IISFA Is Irrelevant

For the past several months, I've been receiving notices from "Marcus Lawson - ISFA" of the International Information Systems Forensics Association. IISFA is the organization that awards the Certified Information Forensics Investigator™ (CIFI) Certification. I initially thought this would be a good certification for the reasons outlined in that post and previous posts linked within it.

The emails from IISFA have said the following.

Subject: Your International Information Systems Forensics Association membership is past due for renewal.

Dear Richard,

I have good news and bad news:

Bad news: your membership has, or is about to expire to the Information Systems Forensics Association. This means you will no longer be a part of the "Global Voice of Information Forensics;" you will not longer receive "The Information Forensics Journal;" and you will no longer be able to participate in ISFA events; internationally or locally.

Good news: You can renew your membership and continue to be a part of the excitement of investigative and scientific discovery for another year.

We hope you will continue to enjoy the benefits of ISFA for another year.


Michelle Bourque, CISSP International Director of Membership International Information Systems Forensics Association

Your International Information Systems Forensics Association membership expired on 01/20/2006. Please take advantage of our limited time grace period offer and renew by 2/19/2006 to continue receiving all the benefits we have to offer.

Member Name: Richard Bejtlich,
Current Membership Type: Member
Membership Start Date: 01/06/2005
Membership Expiration Date: 01/20/2006

I've tried sending this response to multiple email addresses. No one has responded.

I've received mutliple renewal notices regarding my IISFA membership. They say:

Bad news: your membership has, or is about to expire to the Information Systems Forensics Association [sic].

Isn't it IISFA, the International Information Systems Forensics Association?

The email then says:

you will not [sic] longer receive "The Information Forensics Journal;"

Has there been any new issue of IFJ since the July/August 2004 issue?

The email continues:

you will no longer be able to participate in ISFA [sic] events; internationally or locally.

Have there been any IISFA events? I was scheduled to speak at the 22 Sep 04 meeting in Georgia, but I haven't heard anything about IISFA meetings since that event was cancelled (due to tragedy).

The most recent news item at iisfa.org dates from April 2005.

Overall, I do not get the impression that IISFA is offering much of value to me. Why should I renew membership?

Why should I renew, indeed? Has anyone gotten anything of value from IISFA, period? I plan to let membership lapse and my CIFI standing disappear.


Anonymous said…
There's been some comm traffic on this very subject over at Forensic Focus (http://www.forensicfocus.com/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=617). A fellow named Matthew Smith is outlining changes he and others plan to make to IISFA; other comments point out that since IISFA apparently "grandfathered in" CIFIs when it first started the cert, improving its current standing will be difficult.
Speaking of organizations, I've had trouble contacting my local HTCIA chapter, and their website updates are spartan to say the least. Has anyone had better luck?

- Pete Hewitt
(for what that's worth. :)
js said…

I, too, am a member of IISFA with similar sentiments. I joined the Washington, D.C. chapter with hopes of networking with other digital forensics professionals. That chapter never got off the ground. I'm not sure if other chapters are equally dormant. It appears that T3i put IISFA in the back seat after James Moore's very unfortunate passing. This is understandable, but there has been no member communication regarding this issue. Moreover, the future of IISFA is tenuous at best. I will let my membership expire unless something changes very soon.

I never considered earning the CIFI certification, which will lose even more value with the weakening of the IISFA.
Michele said…
I am the ex-wife of James Moore. I was married to him for many years and the mother of his 3 children. More than anyone I knew the vision he had for the Information Forensics community - it was uncanny and passionate. I am currently AVP of Operations at a Mtg company but was fortunate enough at one time to join him as one of the founding board members of his first charter in Atlanta (ISSA). We took that from 11 members to over 200 in the first year; he saw a need in the industry for networking, training/certs, etc. and resolved to provide for it. Same goes for IISFA - or whatever it ended up being called. Someone pick up the torch? If you need help or assistance, I'll do what I can in his honor: Michele Moore 404-213-5588. Thanks. (Posted 8/4/06)
Anonymous said…
I attended an IISFA sponsored IT Forensics conference yesterday, 16/02/2007, next to Lake Como in Italy. The conference was well attended and there were distinguished speakers. I understand that an Italian chapter of IISFA is being formed, and that it will be possible to take the certification exam here. (I live in Italy.) Seeing that the comments, I've read on this blog, are not 100% positive about the association and the validity of the certification. Could someone please advise whether the association is up and running and who recognises the certification.
Thanks in advance

Roger D. Warwick, CPP ISO/IEC 27001 Lead Auditor.

Sherman said…
Not sure if anyone is following this blog space or not, but I was thinking about my old pal James Moore and decided to google him to see if anyone is still speaking about the guy that I called an Infosec Evangelist. I was on his team at edeltacom. Those were some crazy times. I sure miss him.

Sherman Webers, CISSP
Enterprise Security Architect
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Ave. NW | Washington, DC 20535
M - 202.255.9367 | O - 202.324.3960
U - Sherman.webers@ic.fbi.gov

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