SANS DFIR Summit 2012 – Evidence is Data: Your Secret Advantage

Fellow Lightboxer Jon Stewart will be presenting at the SANS Forensics and Incident Response Summit 2012 on Wednesday, June 27 from 2 – 3 PM in the Senate Room. Make sure to ask Jon for a trial version of Lightgrep Search for EnCase after the presentation, as he’ll have Lightbox thumb drives with installers onsite. Please stop by for a great presentation and grab a free thumb drive.

You can read more about the presentation at the Lightbox Technologies blog.

Going to CEIC 2012? Ping me for a free Lightgrep trial!

I’m proud to announce that our company, Lightbox Technologies, will be launching Lightgrep Search for EnCase just in time for CEIC. We’ll have free thumb drives with trial versions of Lightgrep on them, so please come find us. Be sure to follow us or ping us on Twitter while you’re there! You can reach me at @geoff_black and Jon at @codeslack.

I’ll also be doing a redux of last year’s presentation, Statistical Analysis and Data Sampling, at this year’s CEIC with Jon. We’re on at 4:30 PM on Monday in the eDiscovery Lab track. You can find the description on the CEIC website:

Ever worked on a matter where you wanted to validate that the search terms were working correctly? What about when a judge requests that you testify on your procedures for this validation process? This session will show you how to take culled evidence from the EnCase eDiscovery solution and create a representative random set of data to be used in the validation process. The options demonstrated will be: the number of items to review and the percentage of accuracy. Once a random sub-set has been created, this session will show how the EnCase eDiscovery solution can be used to manually tag the items and provide reporting.

The presentation will be updated with some new features on predictive coding and recent rulings. If you’re interested in how sampling can be used to reduce review time and improve keyword results, you should come check us out.

Unfortunately we’re up against Craig Ball and Chris Dale who will be rockin’ with “The Future of Social Media in E-Discovery.” Craig recently wrote a good piece for Law Technology News entitled Gold StandardA true gold standard for keyword search incorporates both precise inclusion and defensible exclusion. He touches on keyword precision in the article, and that’s one of our primary goals with our talk – how to get the best bang for your buck with a little extra testing.

Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) Conference 2012

The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) is a groundbreaking organization that is seeking to build the eDiscovery community through training and certification. ACEDS offers education in the form of live training seminars, access to recorded training online, and an annual conference. ACEDS is concerned about making sure certified individuals are proficient in not only one area of the EDRM, but in all. The certification covers a wide range of topics which are all important in the eDiscovery process – legal hold, collection, processing, project management and review planning, and everything surrounding them. ACEDS has partnered with organizations such as ARMA, ALSP, and ILTA. These organizations see the value in a vendor neutral certification for eDiscovery, and so do I. A lot has been written in every industry about pros and cons for certification, and eDiscovery is no exception.

Most technical and semi-technical fields have two basic types of certifications: vendor application specific and vendor neutral. I’ve seen several vendor exams for eDiscovery certifications. While those can be important for users of a specific application, they’re not always portable between organizations as there are so many different products prevalent in the market. Many of them are very specific to the functionality of the tools, and less focused on overall eDiscovery knowledge. Passing means you know how to run the application, but not that you necessarily understand the reasoning behind the actions you perform. I currently hold a vendor certification for forensics which attempts to remain balanced between general industry knowledge and tool-specific information, but the focus is definitely on the tool.

Vendor neutral certifications for eDiscovery, such as CEDS from ACEDS, don’t worry about how any specific tool tries to tackle eDiscovery. They aim to verify knowledge across multiple areas in a given discipline, without relying on how one tool functions. If you’re interested in learning more about the certification, check out the ACEDS website: What The Exam Is About. For other sources: Gabe Acevedo with Above The Law has a great analysis written just after last year’s ACEDS Conference. Dennis Kiker with LeClairRyan also wrote a well-reasoned article describing eDiscovery certification as the logical next step, and rebutting some recent criticism.

I can say from my own experience hiring forensic and eDiscovery professionals that certification is not a panacea or guarantee when choosing a candidate. What it does demonstrate, though, is that someone is interested in investing time in themselves and their chosen career field. In the case of CEDS, it shows that they care about advancing in the field of eDiscovery.

ACEDS is prepping for their annual conference at the beautiful Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, FL, April 2 – 4. The line-up is absolutely stellar. Topics include: addressing catastrophic eDiscovery events; timely items such as social media; often overlooked project management; eDiscovery malpractice risks; and of course, exam prep courses.

If you’re planning on attending the conference, enter discount code “BLACK” when you register to receive $150 off the already very reasonable conference fee. Don’t wait too long, though – the discount code expires soon!

Full disclosure: I serve on the ACEDS Advisory Board, lending my perspective on technology in eDiscovery and the intersection of eDiscovery and Forensics.