A Federated Distributed Digital Forensic Readiness Model for the Cloud


  • Renico Koen University of Pretoria
  • Hein Venter University of Pretoria




Digital forensic readiness, Digital forensics, Cloud computing, Information silos


Digital forensics in modern, cloud-based, microservice-based applications are complicated by multiple layers of abstraction, thereby making it difficult to accurately capture and correlate events that occur across these layers due to filtering caused by abstraction. The complexities linked to each layer of abstraction are primarily invisible to subsequent layers. Similarly, software services are often composed of one or more services provided by various service providers across the globe. Investigators are often faced with situations where breaches span over multiple service provider boundaries where not all digital forensic readiness evidence artefacts are captured by the service provider's forensic readiness processes. Instead, digital evidence artefacts are scattered across multiple service provider domains. This paper presents a novel, federated distributed digital forensic readiness model suitable for use in software-as-service, platform-as-service and infrastructure-as-service provider scenarios. The proposed model enables a service provider to capture and inspect forensic readiness artefacts in environments with various layers of abstraction. More importantly, the model also offers a way to share and access forensic readiness artefacts in a forensically sound manner to ultimately ensure that investigators can obtain a clear view of digital forensic events as they occur between amalgamated services provided by one or more separate service providers.