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June 2006

Perspectives: Security training must be a visual, interactive experience

Infosecurity professionals must tailor security training for today's visually-based, text-limited society. As I look around my office, a co-worker listens to his iPod, others trade games for their Xbox 360s, and at lunch, a Gen-Xer watches a movie on his PlayStation Portable. These daily events signal a quiet but powerful revolution in the way people experience information: We are drifting away from purely textual sources into a post-literate society, and IT security professionals need to adjust security training media accordingly. In the Industrial Age, text was king. In today's post-industrial century, text yields to the visual: It shrinks to be tolerable and diminishes in its ability to clarify thought. Web pages are the mode of discourse, hyperlinking permits unparalleled lateral movement, and reading is reduced to scanning and surfing. Today's media must be savvy enough to keep readers interested while still providing valuable information. Lengthy text continues to exist in legal documents, corporate annual reports, ...

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