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NIST Releases Report on Forensic Science Concerns in Cloud Environments; Martin Herman Quoted

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a new report on forensic science challenges faced by law enforcement officers, auditors and other professionals in cloud environments, Nextgov reported Thursday.

The report enumerated 62 cloud-related forensic challenges and one of those listed challenges is associated with data custodians at cloud service providers who have limited knowledge of records and logs.

“If cloud providers were to keep better records that might be sought after as evidence and had more knowledgeable custodians, they might be on the hook for finding and processing the extra records that are found,” Martin Herman, senior adviser for forensics and information technology at NIST and an author of the report, told the publication.

“This would require that the provider use more resources, not only in personnel but also for computational activities such as correlating potential evidence," he added.

NIST also classified such challenges into nine categories: architecture, data collection, analysis, anti-forensics, incident first responders, role management, legal, standards and training.

Some of the data collection-related challenges in cloud forensics are locating forensic artifacts in distributed, large and dynamic systems and locating and gathering volatile data.

“The long-term goal of this effort is to gain a deeper understanding of those concerns (challenges) and to identify technologies and standards that can mitigate them,” the report’s abstract reads.