Digital Forensics applications towards digitized collections in Cloud : a process approach to gathering evidences for authenticity, integrity and accessibility
Abstract: The growth of data/information on social media and in large organizations is huge in terms of velocity, volume and variety which is also something being tackled by the large IT companies providing Big Data solutions. The other challenges which are linked to managing the huge pile of data are about ensuring preservation and access of crucial data which has implications in every sector ranging from pharmaceuticals to aerospace and cultural institutions (museums, archives and governmental records). The challenges for data management are further complicated by the changing infrastructure landscape and the new business models to host data in virtualized cloud-based storage termed as Cloud solutions (PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS). Several large companies and public institutions are migrating their data/applications to cloud due to the apparent benefits of scalability, reliability, cost, easy of operability and security. The digitization and maintenance of e-records / digital archives in Cloud provides many potential benefits but it is also prone to several risks to ensure long-term retention of data as well as to ensure integrity, authenticity and accessibility of data. For several organizations such as memory institutions, heavy industries (Aerospace & Defence), banks and pharmaceutical companies, it is business critical to securely store data for long-term with integrity, authenticity and accessibility ensured. Hence, along with preservation of data, it is crucial to keep integrity and authenticity of data intact. The digital forensics methods and tools offer several solutions to ensure preservation of data and detect risks at pre-ingest stage of digital archiving to take appropriate measures towards ensuring authenticity, integrity and accessibility. The specific forensics methods and tools also offers possibilities to detect malicious activities or tampering in the digital archives and prepare report for presentation in the court. This thesis work is focussed on the applications of digital forensics towards ensuring the preservation of data in cloud-based storage. It discusses the applications of processes, methods and tools to improve the acquisition, management and accessibility of collections hosted on cloud-based storage (Google Drive, Sky Drive). The pilot platform (i.e. Google Drive) would be tested with forensics methods/tools to draw conclusions for the memory institutions about hosting their data on cloud storage.
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