Thu, Aug 29, 2019

Kroll Experts Win Big at 2019 Forensic 4:cast Digital Forensic Awards

“The best of the best.” This is how the Forensic 4:cast Digital Forensic Awards describe the winner of their 2019 Investigator of the Year award: senior director Eric Zimmerman. The Forensic 4:cast awards are unique in that the nominations and voting come directly from the DFIR community. All of which lends extra significance to the fact that Eric and several Kroll colleagues came away with numerous nominations and some big wins this year. The awards were announced at the SANS DFIR Summit in Austin, Texas, on July 26.

This is the third time in four years that Eric has been voted the best in his field. His contributions to the discipline of digital forensics also earned him top honors for DFIR Social Media Contributor of the Year and DFIR Non-Commercial Tool of the Year. Eric, who is a SANS Institute instructor, has developed several open-source tools that facilitate forensic investigations. Additionally, he created the Kroll Artifact Parser and Extractor (“KAPE”), which enables the rapid collection and analysis of data most relevant to a digital examination and was the topic of Eric’s very well-received keynote address at the Summit. (You can view a presentation on some of Eric’s other command line tools here.)

Senior director Mari DeGrazia was also nominated by her peers for Investigator of the Year. An active contributor to the DFIR community and a SANS instructor, Mari has written and released numerous programs and scripts, two of which are used in SANS training; her presentation on malicious PowerShell scripts was the second most popular SANS talk in 2018. At this year’s Summit, Mari moderated a live session that put some of the top SANS instructors in the hot seat by focusing the debate on controversial topics in digital forensics and incident response. 

Another top honor went to Associate Jamie Vendel, who was recognized as DFIR Newcomer of the Year. Jamie, who joined Kroll in 2018, is a GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner and has guest lectured on internet and computer crimes at Columbia Law School. In addition to expanding her own knowledge and expertise, Jamie would like to pursue more teaching opportunities in the future after being inspired by the experience of introducing college students her age to cyber risk topics. She also hopes her journey to the world of digital forensics will encourage more women to join the field. Kroll associate Brooke Caviedes, who pivoted a few years ago in her career to digital forensics from a role as Program Director for Surgical Technology for a college, was nominated as well in this category. Brooke is a GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner, and has eight years of teaching and lecturing experience. 

Rounding out the nominations were managing director Devon Ackerman's “ ” website – one of the single, largest compendiums of curated DFIR information on the Web spanning 60 categories, including research, tools, education, careers, and thought leadership – for DFIR Resource of the Year, and Kroll itself for DFIR Company of the Year. 

Learn more about Kroll’s extensive digital forensics expertise and capabilities here