Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Protecting Digital Evidence during Natural Disasters: Why It Is Important
by Dodrill, Charles A., M.S., Utica College, 2018, 66; 10788395
Abstract (Summary)

The safeguarding of digital evidence, valuable corporate proprietary intellectual property and related original objects on which it resides, such as cell phones, tablets, external drives and laptops, becomes a more complex challenge when a natural disaster is imminent. Natural devastation disrupts the investigative and legal process, often destroying the evidentiary elements required to serve justice. Traditional methods such as backups to external drives, and copies as well as cloud storage options, are inadequate to serve the requirements of evidence-gathering and chain of custody documentation required by the courts to prove original evidence. Courts point to the original data-containing object as proof of digital evidence validity and admissibility. Current research provides general guidelines for safeguarding digital evidence, but lacks specific detail for its successful safeguarding or evacuation during a natural disaster. Recent natural disasters have completely destroyed law enforcement or court facilities leaving them open to the elements and water damage. In some cases, digital evidence has been destroyed and cases dismissed due to lack of evidence, post-natural disaster. For these reasons, geographical relocation of digital evidence makes sense and is the best way to truly protect digital evidence and continue analysis of data that will successfully serve justice and put criminals away. Borrowing from the U.S. Military, the mobile digital evidence room can be implemented into the law enforcement private digital forensic laboratory and commercial or business sectors, to ensure that digital evidence remains intact.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Maher, Stephen
Commitee: Jones, Angel J.
School: Utica College
Department: Cybersecurity
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Information Technology, Computer science
Keywords: Cybersecurity, Digital evidence, Evacuation, Natural disaster, Safeguards
Publication Number: 10788395
ISBN: 9780355872194
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