CEIC 2014 / EnCE Myth Busted

Thank the interwebs for making what was once old new again. Earlier this week, denizens of the #DFIR hashtag on Twitter dredged up an old blog post from May 2014 about CEIC 2014.

At the risk of provoking the Streisand effect, I'd like to offer a contrasting perspective on what I can only describe as an emerging conspiracy theory. Let's walk while we talk (in case someone is listening...).

All the facts

The author at the time of publication was employed by Nuix Pty Ltd. As with most tradeshows, CEIC solicits sponsorships. All potential sponsors are welcome, including some with whom we engage in what the suits call “coopetition.” About 50 sponsors participated this year, proof positive of the value to vendors. We do so to create a focused, yet multi-faceted experience that gives our forensic community the opportunity to choose from the best technology available today—and there is plenty of that on offer at every CEIC. Nuix expressed interest and was extended a sponsorship offer, but declined to participate officially.

Guidance Software takes great pains to create an environment where practitioners can refine their skills, get the latest updates on Guidance Software products and learn about the diverse set of solutions available. It took months of effort to put together 12 tracks for CEIC 2014, with sessions from #DFIR luminaries like SANS instructors Chad Tilbury, C4All guru Trevor Fairchild and Verizon DBIR author Suzanne Widup.

Skeptical? Consider CEIC 2013, where AccessData was an official sponsor of CEIC 2013. Relevance? Guidance Software and AccessData are considered direct competitors by most industry analysts and customers, yet they were welcomed to last year’s event.

Here's what was left unsaid in the author's post: At the outset of CEIC 2014, Nuix gained un-sanctioned access to the event with what can only be described as a "pop-up" conference within Caesars Palace. In order to learn effectively during an intense, four-day period, people need to be in a positive, ideally cohesive environment. Nuix played the “wedding crasher,” distracting attendees, becoming a disruptive presence, and ended up tainting a celebration of DFIR. This is not conducive to learning, not to mention completely disrespectful to official sponsors.

While the author's CEIC pre-registration was valid (although he, like others from his company, initially attempted to register for CEIC under a different company name), Nuix’s intrusion on the day CEIC began changed all that, and there are consequences to actions.


As an aside, I find this all intellectually dishonest. Of course, I'm biased, but I don't represent otherwise. In contrast, the author's post reads like shilling: The author chose this topic to make his first and only blog post, presented only part of the story, and we haven't heard from him since. Yet, some find this credible. But hey… love it or forensicate it, that's the internet.

The EnCE Renewal Conspiracy

Few things whip Twitter into a froth like a good conspiracy theory. I'm a sucker for them, and if you have read this far, I bet I can count you in that group, too!

"Why does he not get to renew his EnCE?"

Of course he can! CEIC is only one of multiple ways to earn credits for EnCE renewal.  
  1. He can go to other conferences and rack up credits for lab attendance
  2. He can attend training provided by Guidance Software or other accredited sources, like (ISC)²
  3. He can take courses online, from the comfort of his office, on his own terms
You can find the official renewal guide here

Busted? You decide...

I'm sorry I had to write this, but I don’t see the rationale of the argument that the integrity of CEIC, the EnCE or Guidance Software is in question. At best, it is an argument outfitted with less than complete information. 

I hope this sheds some light, and lets us all get back on task. I don’t know about you, but my workdays are more than full of tasks that are focused on improving the tools for DFIR. I welcome your comments below, or you can reach me at ken (dot) mizota (at) encase (dot) com or on Twitter @kenm_encase

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