Speaker Cape Town

Veronica Schmitt, Lead Forensic Analyst, DFIR Labs

Veronica Schmitt

Lead Forensic Analyst, DFIR Labs

Veronica Schmitt's forensic career began in 2008. She is considered a leading authority in the field of digital forensics and incident response by her peers, both in South Africa and Internationally. As a Lead Forensic Analyst within DFIRLABS, she is responsible for digital forensics and incident response-related case work on complex cases. She is also responsible for research and development for new techniques and approaches within the organisation. Prior to this she was the Regional head of the Free State Cyber Forensic Laboratory of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), South Africa's national public sector anti-corruption agency.

Veronica holds a Diploma in Criminal Justice and Forensic Investigation from the University of Johannesburg. Veronica decided to broaden her horizon and is pursuing her Master's in science at Rhodes University in Information Security with specialisation in the forensic analysis of malware. Veronica has also received training overseas in cybercrime investigation and digital forensics from the US Department of Homeland Security, the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists, and the SANS Institute.

Veronica is an active researcher and member of the infosec community and is a regular conference speaker. She also has spoken extensively internationally, including at the SANS DFIR Summit, and DEFCON. She also is a DEFCON Goon which speaks to her involvement in the community.

She has recently started started a group DC2751 which focuses around the development of the youth into Information Security and Forensics focusing on the age groups 8-12. Her particular interests include research into security vulnerabilities in medical devices forming part of the Internet of Things and how these could be exploited by malicious attackers, and what types of forensic artefacts could be identified from any attacks. She is extremely passionate about protecting people whose lives depend on these medical devices, and her passion saw her becoming a member of the security research group, I am the Cavalry, where she has been asked to head up their medical research focus area.

She is an Associate Member of the Institute of Information Technology of Professionals of South Africa, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Veronica has contributed to several publications, including the ISC2 CCFP: Certified Computer Forensic Practitioner.

Veronica Schmitt will be speaking on the following topic:

11:10
Total Wipe Out: What could happen if cyber criminals successfully attacked a country's critical infrastructure systems?

The probability and impact of cyber-attacks was rated as the top man-influenced risk facing countries and organisations in the recent 2018 World Economic Forum Global Risks Landscape report. The health, safety, security, economic well-being of citizens, effective functioning of government, and perhaps even the survival of the industrialised world, relies heavily upon interconnected critical systems. A country may experience widespread disruption or even loss of human life if these systems become inoperable. South African organisations responsible for critical infrastructure need to have a consistent and iterative risk-based approach towards identifying, assessing and managing cybersecurity risk. During this facilitated discussion, Craig will engage with key public and private sector stakeholders to discuss:

  • The current cyber risk challenges facing SA
  • Who are the main public and private institutions accountable at a national level?
  • What is the current state of our country's readiness to mitigate these threats?
    Proposed initiatives and timelines and possible opportunities for joint public/private partnerships

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