Domenica Crognale

Domenica "Lee" Crognale likes a challenge, and to her, finding flaws is the fun part of her job. "I actually prefer to take a look at the applications where the developer has marketed them as being totally secure," she says. "You almost say to yourself 'challenge accepted.'"

Early in her career, Domenica took a cybersecurity position focusing on mobile device security, and was hooked. Now with more than ten years of experience analyzing multiple operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux) and working in the areas of mobile device security, Domenica has seen her share of exciting challenges. "I have been able to point out some very major application flaws on some very popular applications through testing and validation," she says.

At one former position, Domenica received recognition for assisting with the Osama Bin Laden media, a highlight of her career. In another position, she provided training to military special forces, the United States Coast Guard and other government agencies, and has tested and validated various mobile forensics utilities and provided security assessments for many mobile applications. At the State Department she evaluated applications, and realized how much data really isn't protected.

Domenica currently serves as a senior mobile forensic analyst at ManTech International where she dissects the plethora of interesting data left behind by third-party mobile applications.

Domenica is a co-author of SANS FOR585: Advanced Smartphone Forensics. As a co-author, she has been able to share some of her challenges and experiences with students who are interested in the field, something that's been a very rewarding experience. "One former student shared that the she appreciated all of the work that went into the Legacy BlackBerry section of the course, and mentioned that she was able to use the information that she learned in class to assist with prosecuting a subject," says Domenica. "This section was particularly challenging to author, so this feedback made me realize that what we are doing is truly helping make examiners better in the field. I also like that every single case is different. It's still growing and there are so many opportunities to make a difference in this field."

In her teaching, Domenica ensures her students know that it's okay if they don't have all of the answers. "I also stumble through some of this data trying to make sense of all of the millions of things you can find on these devices," she says. "This field will always keep you on your toes because there is always something new. It's your motivation to do research and testing that will set you apart from other examiners."

And even with her experience and wealth of knowledge, Domenica says she still treats every mobile device application the same way as she did her first examinations. "You are never too advanced to research," she says. Also, Domenica says that regardless of having all of the best books, notes and samples, this field requires the need for constant testing. "If you aren't prepared to create test data to verify your findings, you may still be missing a piece of the puzzle."

Domenica maintains multiple certifications including the GASF, EnCE, CCE, and CISSP. She is also a IACIS CFCE mentor and coach, providing mentorship to candidates enrolled in the IACIS certification process.

When she's not investigating, teaching and mentoring, Domenica enjoys spending time with friends and family and her two adopted rescue pups, who make a few appearances in the course material! Luckily, she says, they are willing subjects.

Qualifications Summary

  • Cyber security engineer specializing in mobile devices
  • More than 10 years of experience in the field
  • Senior mobile forensic analyst at ManTech International
  • Co-author of SANS FOR585: Advanced Smartphone Forensics
  • IACIS CFCE mentor and coach


  • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
  • GASF (GIAC Advanced Smartphone Forensics Certification)
  • EnCE (EnCase Certified Examiner)
  • CCE (Certified Computer Examiner)