Introduction to Visualization for Computer Security

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Abstract

Networked computers are ubiquitous, and are subject to attack, misuse, and abuse. Automated systems to combat this threat are one potential solution, but most automated systems require vigilant human oversight. This automated approach undervalues the strong analytic capabilities of humans. While automation affords opportunities for increased scalability, humans provide the ability to handle exceptions and novel patterns. One method to counteracting the ever increasing cyber threat is to provide the human security analysts with better tools to discover patterns, detect anomalies, identify correlations, and communicate their findings. This is what visualization for computer security (VizSec) researchers and developers are doing. VizSec is about putting robust information visualization tools into the hands of humans to take advantage of the power of the human perceptual and cognitive processes in solving computer security problems. This chapter is an introduction to the VizSec research community and the papers in this volume.