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A Visual Exploration of Cybersecurity Concepts

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Cybersecurity-related concepts can be difficult to explain or summarise. The complexity associated with these concepts is compounded by the impact of rapid technological changes and the contextual nature of the meaning ascribed to the various themes. Since visual imagery is often employed in articulation and explanation, we conducted a study in which we asked participants to sketch their understanding of cybersecurity concepts. Based on an analysis of these sketches and subsequent discussions with participants, we make the case for the use of sketching and visuals as a tool for cybersecurity research. Our collection of sketches and icons can further serve as the seed for a visual vocabulary for cybersecurity-related interfaces and communication.