Chapter 15

Illustrations, Visualizations, and Delusions

The purpose of visualization is insight, not pictures.

Ben Shneiderman

People like pictures. We can process visual data faster and better than any other type.1 It is no wonder that babies are more captivated by picture books than by text. So, what’s the problem with cybersecurity visualizations?

1. Thorpe, Simon, Fize, Denis, and Marlot, Catherine, “Speed of Processing in the Human Visual System,” Nature, Vol. 381, No. 6582 (1996): 520–522.

Television and movies have conditioned us to believe that every security tool must have a spiffy screen with fast-moving graphics. The analysts will watch their screens to find the latest incidents and react to them with lightning speed. As we discussed ...

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