Calm Before the Storm: The Challenges of Cloud Computing in Digital Forensics
Cloud computing is a rapidly evolving Information Technology (IT) phenomenon. Rather than procure, deploy and manage a physical IT infrastructure to host their software applications, organizations are increasingly deploying their infrastructure into remote, virtualized environments, often hosted and managed by third parties. This development has significant implications for digital forensic investigators, equipment vendors, law enforcement, as well as corporate compliance and audit departments (among others). Much of digital forensic practice assumes careful control and management of IT assets (particularly data storage) during the conduct of an investigation. This paper summarizes the key aspects of cloud computing and analyses how established digital forensic procedures will be invalidated in this new environment. Several new research challenges addressing this changing context are also identified and discussed.