AccessData Conducts Digital Forensics Lab During Cybersecurity Camp for Girls

AccessData Group, a leading provider of integrated digital forensics and e-discovery software, hosted a hands-on lab to educate girls about techniques in digital forensics during the 2019 GenCyber “Girls in CybHER Security” camp at Dakota State University (DSU).

The fifth annual camp, which is the largest residential girls cyber camp in the U.S. sponsored by the National Security Agency, took place from June 23-27, 2019, on the DSU campus in Madison, S.D. The camp was attended by 115 girls, from 14 different states, who are in the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grades.“This year’s camp explored topics such as coding, digital forensics, cryptography and cybersecurity,” said Ashley Podhradsky, D.Sc., Associate Dean of The Beacom College of Computer & Cyber Sciences, and Associate Professor of Information Assurance & Forensics at DSU. “Each morning, the girls were treated to guest presentations by experts from both the private and public sectors. The afternoon sessions featured hands-on workshops centered around our core cybersecurity concepts for the week. Guests included the Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem, representatives from the U.S. State Department, Paraben Corporation, Citibank, SBS CyberSecurity and AccessData.”

One of the workshops was led by AccessData’s Justin Tolman, a digital forensics expert, who illustrated for the girls how easy it is to recover digital images they thought were deleted from their phones or social media accounts. Tolman’s message for the girls was to be extremely cautious about what images they share and with whom they are shared. AccessData’s session also educated the girls about the fast-growing field of digital forensics and the tremendous career paths that are emerging for women in the industry.

During the week, campers learned how easy it is to crack passwords, so they discussed how to make stronger passwords. One attendee said, “Hacking is pretty cool, but after I learned how to recover digital pictures and files, forensics is way better.” Another camper commented that “the camp taught me how deep the field of cybersecurity is. I learned I love solving challenges, and that is what digital forensics is.”

“We were thrilled to have AccessData as a partner once again this year, as they bring substantial value to our camp as leaders in the field of digital forensics,” said Dr. Podhradsky. “Justin’s lab taught the girls so much about the way digital technology works, which will hopefully make them more aware of their own personal behavior. His session also educated them about the exciting career opportunities in the cybersecurity and digital forensics industries.”

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GenCyber is an educational program created by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) that consists of camps in several locations across the U.S. The program’s goal is to increase interest in cybersecurity careers and diversity in the cybersecurity workforce, to help students understand correct and safe online behavior, and to improve teaching methods for delivering cybersecurity content for K-12 programs. Through grants from the NSA and NSF, along with other sponsors, the camps are free for participants.

DSU has a broad national reputation for providing a dynamic, technology-rich learning and research environment for its students, and for others through outreach programs such as the GenCyber camps. This year’s Girls in CybHER Security Camp at DSU was sponsored by the NSA and the NSF; additional sponsorship was provided by Citibank, the U.S. State Department, AT&T and SBS CyberSecurity.

For more information about Dakota State University’s cyber programs, visit and CybHER’s site at

About AccessData®

Whether it’s for investigation, litigation or compliance, AccessData® offers industry-leading solutions that put the power of forensics in your hands. For more than 30 years, AccessData has worked with more than 130,000 customers in law enforcement, government agencies, corporations and law firms around the world, providing both stand-alone and enterprise-class solutions that can synergistically work together. The company is backed by Sorenson Capital, a leading private equity firm focused on high-growth portfolios. For more information on AccessData, please go to

About Dakota State University

Dakota State University (DSU) is located in Madison, S.D. Founded in 1881, DSU offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs through its colleges of arts and sciences, business and information systems, computer and cyber sciences, and education. DSU has a special focus on the development, application, implications, and impacts of computing, information technologies and cyber security in all areas of human endeavor. DSU has received multiple Center of Excellence designations in education, research and regional resource development from the U.S. National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. DSU is home to the Madison Cyber Labs (MadLabs), a cyber R&D hub with labs and institutes that explore and advance technology application, workforce development, business expansion, economic growth, and policy improvement across multiple disciplines and fields. For more information, contact, 605-270-3816, or visit the DSU website at

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