The Cybersecurity Visuals Challenge was conceived as a way to produce "imagery that better represents the cybersecurity space in an accessible and compelling manner." Something more meaningful than "pictures of locks, white men in hoodies, or green 1s and 0s."
In style, I was inspired by the drawing style of the New Yorker covers, as this is a major publication aimed at a public looking for information and quality reports. Given the wide demographic range, they should be friendly to an audience of both sexes, of a wide age range and not necessarily illustrated in deep concepts of technology or engineering. Therefore the use of bright colors, warm, in a more casual tone and even slightly irreverent.
Ivana Troselj based her submission on The Cuckoo's Egg:
I don't think we yet understand how to best recognise this threat; it has crept into the most trustworthy aspects of our everyday business. The bird is mistakenly rearing a grenade in a nest of its own eggs. This represents the act of misplaced trust. Information Warfare elements (my PhD topic of research) are often masked as trustworthy elements of our online information space, which we willingly incorporate into our networks, or accept in good faith as part of our decision making processes. The dangerous outcome of this misplaced trust is analogous to the metaphor of the cuckoo, which will soon outgrow its starving parents, and kill all the other young it finds in the nest.
I am working on a zoo of surrealist cyber-animals and children in a dark Wonderland world as metaphors for the activity that daily take place in 'dark woods' of the internet. But I'd like to present these pictures as part of a graphic 'story' about children lost in the woods, and not just stand-alone images. Nature offers many beautiful analogies that are readily recognisable, and the child in the fairytale supplies a values-driven genre that is immediately understood.
You can see all the winners and download high resolution versions of the graphics, which are available for use under Creative Commons license, here.