4th Annual Human Cyber Forensics Conference: Exploring the Human Element for Cloud Forensics
InfoSec Conference Summary
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Cloud infrastructures are pervasive, morphing game-changers that will greatly impact the digital forensic world of data discovery and evidence collection. The sheer number of endpoints and resources to which the cloud connects is expected to be extremely problematic, as well as, revolutionary in such areas as – adaptive social engineering, scalability, ownership of data, privacy laws, risk management frameworks, strategic competitive intelligence and forensics. Consequently, innovative cloud technologies will be needed requiring reexamination of current laws, policies, security control standards and protocols for tracking, continuous monitoring, and mitigation of human threats. With cloud networks, the nefarious actor has more viable and palatable options from which to operationalize threats and crimes. Consequently, investigations can become challenging in constructing a relevant physical picture of the virtual crime or threat. By aligning analog (human indicators) and digital forensics, we may better evaluate the evidence of the situation. This is plausible for even in the virtual realm humans behave in decipherable patterns from which distinguishing human characteristics or cognitive fingerprints can be lifted. The addition of analog forensics permits extraction of different sets of evidence collections making such concerns as data ownership and privacy more subtle with different spins on the legalities of ‘intrusive and privacy.’ With human cyber forensics, we unravel human-interactive threads by decoding the persona and deciphering the thought patterns of questionable actors. This can be seen in social engineering assaults that revolve around a ‘trust’ or ‘concern’ ploy whereby the mark decides to click on a link or open a document they feel is truly meant for them. This ploy is highly successful when the mark’s primary preference for making decisions may be through feelings first. So a ploy causing the mark to switch to their emotions will be quite effective if delivered with the proper linguistic composition. In other words, how the mark sorts, orders, and sequences their internal thoughts for decisions are based on how they feel about the information they are seeing or hearing. Because this offensive ploy is aimed at the human decision-making strategy, the system is vulnerable at any point where the human and system intersects within the cyber or cloud network. And, it is at these intersections (and other critical nodes) that we seek to discover the analog forensics that align with the digital. The end result is applicable to human-system/network behavior and insider threat, critical infrastructures, cyber security and risk management framework, human trafficking, and financial behavioral trends, specialized profiles, and so forth. The conference will explore emerging human cyber/cloud forensic methods, attitudes, applications, and technologies. We will discuss the impact on current applications, methods, policies, security control standards, and legalities. The presenters in this conference will provide a base from which to actively engage the audience in pragmatic discussions, laying a foundation for path forward.