Upcoming for HTCIA in 2012: Strategic initiatives, community involvement

December 28, 2011

One of our most recent posts, a retrospective by our longtime member Fred Cotton, covered how HTCIA got its start and how we got to where we are today. This post is about where we’re headed in the coming year, and beyond.

Our strategic plan

In July, a small group of HTCIA leaders gathered to map out a strategic plan, a vision and a road map for where HTCIA would need to go in order to continue to serve its membership. Following a careful assessment of our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, we devised a new, clearer and more succinct mission statement:

Provide education and collaboration to our global members for the prevention and investigation of high tech crimes.

In addition, we developed goals for education and professional development, membership services, communications, organizational governance, and financial resources. Some of the initiatives we are taking include:

  • a newly redesigned website and logo
  • a High Tech Crime Investigator Certification
  • improvements in the way we help form and support international chapters
  • development of member benefit programs
  • many other actions

Community involvement

Another strategic initiative is to partner with other groups. This has already been happening to some extent at the chapter level, as a few of our chapters band together with those of other associations to hold joint training events. (This is, in fact, one of the reasons SoCal won Chapter of the Year.) However, we want to make it something we do more consistently across all our locations.

At our conference in Indian Wells we unveiled our nascent partnership with the SANS Community of Interest for Network Security (COINS) program, which allows us to help even more chapters offer local events jointly with a great educational resource. Already we’ve seen the debut of SANS360 offered jointly in DC with our Mid-Atlantic chapter, and in February, Mark Gonyea will be teaching Computer Forensic Investigations-Windows In-Depth in Los Angeles. We also hope to work with SANS on virtual events, like our free webcast in October.

In addition, we announced that our International Board of Directors voted to join the Consortium of Digital Forensics Specialists (CDFS) as an Organizational Member. We believe that in this way we’ll be able to help shape the education and training of this particular facet of high tech crime investigation, which is just one of the many our membership serves.

Finally, we’re looking to get more involved with our communities on Facebook and Twitter (and we’d love it if you left more comments here on the blog, too!). Polls, Twitter chats and continued conversation with our members and supporters will be part of what we’re doing.

Get involved! Become a member (guidelines at http://www.htcia.org/membership.shtml) and subscribe to this blog, our Facebook and Twitter pages to find out the latest.

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HTCIA joins the CDFS to help set digital forensics standards

December 22, 2011

Consortium of Digital Forensics SpecialistsWe are very pleased to announce that we’ve joined the Consortium of Digital Forensics Specialists (CDFS) as an Organizational Member! Established in 2008 to provide leadership and advocacy as the global representative of the digital forensics profession, CDFS offers the chance for HTCIA members, through their board representatives, to collectively help determine standards for digital forensics ethics, practice and professional licensing and certification, among other areas.

Our International President, Duncan Monkhouse, has this to say: “For 25 years, our members have contributed to the development of digital investigation as a science and a profession. Supporting the CDFS is a natural outgrowth of their contributions. We look forward to helping shape the education and training of this particular facet of high tech crime investigation, which is just one of the many our membership serves.”

Chris Kelly, CDFS’ president and a New England HTCIA chapter member, is likewise excited. “HTCIA’s membership is a welcome addition because of its members’ breadth of experience not just in digital forensics, but also in private investigation, prosecution, and other professions that affect the way digital forensics is perceived within the investigative community,” he says. “We look forward to their input and assistance in driving not just our association, but the entire profession forward.”

HTCIA joins two other nonprofit professional organizations, the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS) and the Association of Digital Forensics, Security and Law (ADFSL) as members of CDFS. We couldn’t be in better company, and we’re so grateful to CDFS for making our membership possible!


Pre-conference: An eye toward the future days… and years

September 12, 2011

Sunday, Sept. 11 saw us start to welcome our conference participants, have some fun with those who arrived early, and make some plans – not just for the days, but also for the years ahead:

Our earliest event, the 8 a.m. golf tourney, had a successful 42-player turnout. Sally Vesley, marketing communications manager with tourney sponsor CRU-Dataport/WiebeTech, says it was one of the most fun workdays she has ever had. “They were great golfers,” she says. “We gave away four pairs of golf shoes, a golf cart, and of course USB write blockers.” The write blockers went to the top 3 winners:

  • Jim Keith, Closest to Pin
  • Terry Willis, Longest Drive (and winner of the whole tourney)
  • Brian Collins, part of the winning team

Vesley also says she’s planning another tourney for next year’s conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

At 11 a.m. registration opened to welcome our first conference participants. Many had arrived the night before or that morning, and lined up to get their badges and conference materials, including shirts and pins, our program, and free software.

Also at 11 a.m., the expo hall opened so that the vendors could set up their booths in advance of the Vendor Reception planned for the evening. Notable exhibits: Wireshark University‘s tropical tiki display (complete with network-devouring shark!), and Paraben’s crime-scene contest. Both sponsors are giving away free stuff: Paraben is making its Chat Examiner software available to participants, while Wireshark U. is providing one-year All Access Passes to its training!

At 1 p.m., chapter presidents (or board representatives) gathered for the International Board of Directors meeting. Among the items discussed there:

  • Membership, including student membership. We currently stand with 38 chapters and 17 student charters, 3,227 members and 214 student members. Our student members continue to be an outstanding addition to our organization, providing needed research and volunteer work to support our regular members.
  • Internet Safety for Children (ISFC). Shadi Hayden, of our Silicon Valley chapter, talked about the renewed interest in the ISFC, which had seen much success in the mid-2000s. Shadi has been working hard to recruit regional volunteers to help with website content and outreach to allied organizations like Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces and the OJJDP, so that the ISFC can be a conduit of information between public and private sector investigators. This conduit will include an ISFC website “facelift,” which will allow us to share information both publicly and for member investigators only.
  • Strategic Planning & Communications. In July a Strategic Planning Committee came together to chart the HTCIA’s course over the next five years and beyond. The committee performed a SWOT analysis, determined its goals and strategic objectives, and came up with ideas needed to drive the HTCIA toward those objectives – including a new website, better training and education, and improved communications.
  • The Consortium of Digital Forensics Specialists. Incorporated this year as a way to consolidate the voice of the digital forensics profession, the CDFS asked the HTCIA to become a collective nonprofit member of this complementary (not competing) organization. Board members voted to join – we’ll be sure to update you on future developments as we support this newest organization!

Officers also took care of organization business, including votes on bylaw changes and on International Executive Committee members for the coming year. Joining incoming International President Ron Wilczynski (Northern California) will be: 1st Vice President Tom Quilty (Silicon Valley), 2nd Vice President Jimmy Garcia (Southern California), Secretary Peter Morin (Atlantic Canada), and Treasurer Jose Soltero (Southern California).

Finally, we wish to remember all our members who were affected ten years ago by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. From our New York City members who lost friends and family members – or responded – at the World Trade Center, to other members who committed quantities of time and energy to investigating terrorism, we keep you in our thoughts and our hearts. Your spirit is reflected in the words of our Northeast member Cynthia Hetherington, who was supposed to be aboard United 93:

View more of our photos from pre-conference events and setup at our Facebook page. Be sure to “like” our page while you’re there, so you can see the latest updates over the next few days!