CEIC 2014 Student Series: Kayla Williford

Computer Enterprise Investigations Conference (CEIC) 2014 Student Series: Kayla Williford

Ever since leaving Las Vegas from CEIC 2014, I’ve been wondering how to describe my time at the conference that undoubtedly changed my life. The days that I spent at CEIC 2014 are now a memory, but what I learned, along with my experiences, will last a lifetime. So, after many drafts, I am ready to share some of my own personal highlights from CEIC 2014.

Highlight #1:   Hands on lab sessions


There are very few conferences that allow you to sit at a provided computer. The lab-sessions that I attended were, simply put, amazing. I learned so many new things, along with developing and adding onto previous knowledge. Some sessions that I found worth noting: “The Right tool for the Right Job,” “Searching Your Case,” “Hands on Smart Phone Analysis,” and “Why is Removing Malware So Difficult?” During the “Right Tool for the Right Job” session, I was able to listen to a panel of developers explain applications that can be used within EnCase. From there, the attendees got to play around with the advertised applications. I was able to demo Image Analyzer, which IDs pornographic images. During ” Searching Your Case,” I learned about how EnCase can aid in actual cases. Attendees were able to use Encase and search keywords, and I learned a few handy tricks that I didn’t know beforehand. During “Smart Phone Analysis,” we downloaded phone evidence into EnCase and were able to examine phone logs, pictures, and chats. Last but not least, in “Removing Malware,” we learned how to add malware onto the computers, just to take it off! I learned so much just from these sessions alone!

Highlight #2.    Getting Tatted! –along with other adventures!



 Who says conferences need to be strictly learning experiences? At CEIC 2014, we ended the night with socials and get-togethers. The picture above shows my favorite part of the first night: getting a free airbrush tattoo! A few of us got to play around with costumes and props in the provided photo booth too. Talk about a great souvenir! These late night gatherings helped us network and unwind from a busy day.



Highlight #3: Being at Caesar’s Palace- and Las Vegas!



Talk about a view! This picture was taken right outside of my hotel window. 28 floors up, I got to see this every morning and night, along with some of Vegas’s greatest landmarks. Caesar’s Palace hosted the conference, so  it was just a short walk to the actual conference from the elevator. The food was amazing and snacks and tea were provided daily during breaks. On top of the great food, the sessions were held in large banquet halls. We could visit the Expo Hall at any time, which was where you could network, eat, and talk with software, hardware, and other forensically affiliated companies. What a great experience, plus I grabbed a lot of freebies and demos!


Highlight #4.    Hanging Out with Champlain College Classmates and Belonging to Champlain College in General.



 At night, we changed into casual clothes, grabbed our cameras, and headed out into the city. Touring Vegas was amazing, but it was even better spending quality time with classmates from Champlain College. We all had a lot of fun going out to dinner and sightseeing. But one of the greatest aspects of this trip was being able to tell professionals that I was a student at Champlain College. The college even had a booth at the Expo Hall! I know I chose the right school for Computer & Digital forensics. I was able to tell everyone that I just finished my first year as an undergraduate at Champlain College. What first year student is able to go to Las Vegas?


Highlight #5: CEIC! CEIC! CEIC! – The leading Conference for Cybersecurity, E-Discovery, and Digital Investigation


CEIC 2014 was amazing, so obviously, it had to be one of my highlights. The sessions were educational and fun, the atmosphere was amazing, and I met some amazing people and made important connections. I would like to thank Matt McFadden, instructor and speaker at one of the sessions for engaging my interest more than ever before. I am more confident than ever before that I am going to make an impact in people’s lives from majoring in Computer & Digital Forensics. I learned many life lessons along technical knowledge that will aid me in my life as a professional.


The amazing thing was that the conference didn’t just end at Caesars Palace; in the airport, as we were waiting for our flight, my friends and I met and talked with other CEIC attendees. All of us were eager to get home, but shared our experiences from the past few days at the conference. Even on the  plane, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with a Guidance Software Sr. Marketing Programs Manager! I hope to go back to CEIC to expand on my newly acquired knowledge and connections I made in Las Vegas.




On What a great experience. The conference went above and beyond my expectations. I never thought in a million years that I would go to a conference the summer after  my first year of college. CEIC 2014 brought me experiences, memories, and fun in just a few days. I am ready to take on my career and excel in my studies. The picture above shows Kelsey Ward and I’s last plane ride. It is apparent we were tired, but we didn’t want to leave the fantastic opportunities we found at CEIC 2014.


Until next time!

Kayla Williford

Digital Forensics Major 2017

Champlain College


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