring, testing, and applying patches or updates to software, operating systems, firmware, and hardware devices to address security vulnerabilities.

Steps included in Patch management:

Steps in Patch Management

Domain 8. Software Development Security Interview Questions

29. What is DevOps security?

DevOps security, also known as DevSecOps, is a set of practices, methodologies, and tools that integrate security principles and practices into the DevOps (Development and Operations) process. It aims to foster collaboration between development, operations, and security teams to build, deploy, and manage software applications and IT infrastructure securely throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

DevOps Security

30. What is Code obfuscation? Explain its types.

Code obfuscation is a technique used to conceal the source code of a software application, making it more difficult for attackers to understand, analyze, and reverse engineer. 

The three main types of obfuscation are:

  • Lexical Obfuscation: Lexical obfuscation is a type of code obfuscation technique that involves altering the lexical structure of the source code to make it more difficult for humans to understand and analyze. It is the weakest form of obfuscation.
  • Data Obfuscation: Data obfuscation is a technique used to conceal sensitive information in order to protect its confidentiality and privacy. Data obfuscation is commonly used to protect sensitive data in storage and transmission, particularly in scenarios where encryption alone may not be sufficient.
  • Control Flow Obfuscation: Control flow obfuscation is a technique used to obfuscate the control flow of a software program, making it more difficult for attackers to understand and analyze the program’s logic and behavior.

31. What is the difference between REST and SOAP APIs?

REST (Representational State Transfer) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) are two different architectural styles used for designing web services and APIs. 

Here are the key differences between REST and SOAP APIs:

Representational State TransferSimple Object Access Protocol
Based on HTTPBased on XML
Mostly Used in Web ApplicationsUsed in Web Applications and Non-Web Applications

32. Why do Software development vulnerabilities occur?

Software development vulnerabilities occur due to a variety of factors, including human error, programming mistakes, insecure coding practices, design flaws, inefficient testing, and lack of security Awareness. 


1. What type of CISSP interview questions are asked during the CISSP Certification exam?

The CISSP certification exam focuses on assessing a candidate’s expertise across a broad range of cybersecurity principles. CISSP interview questions can range from theoretical concepts to practical problem-solving scenarios. Candidates may be asked about security policies, risk management strategies, incident response procedures, cryptography, network security measures, and legal or regulatory issues related to information security. The goal is to evaluate the candidate’s comprehensive understanding of information security practices and principles with the CISSP interview questions.

2. What are the 8 domains of CISSP Certification, and what is their significance in CISSP interview questions?

The 8 domains of the CISSP Certification are:

  1. Security and Risk Management: Focuses on policies, legal issues, and risk management.
  2. Asset Security: Covers data security controls and classification.
  3. Security Architecture and Engineering: Deals with secure design principles and models.
  4. Communication and Network Security: Involves securing network architecture and components.
  5. Identity and Access Management (IAM): Concerns controlling access to resources and identity management.
  6. Security Assessment and Testing: Encompasses auditing and security testing techniques.
  7. Security Operations: Focuses on incident management, disaster recovery, and operational security.
  8. Software Development Security: Involves security in the software development lifecycle.

These domains are significant in CISSP interview questions as they represent the core knowledge areas that candidates are expected to be proficient in. Interview questions may delve into any of these domains to assess a candidate’s abilities and understanding of information security within these critical areas.

3. What is the passing ratio for CISSP Certification?

The passing ratio for the CISSP Certification exam can vary from year to year. Generally, the CISSP exam has a pass rate of around 20% to 30%. This low pass rate underscores the exam’s difficulty level and the comprehensive understanding required across all eight domains. Success in the CISSP exam is indicative of a candidate’s deep knowledge and expertise in the field of information security, which is assessed by CISSP interview questions and how the candidate answers them.

To get the perfect score to ace all CISSP interview questions, focus on mastering the eight CISSP domains through study and practical application, enhance your communication and problem-solving skills, practice with mock CISSP interview questions, and stay updated on the latest cybersecurity trends.

This brings us to the end of the ‘CISSP Interview Questions and Answers blog. This blog covers the most common CISSP Interview questions broken down according to the eight domains. I hope you are clear with all the questions and answers. Make sure to go through this blog for your next Cybersecurity Interview. All the best!

Have a query for us? Kindly let us know in the comments section, and we’ll get in touch with you.

Edureka’s CISSP Training offers the best-in-class training experience to help you obtain the CISSP certification, along with helping you upskill and enabling you to secure well-suited leadership roles in the cybersecurity industry. Earning the CISSP Certification validates your extensive technical and managerial expertise as an information security specialist, enabling you to proficiently create, implement, and administer your organization’s security framework. Enroll today and take your career to greater heights in the cybersecurity domain!



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Top 30 CISSP Interview Questions and Answers [2024 Updated]