An Ontological Framework for a Cloud Forensic Environment
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Cloud computing is an emerging field and is considered to be one of the most transformative technologies in the history of computing. This is so because it is radically changing the way how information technology services are created, delivered, accessed and managed. Cloud forensics, on the other hand, is utilising network forensics – a subset of digital forensic techniques – in a cloud environment. However, with the continued evolution from internet- based applications to cloud computing, the environments and components surrounding cloud forensics can easily become incomprehensible. In this paper, therefore, we present an ontological framework meant to provide a structure and depiction of the different cloud environments and components an investigator should be acquainted with, in the case of a cloud investigation process. In addition, we show the relationships and interactions between the different environments by capturing their content and boundaries. Furthermore, the purpose of this paper is meant to provide a common ontological framework for sharing coherent cloud computing concepts and also promote the understanding of the cloud environments and cloud components. Finally, the ontological framework presents an approach towards structuring and organizing the environments and components surrounding the cloud and constitutes the main contribution of this paper.
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