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CHIPS Articles: Naval Lab Earns Prestigious Cyber Forensics Accreditation

Naval Lab Earns Prestigious Cyber Forensics Accreditation
By Susan Piedfort, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic Public Affairs - October-December 2015
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic’s Cyber Forensics Criminal Investigations (CFIX) Laboratory has become the first in the Navy to earn the prestigious ASCLD/LAB-International accreditation from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).

A federal laboratory that provides services and assistance to the Navy and other U.S. federal government agencies worldwide, SSC Atlantic’s CFIX Laboratory is accredited for forensic science testing in the discipline of digital and multimedia evidence.

“ASCLD/LAB is the most recognized accrediting body for forensics crime laboratories in the world,” said Robin Corkill, supervisory IT specialist in Cyber Forensics, Code 58520, and director of SSC Atlantic’s CFIX Laboratory.

“As the only Navy testing laboratory accredited in the area of digital forensics, we are positioned to benefit SSC Atlantic and the Navy in a number of ways,” he added. According to ASCLD/LAB’s assessment, the lab’s processes and procedures, as well as resources, have been set apart as being forensically sound and are in accordance with the ISO 17025:2005 standards and ASCLD/LAB guiding principles.

“This is an achievement that requires the establishment and sustainment of very high standards,” Corkill said. “Navy (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) and other federal law enforcement agencies rely on the ASCLD/LAB backing of a laboratory because it assures them that the lab’s processes, procedures and strict requirements to preserve the integrity of evidence will stand up in a court of law,” Corkill said.

“Having this backing from ASCLD/LAB, along with the laboratory’s reputation for excellence, positions SSC Atlantic’s CFIX lab to perform investigations in support of the Navy and other federal law enforcement organizations,” he added.

Led by Corkill, a team consisting of Quality Assurance Manager Mark Gramajo, Lab Manager and Senior Investigator Gordon Martin, Investigator Michael Maurer, Training Coordinator Warren Crusenberry and Safety Officer Ronald Graham, took on the task of earning ASCLD/LAB accreditation for SSC Atlantic’s lab.

To earn accreditation the lab team had to demonstrate that its technical processes and procedures and quality management system meet ISO/IEC 17025:2005 requirements and applicable ASCLD/LAB-International supplemental requirements, and that the Laboratory is operating according to those requirements. The process of accreditation entails submitting an application and undergoing a program compliance review by the assessors, of over 400 items, an extensive onsite assessment, and final package approval by the Laboratory Accreditation Board.

SSC Atlantic’s accreditation is in the field of forensic science testing, in the discipline of digital and multimedia evidence and the category of computer forensics. The accreditation was more than two years in the making and was granted Aug. 17, 2015. It expires in four years.

As of Sept. 3, 2015 only 400 crime laboratories have been accredited by ASCLD/LAB since 1982, including 191 state laboratories, 133 local agency laboratories, 32 federal laboratories, 18 international and 26 private.

SSC Atlantic serves naval, joint and national warfighters' unified efforts to best cope with the dangers of the 21st century and beyond by enabling them to respond to any situation, anywhere, at any time. SSC Atlantic designs, acquires, engineers and sustains the systems, sensor connections, cyber network infrastructures and knowledge management services to ensure reliable information is available to only those who need it, where and when it is needed. For more information go to: http://www.public.navy.mil/spawar/Atlantic/Pages/Home.aspx/.

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