Digital Forensics Practices: A Road Map for Building Digital Forensics Capability




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De Montfort University


Thesis or dissertation

Peer reviewed


Identifying the needs for building and managing Digital Forensics Capability (DFC) are important because these can help organisations to stay abreast of criminal’s activities and challenging pace of technological advancement. The field of Digital Forensics (DF) is witnessing rapid development in investigation procedures, tools used, and the types of digital evidence. However, several research publications confirm that a unified standard for building and managing DF capability does not exit. Therefore, this thesis identifies, documents, and analyses existing DF frameworks and the attitudes of organisations for establishing the DF team, staffing and training, acquiring and employing effective tools in practice and establishing effective procedures.

First, this thesis looks into the existing practices in the DF community for carrying out digital investigations and more importantly the precise steps taken for setting up the laboratories. Second, the thesis focuses on research data collected from organisations in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates and based on this collection a framework has been developed to understand better the building and managing the capabilities of the DFOs (DFOs). This framework has been developed by applying Grounded Theory as a systematic and comprehensive qualitative methodology in the emerging field of DF research. This thesis, furthermore, provides a systematic guideline to describe the procedures and techniques of using grounded theory in DF research by applying three Grounded Theory coding methods (open, axial, and selective coding) which have been used in this thesis. Also the techniques presented in this thesis provide a thorough critique, making it a valuable contribution to the discussion of methods of analysis in the field of DF.

Finally, the thesis proposes a framework in the form of an equation for analysing the capability of DFOs. The proposed framework, called the Digital Forensics Organisation Core Capability Framework, offers an explanation of the factors involved in establishing the capability for a digital forensics organisation. Also software was developed for applying the framework in real life





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