Beyond Digital Forensics

Introduction

When I first found out I was going to attend OpenText Enfuse 2018, I wondered how my major and minor would fit into the conference. I’m a computer information technology major and have a minor in cybersecurity. I was going to a conference marketed towards digital forensics. I assumed I would have a hard time finding things relevant to my field of studies. Still, I was excited to be exposed to the digital forensics industry. I was counting down the days until the conference started. I didn’t realize the true value in attending Enfuse until I got there.

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More Than Just Digital Forensics

I attended a session called “CyberSecurity Challenges in Healthcare and Life Sciences.” I thought it would help me understand more about my minor and apply what I’ve been learning in my classes/coursework to real life situations. One presenter was Edward J. McAndrew, who runs an incident response team. The other was Brian A Coleman, who supports internal forensic investigations for the company Pfizer. The two brought in great perspectives on new threats that are happening in the industry. When asked who we should worry about, they replied, “anyone with heartbeat.” Threats constantly happen both inside and outside of the company. This presentation gave an update on the industry rather than demonstrating a new skill or tool like the other sessions. McAndrew and Coleman explained the latest security threats. Threats such as extortion, cyber fraud, phishing attacks and espionage, all of which affect companies on a daily basis. They also addressed the results of these threats, and the importance of protecting data like health information. If data is breached, it breaks dozens of policies and agreements, such as HIPAA. These breaches could get companies in a lot of trouble.
At the end of their presentation, McAndrew and Coleman talked about new laws and policies that are being introduced as a result of these attacks. This presentation was an in depth overview of the cyber security industry, which applies to my own course of study and will help me in my future career. It is important for everyone in the technology industry to understand the challenges we face every day of threats and attacks. Companies also need to be ready for them in order to prevent devastating loss. This presentation proved to me that now more than ever, we need to be aware of cyber threats in this world so we can take actions to prevent them. It was an amazing experience to hear professionals talk about things that are currently happening in the industry. I walked away from this session feeling more knowledgeable on an unfamiliar topic.

Conclusion

Not only was I able to attend awesome cyber security sessions, I was also able to get my feet wet in the digital forensics industry and network with other professionals. I will be forever grateful to Champlain College and OpenText for allowing me to attend such an incredible conference. It gave me opportunities to build my professional network and catch up on the newest technologies in the fields I’m pursuing. It opened my eyes to what this technology has to offer, and I hope to attend this conference again one day!

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