There are a number of people working on 3D Network Visualizations in AR/VR, but not as many as our society needs as the main research focus in industry (both commercial and government) regarding network security (for now and the foreseeable future) is in AI and machine learning.
From this has emerged a kind of “cold technical civil war” going on between those who believe machines and algorithms are superior to human cognition, and those who believe that machines and algorithms will never replace the human mind and human cognition.
I am (quite firmly) in the later camp obviously and believe that “humans cognitive situational awareness” and not “machine intelligence” are the key to the future of our cybersecurity (augmented by machines and not replaced by them especially in matters of critical operational SA). This of course means that 3D network visualizations and the virtualization of networks (see attached “in perpetual review” preprint ACM paper, Human Cyber Consciousness – The Next Frontier (2017), for a high level overview).
In addition, I also refer interested cybersecurity researchers to a copy of a unpublished technical report, Virtualized Cyberspace – Visualizing Patterns & Anomalies for Cognitive Cyber Situational Awareness (2017), where we (Bass, Zuech & Gutzwiller) discuss methods with references to other work and related tech in this area. Candidly speaking, and I hope I am not being too candid and honest, there is much less research and references than there should be in this area as the research trend, unfortunately, favors machines versus human cognition.
Also, unfortunately, many people who are interested in this fascinating research area do the have hands-on operational experience in network management and day-to-day network security and cyber SA to understand the “brave new world” of the future of cybersecurity. The world (social media especially) is full of “arm chair quarterbacks” who seem to know it all and yet have never actually been in the game (no hands-on experience at the computer in a real cyber defense or critical operational network outage).
From a technical perspective, I would recommend everyone read these two papers in the links above (perhaps the higher perspective CACM draft first) and feel free to contact me. For technologists and researchers, I recommend you focus on first building a working 3D model with a gaming engine like Unity 3D or Unreal (we used Unity 3D) and then when you are an expert in this development phase, then bolt on the VR/AR hardware & software support as you might see fit.
In my view, although VR has a lot lot of attention lately, the hardware is still too cumbersome (uncomfortable) and the state-of-the-art for effective (also meaning comfortable) field operations are still at least a few years away. In the meantime it is best that cybersecurity researchers focus on the 3D desktop application first using a technology that can easily add AR/VR when appropriate; but without a solid working 3D application and a standard gaming application (like Unity 3D or the Unreal Engine), it is a premature to jump to AR/VR.
I’ve been busy on other projects since August of 2017, self-funded and doing this project “out of the goodness of my heart and concern for the future security of our networks.” Sorry to sound too patriotic, but it is non-trivial to solve the CSA problem and requires more research, funding and people that a semi-retired guy hanging out in a beach condo with in Thailand with a fiber optic connect to the Internet and a few MacBooks can muster and still enjoy a normal life.
I need an army of technical people and a lot of resources to build the tech discussed in my “apparently way ahead of it’s time” vision we have for operation network situational awareness and I am dismayed by the lack of funding in the US for what I consider one of the most important projects for our future security – the virtualization of cyberspace so we can operationalize cyber defense.
The current commercial tech zeal in favor of machine learning and AI versus human cyber consciousness is not favorable to a secure future for humans and democratic processes; but I am powerless to stop this debasement of the human mind in favor of the current push toward AI-dominated social networking.