The Sorry State of Existing Cybersecurity Visuals
Cybersecurity has an image problem. The existing visual language of the field is filled with glowing locks and white men in hoodies—images which do nothing to convey the complexity or importance of the topic. And without a more effective visual language, people simply can’t picture the huge stakes involved in solving today’s cybersecurity challenges, for governments, corporations, and individuals around the world. How our devices and data are protected at a technical level, the laws and policies that govern them, and how conflicts among nations are increasingly playing out in cyberspace are just three examples of the kinds of topics tackled by the images on this website, where new visual thinking can increase understanding by policymakers and the broader public. The Hewlett Foundation’s Eli Sugarman and Heath Wickline described the challenge and how the Cyber Initiative worked to solve it in a post at Lawfare.
Leverage the Talent of Visual Creators
We need to find new ways to communicate about cybersecurity. And strong visual design is a powerful tool for helping people understand complex topics, translating information that is often technical in nature in more accessible ways.
The images on this website were created by talented artists, graphic designers and other visual creators around the world, with support from a group of cybersecurity experts who helped them ensure the images they created for the Challenge were grounded in a solid technical foundation. The individual graphics and visual metaphors they developed are the beginning of a new, richer, and more inclusive visual language for cybersecurity, opening up a critically important conversation to more people who need to know about it.
In partnership with OpenIDEO, the open innovation practice of global design company, visual creators from around the world submitted their best ideas for new ways to convey important cybersecurity topics. Cybersecurity experts from the Hewlett Foundation’s network were enlisted to help refine their work, and ultimately to select the top ideas from the Challenge, which are included on this website.
EXPERTS IN THE FIELD
Formerly of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Formerly of R Street Institute
Institute for Security and Technology
Stanford Internet Observatory