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Don't Slouch and Stand Tall in the Face of Cybersecurity Threats

Introducing the concept of “cybersecurity posture” to the general public so they can learn to be more resilient against threats.

Photo of DeletedUser
2 2

Written by DeletedUser

Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

I find the posture metaphor a stronger one than hygiene, so that is the catalyst for both of my sketches. “Security posture” is widely used in this industry and “security hygiene“ invokes feelings of doing things that we know are good for us but are annoying to do consistently (flossing every day) and daunting if you don’t do them correctly (root canal). It’s applicable to cybersecurity but I wanted to use a more proactive metaphor. Good cybersecurity posture doesn’t have to be annoying or daunting and can improve other aspects of your digital life! Just like adopting good physical posture not only prevents long-term injury but also boosts your confidence, sends useful non-verbal signals to others, improves your ability to use your five-senses and much more. These visuals are meant to set the stage for activists, professionals, journalists and policy-makers to step through the ways their audience can improve their cybersecurity posture so that they are more aware of cyber threats and can become resilient against them. It is to encourage the general public to take a leading role in securing their data and privacy, instead of delegating all the responsibility to companies and feeling helpless when an incident occurs. The challenge was also to develop sketches that can be absorbed by people with different familiarity levels about hackers, technology and privacy (“Can my mother understand this?”, “Can my child understand this?”)

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

Both of my sketches use a very abstract illustrative style not because it was the most-suitable for the challenge but because it is fast to execute on given the time requirements for this first phase. I hope to incorporate more nuanced ways of communicating cybersecurity posture in the next phase if that becomes a reality.

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

I strongly feel that sharing the industry's metaphor of “cybersecurity posture” with the general public is an important step in developing a shared language and mutual understanding on this critical topic. It’s been a challenge to convey this without using tropes that are too technical or too cheesy. Iterating on paper and letting the themes marinate before moving onto key illustration was an important part of the process. Every iteration on these sketches taught me more about how to make the ideas clearer and more nuanced and I now have a better idea of how to refine them if I go into the second phase. I also went to cybersecurity meetups during this phase and got to see presenters and panelists re-use the same tropes we’re trying to design alternatives for. They know they can do a better job of presenting these topics, even amongst peers. It gave me more courage to attempt to share existing vocabulary that they use, is not cliche and would be useful for the general public to know.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

I’m a UX/UI designer & developer with a background in Computer Science. I’ve recently pivoted towards a career in cybersecurity, retiring my design practice while repurposing my software development skills. But I’m also confident that my design background will help me convey better ideas and concepts in this important field. I want to help everyone have a better understanding of existing and future threats, online and offline.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

As I’m not a strong visual designer – my focus is on product interfaces and interaction design – and I’m pursuing a career in cybersecurity, I figured this challenge would be a great way to learn more about how to convey cybersecurity concepts in a way that works best with my existing design skillset. I’m hopeful I continue onto the second phase so I can collaborate with other creatives and industry insiders on this challenge as well. I want to help remove some of the “magic” many people assume is behind-the-scenes of protecting their data and privacy from hackers. Everyone can develop good cybersecurity posture!

Website(s)

https://eswat.ca/

What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have minimal experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a visual creator by hobby.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • Other

Location: City

Ottawa

Location: State / District

Ontario

Location: Country

  • Canada

2 comments

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Photo of Cornelis B

Hey Philip,

It is very encouraging to see someone pick up something so simple, yet so interesting. As a security analyst, I rarely find myself impressed by anything someone comes up with to explain something about cyber security.

You did something wonderful in that you left out all the details and focused on showing the importance, and the proper way to face the challenge of cyber security.

This does mean I have little to add, other than that if this concept advances, you would be making the job me and my department have a lot more visible in a positive light.

Best,
Cornelis

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

Thanks for the support Cornelis! If I do end up in the next phase I’ll make sure to not drown the visuals in too many details so that the overall message remains strong to help support you and your team!