Thales Blog

Ask A Stupid Question Day: The Cybersecurity Edition

September 27, 2022

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Ask a Stupid Question Day is celebrated on September 28, dating back to the 1980s (Oh, now it makes sense - lol). On this day, celebrate and be encouraged not to hold back and to ask more questions. There is no such thing as a stupid questions, they say. So, lighten up! Don't be afraid to ask questions, and if someone asks you a stupid question, be prepared with a stupid answer. At the very least, you'll have a good laugh; at best, you may even learn something you didn't know before.

Cybersec questions that will have you in stitches

Our cybersec world evolves so fast that even industry professionals have burning questions every day. Here are some questions and answers we overheard that made us giggle the most.

  • Why was it so hard to catch the cybercriminal? Because he ran somewhere (ransomware)!
  • What is a hacker's favorite season? Phishing season!
  • What do you name a pyramid that has been excavated? Unencrypted!
  • "Can you get hacked if you hide your computer?"

What does that acronym mean?

No matter how long you have worked in the cybersecurity industry, hardly a week goes by without a new acronym appearing in a communication. So even if it appears silly, "What does that acronym mean?" is a frequent question in most offices. And there is fun to be had in the guessing game before the real answer reveals itself.

But why are techies so obsessed with this terminology? Can't we speak plain English? Well, we can, but conversations would often take three times as long if we avoided using the shortened versions of XDR - Extended (or Cross Platform) Detection and Response, PAM - Privileged Access Management, or FIM File Integrity Monitoring.

Get your answer

Today is the day to ask those burning questions like, What is MFA? What is encryption? Or what is the difference between customer and employee management?

Here are two of our favorites by Infosec blogger John Oppdenaker on Twitter:

  • My password was hacked. Do I have to change my cat's name again?
  • I was going to change my password to one of my favorite places in France, but is it Toulon (too long!)?

Don't be fooled; cybersecurity is no joke

As consumers and citizens become more aware of their online security and digital rights, they also have more concerns about their data privacy. "Can I trust my government or my favorite social media vendor to protect my personal data?" they ask. "What are the dangers of a such a company or organization holding my data?"

Once a breach happens, new questions arise, this time driven by fear and uncertainty:

  • "What should I do now?"
  • "How do I change my password?"
  • "Are my parents or kids in danger? Can they be blackmailed too?”

Can we please reiterate that no question is ever foolish. Questions kickstart every innovation. Astronomer and cosmologist Carl Sagan said, "There are naïve questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.".

Every person that understands and adopts basic cyber hygiene habits is a small step toward a safer digital world.

How do you pronounce Thales?

So here's our stupid question for you. And as you can see, it is not as silly as it first appears. How do you pronounce Thales? Is it the same pronunciation as Thales of Miletus, the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician?

Happy Ask A Stupid Question Day! Leave yours in the comments!