Over the years, technological advancements have revolutionized the modern community by exposing individuals to an environment where they can discover their desired objectives. After the inception of the internet in 1983, people were not aware that information could be stored online. During this time, computers had small memories that hindered individuals’ ability to store huge chunks of data. However, with time, cloud storage became a reality that allowed individuals to complement their storage options while guaranteeing the stored information’s security. In this regard, cloud storage is a process that will enable internet users to store data across a wide range of servers through a hosting corporation. This paper will define cloud storage, discuss the ethical practices in the practice of digital forensics, and explore the importance of protecting stored information.
Corporations and other internet users can store information online across different servers hosted by one or more organizations. Today, every individual uses cloud storage through their different gadgets linked with Dropbox, Microsoft Office 365, or Google Drive. Webmail clients such as Gmail and Hotmail rely on cloud storage providers to provide a useful service to internet users. From this observation, many individuals may express their concerns over the safety of information stored in cloud storage and how the technology works to yield desired results.
How it Works
Before the introduction of cloud storage, organizations stored their data in external storage devices such as hard-disks. Presently, cloud storage positions itself as a convenient off-site storage plan that enables corporations to store their information online (Li, Wu, & Chen, 2018). Depending on the needs of an organization, the choice of a cloud storage plan will be determined by the quantity of information. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can host their data on a single data server, while multinational enterprises might require server farms to store their desired information.
Fig 1.0 A graphical representation of cloud storage. Source: Mindsight
Challenges of Cloud Storage
Security risks posed by cloud storage discourage many organizations from embracing technology because of its impact on operational performance. In this regard, cybercriminals can access cloud storage facilities and retrieve specific information, which they can use to blackmail corporations (Yu & Wang, 2017). In the same vein, the cost of storing information on the cloud presents a problem to small organizations because of its impact on their operational costs.
Company managers should adopt best practices such as research before adopting cloud storage plans in the workplace. Importantly, reviewing the chain of command allows organizations to involve stakeholders before implementing cloud computing in its operations. Lastly, integrating cloud solutions hosted by different entities will enable organizations to identify any malfunctions that expose them to risks.
Individuals should embrace computer security because of their ability to protect data in their devices. On many occasions, people install security measures to discourage physical intrusion and remote access through malware. Notably, computer security enhances a laptop or other devices’ performance by safeguarding it from viruses and other malware. Programs in a secure computer run smoothly and guarantee effectiveness to the user because of its ability to protect the system (Zhang, 2018). Critical infrastructure security is one of the standard techniques used by organizations and individuals to secure their computers. However, organizations can install additional measures such as application security, network security, and cloud security to protect information stored across the multiple storage options.
Depending on the selected information’s size, individuals can encrypt their data and back it on different storage platforms to retrieve one device or more collapse. Unlike in the past, recent technological advancements allow organizations and other internet users to store their information online and access it on demand. Notably, the cloud offers a secure back-up option, which makes the solution more convenient than other storage options such as hard-disks. Likewise, enterprises should install anti-malware protection to limit external access from cybercriminals and other interested parties (Kumar, Raj, & Jelciana, 2018). Besides, making hard drives unreadable ensures that only the right people can access the stored information. Many software manufacturers recommend individuals to update their operating systems often to adapt to the changing environment. For this reason, enterprises should evaluate the best options that can be used to protect their data and embrace the possibilities to gain an edge over cybercriminals.
Ethical Practices in Digital Forensics
Digital forensics involves identifying, recovering, and analyzing data retrieved from electronic devices before being presented as evidence in court. When presented in a court of law, digital proof enables the prosecution to connect suspects with the data collected from the electronic devices (Losavio, Seigfried-Spellar, & Sloan, 2016). For instance, if a woman is suspected of killing her husband, the police will retrieve her personal computer and mobile phones and scan through her history to identify any searches related to the purchase of murder weapons or poison. From this realization, the testimony provided by a digital forensic professional determines the outcome of a court decision. Thus, embracing the ethical practice in digital forensics eliminates instances where suspects are issued with wrongful convictions.
Obtaining Samples from a Crime Scene
Digital Forensic practitioners should embrace the traditional ways of retrieving information from a crime scene to avoid any miscalculation that can interfere with data quality. The collected samples enable the professionals to make informed decisions that connect the suspects with the crime committed.
Preservation of Digital Evidence
After collecting digital evidence from a crime scene, any changes incurred during the transportation and its storage may change the investigation’s outcome. In this regard, digital forensic practitioners should understand the impact of altering the content of digital evidence by preserving the collected data according to the recommended options. Demonstrating this understanding during the collection and processing of digital evidence is an ethical practice adopted by practitioners in the corporate world.
Unlike other professions such as medicine and law, digital forensics lacks a code of practice that guides individuals when executing different mandates in the workplace. Without a code, digital forensic practitioners can fault ethical practices and get away with their actions, an outcome that lowers the standard of practice in the world today.
Technological advancements today influence individuals’ thought processes and define the approaches that organizations can use to solve emerging problems. On many occasions, storage poses a question to enterprises because of their inability to guarantee results and overcome issues that hinder performance in the workplace. Likewise, data security is essential because of its ability to safeguard devices from viruses and other malware. In this case, digital forensic practitioners should demonstrate their understanding of ethical practice when helping the court to solve different issues today.