Cloud Forensics: Conclusion


Cloud computing delivers its low cost services through the use of large data centers for storage in different jurisdictions with multi-tenant hosting by virtual servers. A primary challenge identified in cloud computing for forensics purposes is observed in the manner in which the data is stored and replicated for backup purposes as the locations are unidentified to the consumer. This increases the probability of the data transcending multiple jurisdictions where varying laws concerning data access may apply. The ownership of the data is also questioned as a result of sharing resources through the application of multi-tenancy. The methods associated with traditional digital forensics do not fully address the issues that are prevalent for cloud forensics, emphasizing the need for the development of comprehensive methods for cloud forensics to serve as the framework in this area by addressing related challenges, including technical, legal and structural aspects.


Opportunities and challenges of cloud forensics were discussed in order to overcome the difficulties in the forensics investigation procedures in cloud computing, the following steps are recommended by this report:


  1. Reconstructing the guidelines for cloud forensics as well as revising regulations and laws regarding the digital forensics in cloud computing

  2. The development of Forensics as a Service in cloud computing (by cloud developers) in order to employ fast and reliable procedures for investigations.

  3. Revising the Service Level Agreement in a committee including a representative of consumers, cloud providers, digital forensics experts, and legal advisers. SLA should be provided in a way that assists digital forensic investigators while there is no breach of privacy or regulation

  4. Attempts should be made to regulate internationally the use of cloud computing services therefore; the forensic investigators have no limitation in different jurisdictions (towards harmonization). Furthermore, research must be conducted in order to develop new cloud-based forensic tools to effectively and efficiently facilitate the forensic investigations.