NIST Cloud Computing Forensic Reference Architecture


This document summarizes research performed by the members of the NIST Cloud Computing Forensic Science Working Group and presents the NIST Cloud Computing Forensic Reference Architecture (CC FRA, also referred to as FRA for the sake of brevity), whose goal is to provide support for a cloud system’s forensic readiness. The CC FRA is meant to help users understand which cloud forensic challenges might exist for an organization’s cloud system. It identifies challenges that require at least partial mitigation strategies and how a forensic investigator would apply that to a particular forensic investigation. The CC FRA presented here is both a methodology and an initial implementation. Users are encouraged to customize this initial implementation for their specific situations and needs.

The Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) promotes the U.S. economy and public welfare by providing technical leadership for the Nation’s measurement and standards infrastructure. ITL develops tests, test methods, reference data, proof of concept implementations, and technical analyses to advance the development and productive use of information technology. ITL’s responsibilities include the development of management, administrative, technical, and physical standards and guidelines for the cost-effective security and privacy of other than national security-related information in federal information systems. The Special Publication 800-series reports on ITL’s research, guidelines, and outreach efforts in information system security, and its collaborative activities with industry, government, and academic organizations.


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