CEIC 2011 Roundup: Attend. Cultivate. Grow.

Guidance Software Those who attended the eleventh annual Computer and Enterprise Investigations Conference (CEIC), May 15–18, 2011, at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, certainly had plenty to cultivate and much to think about to help them grow in their e-discovery and IT investigative work. And, the sun was out!

Record-breaking attendance, once again!

More than 1,300 people were on hand this year. Attendees had a choice of more than 110 learning sessions led by computer forensics, e-discovery, cybersecurity, and enterprise investigations experts. Many also took the opportunity to take a track dedicated to EnCase® Forensic v7. As an added bonus, EnCase® Certified Examiner (EnCE®) and EnCase Certified eDiscovery Practitioner (EnCEP®) exams were offered to qualified attendees at no additional cost.

A big week for e-discovery

The legal and IT community charged with electronic discovery had a busy week during CEIC. The market saw two acquisitions, a leading analyst firm published new research about the e-discovery space, and last but not least, sessions at CEIC highlighted key e-discovery trends and best practices.

The Guidance Software e-discovery legal team covered some of the show’s most interesting e-discovery sessions and discussions on their e-discovery insights blog. Some of the highlights include: Craig Ball's “Nerdy Things Lawyers Need To Know About Computer Forensics and a Few Nerdy Things Forensics People Need to Know About the Law,new critical e-discovery case law updates, common misconceptions of early case assessment, and perspectives from Dell, Best Buy and Nationwide on real-world e-discovery scenarios.

Additional e-discovery blog posts from CEIC:

-- Judges Focus on E-Discovery Challenges

-- Navigating International E-Discovery Challenges With Guidance From Multi-National Experts 

-- Testing, Sampling and Quality Control – Keys to Success in E-discovery

-- E-Discovery and Cloud Computing: Still More Questions Than Answers

-- E-Discovery Ethics Issues Apply to More Than Attorneys

-- Hiding Your Head in the Sand is not the Right Way to Conduct an Internal Investigation

The Keynote: Eric O’Neill

Keynoting at the show was Eric O’Neill, subject of the 2007 film “Breach” for his undercover role in the capture of Robert Phillip Hanssen, one of the most notorious spies in U.S. history. IT security publication CSOonline covered the O'Neill CEIC keynote, where O”Neill noted the importance of forensics in the apprehension of Hanssen, especially mobile forensics:

"The forensic analysis of a Palm Pilot played a crucial role in the apprehension of Hanssen, as it detailed the location and time of his next drop to the Russians. And the explosion of electronic devices has become crucial to fighting both the spying of nations and of corporate espionage. "Spies previously had to first photocopy or photograph the material they wanted, then make arrangements for drops and payments," O'Neill said. "Today they just capture it on their phone and email it to anywhere in the world."

The keynote theme certainly proved on-message for the conference, which included dozens of sessions and hands-on lab training about mobile forensics analysis and mobile malware threats. James Doyle, who presented his Hot Topics Lecture on Corporate Investigations in the Electronics Era said that the proliferation of mobile devices has made investigations much more difficult. "With so many different kinds of devices, and the average person using more devices than before, it certainly makes investigations more challenging that in the past," he said. "Mobile forensics is crucial because that's where more people are processing their data," he said.

Another big theme this year, as many might expect, was cloud computing. As more users turn to cloud-based storage and applications, there will be more cloud security and privacy concerns arise, said Joshua Gilliland, who presented his talk Oceania Rising: The Collision of Technology & Privacy. "The proliferation of cloud computing, social media, smart phones are all having a profound impact on e-discovery and personal privacy," Gilliland said. "These aren't things that are going to be easily resolved," he said.

That's for certain – and neither are the challenges in e-discovery, digital forensics, and cybersecurity. The ever increasing use of electronic devices and services are going to demand investigators and security professionals be smarter about how they investigate and protect for years to come.

Speaking of years to come: next year's CEIC will be at the Red Rock Resort in Summerlin, Nevada, May 21 to 24. See you there!

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