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The Power is in your Hands

A visual "dial" concept that shows your physical "real" world with its cyber "data" world reflection and how they interplay during a breach.

Photo of Carlos Groth
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Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

When I think of cybersecurity, I think of how it affects both the digital and physical world. Recently I was a target of a cyber hack of my personal data that affected me to both, find a remedy in the digital world, and also remedy the situation in the physical world (e.g. resolving issue at agencies / administrators). For that reason, I felt it was important to show how one act of cyber breach can affect another. My inspirations for my design came from dash boards. In particular dashboards you would find with financial institutions that monitor your credit score. Currently these dashboard only show speed dial visual (e.g. like a tachometer). I thought if I only showed a speed dial that showed me the severity of a data breach, I would only tell half the story. For that reason I see my data in the cyberworld as a reflection of my real physical world. As one gets compromised, it puts the "dial" off balance. You as the consumer should be able to be on the driver's seat and put the dial back in balance by following suggested remedies that happen during a breach. For the purpose of this exercise, I've identified 3 layers of data levels. Where level 1 would represent a minor breach of data such as a social media account breach with few consequences, as well as a data level 3 breach of your "core" (e.g. your most important personal data) that would represent the most severe data breach with potentially the most severe consequences.

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

For this sketch, I wanted to highlight how one could visualize a "data" breach in the cyber world and how that would affect your real world. Because nowadays there are so many breaches and cyber attacks, it was important to highlight exactly where the breach happened and how you've been affected specifically. We don't have a good way, like a chart of dashboard, to really see how your data has been compromised. Also, we don't have a tool that would let you know what you can do to remedy the situation and how you could see the outcome of your actions in the future. For that reason, I gave the example of a data breach of a social media account that not only was a compromise of your data in the cyber world, but also affected your physical world, because the breach was not just a theft of information, but rather it was a more severe breach that actually used your account and identity to damage your reputation and perhaps spread misinformation. Because it affected both worlds, not only would you have to make sure to alert the social media company of your identity theft, but also you would take measures in your physical life that includes repairing the damage quickly to regain trust in your community. Often these breaches are just a theft of personal information, but we don't hear how this specifically affects the lives of the victim. For the wild card, I thought it was important to come up with a universal visual tool to help the average consumer.

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

I think a lot of cyber security visuals are either very abstract or convey the message of fear. In my sketching process though a colorful approach, I tried to convey the idea that it doesn't have to look so abstract and that you can easily identify and solve a problem (e.g. data breach). I tried to use a dial sketch, because in our everyday lives we use the dial for many purposes, such as controlling the flow or temperature of water. I also learned that showing cybersecurity with one simple image per se wasn't easy, and so I felt that I had to focus more on a real world application that would make it easier for people to understand digesting information as they would like, when they look at a credit report dashboard.

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

Since I can remember I've always been interested in solving problems and improving designs. I was fortunate to having been brought up as a third-culture kid as a grew up in Mexico and Germany before I moved to the United States. This has helped me to look a problems from different vantage points and I try to insert myself the shoes of others, especially from different cultures. My education led me to follow an engineering path that ultimately let me to marketing and eventually user experience design and communication. I'm currently freelancing as a web and UX designer and following the next transformative trends to society in the mobility, green technology, mobile devices spaces. Ultimately, I would like to create impact in this world through my talents and inspire others. Besides creative challenge, I'm an avid runner and love to participate in races as well as triathlons.

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

I saw a Facebook post about it and was intrigued by the challenge. Before the challenge I thought that cybersecurity was such as distant topic but now I think anybody could contribute to solving this challenge. What excited me the most was to think about a solution that does not yet exist and how to quickly communicated the first iteration of such a solution with a quick sketch.


What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have never worked in cybersecurity before but am excited to learn more and get involved.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a professional visual creator freelancer.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO email / social media

Location: City

San Francisco and Mexico City (part time)

Location: State / District


Location: Country

  • United States of America
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Attachments (2)


Figure 2: How to visually show a breach when and where it happened. In this case, your social media accounts were breached and it affected your physical world because for e.g. you can' log into your accounts and a misinformation campaign via your accounts has already affected you and your social connections. The "dial" would give suggestions in this scenario as to how to get back to "balance" by taking the following steps to brings things into order again.


Figure 1: A visual dial showing balance of your real and cyber world. No data has been compromised in the cyber world and you haven't compromised your personal data (e.g. lost personal bag with compromising info) in the real world that might cause a breach in the cyber world.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Aswin BeHera

Liked your idea of representing the effects of cyber world on the real world and vice versa. It can be made interactive, with your idea of the visual dial. Pushing buttons here changes things there and so on. Good luck on your divergence and convergence.

Photo of Carlos Groth

Thank you Aswin! Yes I have some ideas for the divergence part in particular. Yes I believe the cyber and real word are interlinked and it would be helpful to show that. Otherwise, the cyberworld remains very abstract.

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