IBM Security QRadar SIEM Interview Questions

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Q: How can we reset SIM Module?
SIM module facilitates to eliminate all offense, IP address source, & information of the destination IP address from the database and the disk. Reset option is useful after fine-tuning the installation to evade receiving of any additional false information. One of the following options can do reset:

1. Soft Clean, which closes all the offenses in database. On selecting of the Soft Clean option, we can select Deactivate all offenses.
2. Hard Clean – It purges all the historical & current SIM data including the offenses, destination IP addresses & source IP addresses.

Q: What do you understand by High Availability?
High Availability (HA) attribute makes sure the accessibility of QRadar SIEM data in any event of hardware/network breakdown. Each cluster of HA contains of one primary host & one secondary host as standby. Secondary host continues with the same data of primary host. Either by replicating the data of primary hosts, or accesses the shared data on external storage. The secondary host in the network sends a heartbeat ping to the primary host every 10 seconds by default to detect any hardware or network failure. As soon as the secondary host identifies a failure, the secondary host assumes all responsibilities of the primary host, automatically. 

Q: What are the types of user authentication?
System Authentication -
QRadar SIEM authenticates Users locally, which is the default type of authentication.
TACACS Authentication - Authentication via Terminal Access Controller Access Control System server.
RADIUS Authentication - Authentication via Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service server.
Active Directory - Authentication via Lightweight Directory Access Protocol server using Kerberos.
LDAP - Authentication via Native LDAP server.

Q: How are users authenticated?
After authentication is configured and any user enters invalid user name or password, a message indicates the invalid login. If the user tries to access multiple times by invalid data, the user has to wait for the set duration before trying again.

Q: What is the process of setting HA Host Offline?
To set an HA host offline:

1. We should click the Admin tab.
2. From menu, select System Configuration & click System and License Management icon.
3. Following we should Select the HA host that is set to offline.
4. From High Availability menu, choose Set System Offline.
4. The status for the host changes to Offline.

Q: Why do we need to Update License Key very often?
QRadar SIEM Console provides a default license key to access to the QRadar SIEM user interface for 5 weeks. If we log in after  the license key has expired, we are directed to System & License Management window. We should update license key to continue. If any of the non-Console systems has an expired license key, a message will be displayed at the time of log in, which indicates the requirement of a new license key & navigate to System and License Management window for updation.

Q: How can we manage automatic updates?
QRadar SIEM exercise system configuration files for offering useful classification of data flow within the network. We can manually update the configuration to make sure the configuration files consists of the updated network security information. For HA installation, Automatic Updations are disabled for secondary HA system which is active during any breakdown. Automatic updations are executed on secondary HA system only after the primary HA system is reinstated.

Q: How can we create Network Hierarchy?
In QRadar SIEM, the network hierarchy is set to understand the network traffic & offer the capability of viewing network activity for the entire installation. During the installation of the network hierarchy, we should believe it as the best method for viewing network activity. The configured network in QRadar SIEM is not like the physical operation of the network. QRadar SIEM provides the network hierarchy, which is defined by series of IP addresses. 

Q: How can we schedule updates?
QRadar SIEM executes automatic updations, which is set on a recurring schedule. However, if scheduling an update or a set of updations runs at any specified time, updates are scheduled by the window of “Schedule the Updates.” This is beneficial when we need to schedule large update file to run during off hours, which minimizes effects on the performance of the system.

Q: How can we View the Pending Updates?
System is set to execute automatic updates weekly. If updates are not displayed, either the system is not in operation to retrieve weekly updates or there is available no updates. If this occurs, you can manually check for new updates.

Q: How can we managing retention bucket sequence?
Sequences of retention buckets are set in priority order from top row to bottom row on the Event Retention and Flow Retention windows. Records are stored in first bucket, which matches the recorded constraint. The order of the retention buckets can be modified to ensure that events & flows are matched by retention buckets in the same order, which matches the necessities.

Q: What is Flow Retention & Event Retention Buckets?
Event Retention & Flow Retention features are presented on the Admin tab, for configuring the retention buckets. A retention bucket describes a policy for any events & flows, which match any custom filter requirements. QRadar SIEM accepts events and flows, every single event and flow is evaluated against the filter criteria of retention bucket. Whenever it matches a filter, it is stored in the bucket until the policy time period has reached. It also enables us to enables for multiple retention buckets.

Q: What is Index Management?
Index Management allows controlling the database for indexing on event & flow properties. The Indexing event and flow properties permit optimizing searches. We can facilitate indexing on the properties, which is listed in Index Management window & facilitates the indexing on more than a property. Index Management provides statistics, like:

1. Percentage of the saved searches executed on the installation.
2. Volume of data written on the disk through index, in the specific time.

Q: How can we add a Custom Offense Close Reason?
The new reason is scheduled on Custom Close Reasons window as we add a custom offense close reason.

** For adding a custom offense close reason, we need to click Admin tab
** From the menu, we should click System Configuration, followed by clicking on the custom Offense Close Reasons icon.
** Now we should Click Add & state a reason before closing offenses.

Q: What is Reference Set?
Reference Set Management allows the creation and management of reference sets. We can import elements into reference set from external file too.

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Q: What is the function of Index Management toolbar?
Index Management toolbar has the following utility:

1. Enable Index - Choose properties in the list of Index Management followed by clicking on the icon to facilitate indexing.
2. Disable Index - Choose properties in the list of Index Management followed by clicking the icon to disable indexing.
3. Quick Search - Keying in the keyword on the specified Quick Search field and clicking on Quick Filter icon. Properties that match the keyword are exhibited on the Index Management list.

Q: What are the functions of  Content tab toolbar?
It offers the following functions: New, Delete, Delete Listed, Import, Export, Refresh Table, Quick Search

Q: What is the function of Content tab?
Content tab offers a list of components, included in reference sets. Content tab offers the following information:
1. Value - Displays the component’s value.
2. Origin – This indicates the source of component. Options are:  & User
3. Time to Live - Show the remaining time until this component is removed.
4. Date Last Seen - shows the date and time on which it was last identified on the network.

Q: How is Backup Archives Managed?
QRadar SIEM generates backup archive of configured information daily at midnight, by default. Backup archive comprises of configured information, from the previous day. QRadar SIEM enlists all backup archives on the specific window, which is the first displayed window to access the Backup and Recovery attribute on the Admin tab. 

Q: How can we Importing Elements into a Reference Set?
Components can be imported from an external CSV or text file. Prior importing, we must make sure that the CSV is on desktop.

We need to select a reference set On the Reference Set Management window & click View Contents.
Then click the Content tab > Import > Browse > Select the CSV to import > Click Import.
Components in the CSV are now shown in the list.

Q: What is Event Collector?
It collects the secured events from the security devices, also known as log sources, in the network. Event Collector gathers all events from local & remote sources. Event Collector normalizes the events & sends the data to Event Processor. It also bundles the virtually identical events to preserve any system usage.

Q: What is QRadar QFlow Collector?
It collects data from the devices, and other live & recorded feeds, such as network taps, NetFlow, & QRadar SIEM logs. As the data is collected, the QRadar QFlow Collector assembles the related packets into flow. QRadar SIEM describes flows as a session between two unique IP address using the same protocol. 

Q: What is a Magistrate?
Magistrate offers the core components for processing of SIEM system. One Magistrate component can be added for each installation. Magistrate provides reports, views, alerts, of network traffic and events. Magistrate processes events against the determined custom rules to generate offense. Magistrate uses the default set rule to process the offending flow, if there is no set rule.

Q: What is event processor?
Event Processor routes event and flow information from Event Collector. These events are bundled to preserve network usage. When accepted, the Event Processor compares the information from QRadar SIEM and distributes them to suitable area, depending on event type. Event Processor includes data collected by QRadar SIEM to specify behavioral changes for that event.

Q: What is the encryption process?
Encryption takes place between the deployed hosts; therefore, deployment must contain more than one managed host. Encryption is enabled through SSH tunnels initiated from client. Client is the system, which initiates a connection in a client/server relationship. Enabling encryption within hosts, which are without the console, encryption tunnels will be created automatically for all the databases & support service connected with the Console. Encryption is administered within hosts, the tunnels are created for all the client applications on the managed hosts to offer protected entrance to the relevant servers only.

Q: What is an Offense?
Offense is a flow processed through QRadar SIEM through multiple inputs, individual and combined events, after behaviors analysis. Magistrate prioritizes the offenses & allocates a value based on factors, including the amount of severity & relevance.

Q: How to Configure an Accumulator?
Accumulator element assists with collection of data and anomalous detection for Event Processor on any managed host. 

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Q: What are the benefits of using NAT with QRadar SIEM?
Network Address Translation (NAT) actually translates an IP address of one network to another IP address in different network. NAT offers enhanced securities for the deployment since needs are managed through translation process and hides internal IP addresses. Prior enabling NAT for QRadar SIEM managed host, we must configure NATed network through static NAT translations, which ensures the communications between hosts that are managed & exists within different NATed networks.

Q: What are Remote Networks and Services?
Remote network and service groups facilitates us to represent traffic on the network for a specific outline. All remote network and service groups have specific group levels & leaf object levels. It can be edited through remote network & service groups by adding objects to vacant groups or modifying pre existing properties to suit environment.

Q: What is NetFlow?
It is s proprietary accounting technology designed by Cisco, which monitors traffics through routers, & interprets the client, protocol, server & the port used, calculates the number of bytes & packets  to send the data to any NetFlow collector. The procedure of sending data from NetFlow is known as a NetFlow Data Export (NDE).

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Ravindra Savaram
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Ravindra Savaram is a Content Lead at His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter. Protection Status