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Digital Forensic Readiness in Smart, Circular Cities.

Damianou, A., 2022. Digital Forensic Readiness in Smart, Circular Cities. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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Cities all around the world strive to evolve in order to respond to the upcoming challenges that the increase of population brings. The integration of technological solutions addresses these challenges and facilitates citizens’ needs. The smart cities concept refers to the technological evolution of cities for improving services and quality of life by integrating innovative technological paradigms. Furthermore, sustainability plays a key role for preserving the balance within an advanced urban environment. To this end, Circular Economy, referring to the economic model where everything has value and nothing is wasted, is a promising paradigm. The coexistence of technological enablers and Circular Economy, and the adoption of a maturity model designate the technological roadmap for a city’s technological advancement. On the other hand, the increase of technology integration and the employment of novel and innovative technological paradigms come along with the in- crease of vulnerability exposure of a city. The increase in the vulnerability exposure of a city, the maturity level that a city has achieved, when combined with various dimensions, such as behavioural, cultural, and economic variables, increase the need for a well-established incident response plan that should be deployed and applied. In addition, heterogeneity of smart cities, and the lack of standardised digital forensic investigation techniques, designate the demand for a predefined digital forensic readiness framework. In this thesis, we shed light on the optimisation of a vulnerability-driven incident response process and the deployment of a digital forensic readiness framework, de- pending on the maturity level that a city has achieved. In a context of a smart city, a digital forensic readiness framework - and consequently the underlying incident response plan - is dependent upon two aspects, the maturity level that a city has achieved, as well as a consensus of the different stakeholders who will be involved in executing the incident response playbooks. We commence the research by conducting an investigation of the evolution of cities during the last decades, and the presentation of Circular Economy paradigm, as well as technological enablers that have been employed in smart cities case studies. Furthermore, we adopt, adapt, and present a maturity model, from Ideal Cities project (Ideal-Cities, 2018). Also, we investigate novel and innovative technological paradigms, such as IoT and DLT, in smart city concepts. We present a novel smart city architecture that relies on Blockchain, where IoT devices act as Blockchain nodes, employing Edge Computing for storing ledger. The proposed architecture is critically assessed by comparing it against existing and established similar architectures. In addition, we focus on Intelligent Transportation Systems, identifying potential attack vectors, categorising them into three tiers, Devices, Network, and DLT layers, and applying DREAD threat model for their evaluation. Moreover, we deploy a DLT and IoT Proof of Concept that enhance the performance of IoT devices. In addition, we conduct an empirical vulnerability-driven analysis based on existing vulnerabilities datasets. For our research to be facilitated, we extend and enrich the initial dataset with quantitative research data from independent studies. Reflecting on the results of the aforementioned analysis, we identify the necessity for the deployment of a digital forensic readiness framework, employed by local authorities, service providers, and stakeholders. Furthermore, a digital forensic readiness playbook is introduced, allowing and guiding local authorities, service providers, and stakeholders to handle pre-incident phase, for identifying, collecting, and preserving digital evidence and responding faster during the post-incident phase than usually, by starting digital forensic investigation as soon as possible, after the incident detection, obtaining available digital evidence in advance. The proposed DFRP has been created taking into consideration the principles of the digital forensic readiness requirements, based on ISO/IEC 27043:2015. The proposed approach has been evaluated by adopting a qualitative macroeconomics approach in order to assess the support of the CE paradigm by the proposed DFRP. Overall, our findings highlight the needs for the deployment of a crowdsourced- driven digital forensic readiness framework, adopted by all the members and par- ties of a smart city, always taking into consideration the maturity level that it has achieved. In this research, we introduce the processes that should be followed by data owners and custodians, before and after an incident, through the use of a play- book. In addition, we identify the importance of integrity preservation of the Chain of Custody, and collected digital evidence, keeping in mind that the integrity of digital evidence objects is essential during all the digital forensic readiness framework stages, from the identification of digital evidence sources and the acquisition, until the final presentation as artifacts at a court of law. Thus, Blockchain along with smart contracts and NFTs paradigms are proposed for illustrating their contribution to the digital forensic readiness framework, by preserving Chain of Custody integrity, providing some of fundamental build in features, such as the immutability, transparency, non-repudiation, and resilience.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:integrated thesis;
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:37285
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:27 Jul 2022 09:52
Last Modified:23 Jan 2024 09:45


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