There's an ongoing research project “Reimagining Visuals for Cybersecurity”, which is sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation, that is examining the current "state" of cybersecurity imagery. They bring to light the sterotypes associated with stock security photos found on most search engines and come to the conclusion that what is lacking is human empathy and credibility. Their goal is to create a metaphor that visually describes the complex subject of cybersecurity as in the famous depiction of Freud’s concept of mind as an iceberg with the conscious mind floating atop the submerged ego, superego and id.
Ps. Be forewarned that you my never look at cybersecurity related imagery including training ads again in same light. The medium continues to deliver the message...
There's an ongoing research project “Reimagining Visuals for Cybersecurity”, which is sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation, that is examining the current "state" of cybersecurity imagery. ...
The report carries a very important, but only tangentially stated, message: If you wish to communicate effectively, have your techies and engineers work with competent graphic artists. The complexities of visual communication are beyond the training and experience of most folks in our field.
I am reminded of the damage done by presentation software, beginning with Harvard Graphics in the 1980's and then carried on by PowerPoint, Keynote, and others since then. The ability of managers and techies to prepare their own graphics with those programs caused enterprises to reduce and then eliminate separate graphics shops all over government and industry. The result has been TERRIBLE graphics in both reports and slide decks, which fail to make the desired point and are often unreadable, especially when projected on a screen during presentations.
An adjunct to the mess caused by direct access to PowerPoint has been the ugly clip art libraries in Word and its cousins, and the ability of analysts performing valuable computations in Excel, et al., to generate charts and graphs. Not wanting to work on a graphic to truly communicate, the analysts simply generate the graphic in the spreadsheet, then paste that graphic into the report or slide deck. Such presentations are almost never readable or effective.
Trying to use the advice of Edward Tufte requires a separate discussion.. so if anyone wants to go down that road, let's start a separate thread. I have attended his one day course and worked with his books, so can provide some informed comments.
There's also a bit more detail about the project overall.
While I'm all for getting away from the standard visuals of guys in hoodies and graphics of locks, I suspect infosec is just a tad too complex to be represented by an icon ...