Pierson Clair is a managing director in Kroll’s Cyber Risk practice, based in the Los Angeles office. Pierson brings an uncommon perspective to cyber risk challenges from his years as a leading digital forensic examiner, technical security consultant, researcher, and educator.
Pierson has conducted extensive academic research at the forefront of cyber risk, most currently on changes of investigative significance in Mac and mobile device hardware and software. Prior to this emphasis, he focused on the dynamics within the complex framework of protecting critical national infrastructure as well as intelligence, espionage, and terrorism. In addition to working on analytical projects with members of the Intelligence Community and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Pierson has provided sophisticated digital forensic services for a wide range of private sector clients and law enforcement agencies.
Prior to joining Kroll, Pierson was with Maryman & Associates, where he was a senior forensic examiner specializing in Apple and Linux desktop and server environments; mobile devices including iOS and Android; virtualized environments; and network forensic and security investigations. He has assisted clients that range from major corporations with large network breaches to small businesses with unique software and infrastructure, to federal, state, and local law enforcement and government agencies. His casework has included investigations on such matters as employee malfeasance, intellectual property theft, data loss, and network data breaches, including the loss of personally identifiable information and private health information. He is also well-versed in the privacy and notification implications of data leaks. Before joining Maryman, Pierson worked with the U.S. Intelligence Community in Virginia and Washington, D.C., on a joint analytical project with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the wider U.S. Intelligence Community.
Pierson has also had a long-standing association with the University of Southern California (USC), where he is an Industrial Advisory Board Member for the university’s Information Technology Program, a division of the Viterbi School of Engineering. He is a graduate of USC’s selective Interdisciplinary Degree program, where he blended studies in intelligence, espionage, and terrorism with technical courses in cyber security and computer forensics. During this time, he was the first USC student to work in the United States Secret Service’s Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force (LA ECTF). Currently, Pierson is an adjunct faculty member in the Viterbi School of Engineering, where he has developed the curriculum and teaches introductory and high-level courses in forensics and cyber security related to the Mac and mobile device environments.
Selected Media Appearances
- NBC4 Los Angeles, “Mobile Device Security: Fingerprints, Passcodes, and Passwords.” January 2015.
- KTLA Los Angeles, “Android & Apple: Mobile Device Security & Encryption.” October 2014.
Selected Teachings & Presentations
- University of Southern California (USC), Viterbi School of Engineering, Information Technology Program, Computer and Digital Forensics – ITP125, ITP 445, and ITP 447 (2012 – Present)
- Enfuse Digital Forensics & Cyber Security Conference (2017).
- Forensic Report Writing Fundamentals
- Mac Hardware Triage & Forensic Acquisition
- U.S. Secret Service Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force Quarterly Meeting: The State of Mac Malware & Investigations (2017).
- Western Candy Conference: Cyber Threats to Manufacturing (2017).
- USC Ostrow School of Dentistry: The Health Care Cyber Threat Landscape (2017).
- Orange County (CA) Bar Association: Challenges Associated with Mobile Devices and Electronically Stored Information (2016).
- Industrial Security Awareness Council, Los Angeles: Human Threats to Technical Security (2015).
- RAND Corporation: Emerging Threats to Corporate Security (2015).
- FBI Counter Intelligence Strategic Partnership Academic Alliance Conference, Los Angeles: Lessons from the Information Security and Digital Forensic Frontlines (2015).
- U.S. Secret Service Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force Quarterly Meeting: Forensic Implications of Fusion & Hybrid Drives (2014).
Education and Certifications
- M.S., Digital Forensic Science, Champlain College
- B.A., International Relations Security Studies & Technical Security (Hons.), University of Southern California (USC)
- Cyber Security Certificate, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, Information Technology Program
- EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE)
- Cellebrite Certified Physical Analyst (CCPA)
- Cellebrite Certified Logical Operator (CCLO)
- Certified BlackLight Examiner (CBE)
Affiliations and Membership
- USC Viterbi School of Engineering, ITP Industrial Advisory Board Member
- High Technology Crime Investigation Association, Los Angeles chapter (HTCIA)
- Information Systems Security Association, Los Angeles chapter (ISSA)
- InfraGard Los Angeles
- United States Secret Service – Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF)