Designing Digital Forensics Challenges for Multinational Cyber Defense Exercises

Allyson Ivy Hauptman
This thesis seeks to design and evaluate a digital forensics challenge for inclusion in a multinational cyber defense exercise. The intent is to narrow down the key skills a state-based organization requires of its digital forensics experts and design and integrate technical tasks that adequately test these skills into a larger cyber defense exercise. It uses the NATO Locked Shields cyber defense exercise as a test case, for which the thesis author joined the digital forensics design team at the NATO Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence in designing and implementing a three day digital forensics challenge. This thesis establishes a series of technical and procedural skills state-based organizations require of their experts, determines ways to test these skills, and develops a scenario-based digital forensics challenge. Using first hand observations, participant feedback, and challenge scores to evaluate the effectiveness of the challenge, it finds that the scenario adequately tested a majority of the skills at the appropriate difficulty level and needs improvement in timing and reporting standards. Finally, it explores ways to improve upon the selected methods and tasks for future exercises.
Graduation Thesis language
Graduation Thesis type
Master - Cyber Security
Patrycjusz Zdzichowski; Rain Ottis; Raimundas Matulevičius
Defence year