NWRCF Overview

Overview

We are hosting the National Workshop on Redefining Cyber Forensics (NWRCF). Cyber forensics has encountered major obstacles over the last decade and is at a crossroads. Traditional computer forensics, although still valid, does not fully map to emerging sub-areas such as memory forensics, cloud forensics, social media forensics, network forensics and mobile forensics, since data in many instances may not be acquired without some form of modification. We also see an increase in the volume, velocity and variety of data and storage necessitating the need for more efficient analysis methods while still preserving the authenticity and privacy of the collected digital evidence. Device security and encryption has also improved and now, cyber forensic scientists and practitioners have to venture into ethical hacking to again access to potential digital evidence as exhibited in the high profile Apple-FBI case. All these challenges have impacts on policy, law, the domain’s ontology, education and training, and society as a whole. In parallel, we have seen related extensive research areas emerge in social network analysis, psychology, data science, reverse engineering and privacy, to name a few, without much interaction with cyber forensics. For these reasons, and more, it is imperative to hold a national workshop, with a blue-ribbon panel, allowing for the intellectual exchange of ideas and discussions on the future of the domain.

Intellectual merit

For over a decade, most cyber forensic conferences merely disseminated papers and presentations that were published in journals and proceedings. Many of these findings, although critical, have not brought to light major challenges scientists and practitioners in the domain have faced based on ideas and experiences of thought leaders. The proposed workshop will help redefine the agenda for the future of cyber forensics, and will shed light on subsequent steps based on extensive years of experience from the blue-ribbon panelists, resulting in a progressive national report, setting the agenda for the field.

Broader impacts

The compiled national report will impact educational programs, training programs, standards organizations, funding agencies, academic institutions, and workforce development in the area of cyber forensics. The results will also set future research and practice directions for the domain, and will foster novel interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaborations.