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Dr Saad Alqahtany

Research Student

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A Forensically-Enabled Cloud Computing Architecture

Over the next few years, cloud computing will arguably reshape information technology processes and the IT marketplace. Indeed, revenue estimates for cloud services suggest the market will be worth $152.1 billion by 2014. A recent case study established that organisations could benefit from saving 37% of their costs by migrating its data from a data centre to a cloud provider. Consequently, about 40% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are expected to migrate their data into the cloud. Gartner has also reported that cloud computing will have a 100% penetration of the Forbes list of global 2000 companies. Despite the many benefits cloud computing introduces for the organisation it will also present opportunities for criminal exploitation. Indeed, the issue of security is listed as the top concern for cloud adoption. Unfortunately, the distributed nature and configuration of cloud computing infrastructure introduces a range of problems for digital investigators. Whilst the question of whether cloud computing systems have the ability to support and perform digital investigations in a forensically sound manner has been stated previously, a significant lack of research exists that successfully answers it. Furthermore, on-going and proactive investigations are becoming mandatory components for enterprises, and solutions that provide cloud forensics must be sought.

The MPhil phase will focus upon establishing a current state of the art understanding of cloud computing architectures and digital forensics with a view to identifying and assessing the necessary attributes required to enable forensic procedures in a cloud environment. This phase will focus explicitly on the new challenges that cloud computing brings to digital investigation processes and seek to evaluate the extent to which current forensic techniques can be applied. To this end, this package of work will seek to create and develop a cloud-computing platform from which subsequent analysis and evaluation activities can be undertaken. Having a better understanding of the key issues of cloud forensics including the critical criteria for cloud forensic capabilities will help to establish the requirements for a novel model that ensures a full forensic capability within cloud environments.

Dr Saad Alqahtany

Director of studies: Prof. Nathan L Clarke
Other supervisors: Prof. Steven M Furnell

Journal papers

A forensic acquisition and analysis system for IaaS
Alqahtany S, Clarke NL, Furnell SM, Reich C
Cluster Computing, pp1-15, 2015
More details | External link available

1 Journal papers

Conference papers

A Forensic Acquisition Based upon A Cluster Analysis of Non-Volatile Memory in IaaS
Alqahtany S, Clarke NL, Furnell SM, Reich C
Anti-Cyber Crimes (ICACC), 2nd International Conference on, pp 123-128, 2017
More details | External link available

A Forensic Acquisition and Analysis System for IaaS: Architectural Model and Experiment
Alqahtany S, Clarke NL, Furnell SM, Reich C
11th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, 31 August -2 September, 2016
More details | External link available

Cloud Forensics: A Review of Challenges, Solutions and Open Problems
Alqahtany S, Clarke NL, Furnell SM, Reich C
Proceedings of the IEEE 2015 International Conference on Cloud Computing (ICCC15), pp 88-96, ISBN 15: 978-1-4673-6618-2, 2015
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A Forensically-Enabled IAAS Cloud Computing Architecture
Alqahtany S, Clarke NL, Furnell SM, Reich C
Proceedings of the 12th Australian Digital Forensics Conference, pp75-83, ISBN: 978-0-7298-0719-7, 2014
More details | External link available

Cloud Forensics Challenges
Alqahtany S, Clarke NL, Furnell SM
Proceedings of the 7th SSC Saudi Students Conference - UK, pp86-93, ISBN: 9780956904522, 2014
More details | External link available

5 Conference papers


A Review of Cloud Forensics issues, solutions & open problems
Alqahtany S, Clarke NL, Furnell SM
Proceedings of The 8th Saudi Students Conference, January 31 - February 1, 2015
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1 Posters

7 publication(s) - all categories.