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Project 2: Visual Analysis

Project 2: Visual Analysis

Project 2: Visual Analysis

Transcript
Visual Analysis
Your supervisor has called you in to meet with her about the increasing volume of data your office is required to process every day.
[Supervisor]: Great news! The Chief supports our plans to purchase the visual analysis software you were talking about! I convinced him that it will make us so much more productive. We’ll be able to get results to agents in weeks, rather than months.
The Chief needs your white paper defending the purchase before the end of next week. Be sure to explain the difficulties involved in processing large volumes of data and how new visual analysis techniques and applications can help.
Make sure you include information on specific techniques, plus information on the different applications. Be thorough—I’ll probably use your paper at some point to brief the rest of the team!
Now, what have I forgotten? Oh, right, you’ll also need to include a section on software and platforms on the market today. See if you can spend some time piloting one of the tools in your report. Prepare your implementation recommendations, including a cost-benefit analysis. The selection process will flow more smoothly if we can summarize the science and implementation requirements associated with the different applications.
Thanks again for going above and beyond the call of duty for us! I look forward to receiving your report.

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Digital forensic investigations often involve large amounts of data. A modern hard drive can store 1 terabyte (TB) or more of data. USB sticks are in the multiple gigabyte (GB) range, and network traffic represents more data than can be captured and stored, much less analyzed.
The sheer volume of data can present challenges for an investigator, resulting in incomplete analysis and incorrect conclusions. A greater investment of time is not necessarily the answer. An investigator needs new tools and techniques that can quickly and reliably identify data points and information that require further analysis. Visual analysis meets those needs.
In the scenario, your supervisor agrees with your concerns about your team’s ability to analyze large volumes of data. She has obtained funds for visual analytics technology, but she needs a written rationale and recommendations to present to her boss. The right decisions will increase the productivity of every member of your team, so you are anxious to get started.
The goal of this project is to present different types of visual analysis, cases where it is has been used, and options for implementation. The project consists of six steps, culminating in the submission of a white paper advocating for the purchase of visual analysis tools for a department that is overwhelmed with the demands of analyzing large data sets.
The white paper will consist of the following sections:
1. description of the problems presented by large volumes of data in forensic investigations
2. discussion of how visual analytics can help in the analysis of large volumes of data
3. explanation of the different applications of visual analysis
4. evaluation of visual analytics software and platforms that summarizes and illustrates key software features
5. implementation recommendations, including a cost-benefit analysis

Your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below.
• 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.
• 2.1: Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration.
• 2.2: Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
• 3.2: Employ mathematical or statistical operations and data analysis techniques to arrive at a correct or optimal solution.
• 6.2: Demonstrate ability to investigate mobile technology.
• 6.8: Utilize visual analysis to assess files for possible evidence.
• 7.1: Conduct forensic analysis on a database system.
• 7.5: Evaluate encryption.
• 7.7: Incorporate Geographic Information Systems into plans for conducting Digital Forensics on a network.

Step 1: Explore Processing and Analysis Challenges
You are ready to begin writing the paper. Your supervisor has recommended that you begin by explaining the problems that can arise when digital forensics investigators and analysts are tasked with processing and analyzing a large volume of forensic data.
Data can include logs and other sources with time (temporal) and spatial (geospatial) components. Tasks can include event correlation and pattern analysis. An analysis that misses relevant data points or connections within the data can be a significant problem. Difficulty representing specific data types (e.g., temporal, geospatial) in their native formats is another example of a potential problem. The first section of the white paper needs to articulate these challenges in a way that nonexperts will understand.
Develop a two- to three-page discussion of processing and analysis challenges using in-class and outside resources. Peer-reviewed research and NIST resources should be cited to support your arguments and APA format should be used. Review the paper carefully for accuracy and completeness. It will serve as the introduction to the white paper to be submitted in the last step.
Step 2: Research Visual Analysis Techniques
In the previous step, you explored problems related to the processing and analysis of large volumes of data. In this step, you will research and discuss techniques associated with efficient and effective visual analysis. Examples include filtering, timeline analysis, and link analysis, as well as using various statistical techniques.
In a two- to three-page paper, describe these analysis techniques and make a general case for how they can help with processing large amounts of data. Again, explain the techniques and their use so that a nonexpert can understand. Be sure to cite peer-reviewed research studies (in-class resources and others) and use APA format. Review the paper carefully for accuracy and completeness. It will serve as the second section of the white paper to be submitted in Step 6.
You are now ready to move on to the next section of the paper—applications of visual analysis techniques.
Step 3: Describe Applications of Visual Analysis Techniques
Now that you’ve described the visual analysis techniques themselves, you are ready to explain how they can be applied to the processing and analysis of specific types of digital forensic data such as phone records, financial transactions, and GPS data. Your supervisor in this scenario also wants you to include descriptions of real cases where specific visual analysis techniques have been used to support investigations.
You are confident that you’ll be able to obtain these real case examples from open-source searches. This is where you can explain how these visual analysis techniques have been used to support actual investigations.
In a two- to three-page paper, explain the application of the techniques and provide examples of their use in actual case investigations so that a nonexpert can understand. Proper research (including in-class resources and others) is an important aspect of this assignment, and APA format should be used. Review the paper carefully for accuracy and completeness. It will serve as the third section of the white paper to be submitted in the last step.
Once you have developed the applications of visual analysis techniques section, you are ready to move on to the fourth section of the paper—evaluating visual analysis tools.
Step 4: Evaluate Visual Analysis Tools
In the prior step, you investigated the application of visual analysis techniques. In this step, you will access the virtual lab to pilot a visual analysis tool, Maltego, and use open sources to research visual analysis software and hardware. You also examine the tools in use at other organizations.
Based on that information, you will summarize the available options for the department and describe the pros and cons of each tool. Remember to include characteristics such as cost (consider all costs, such as training), ease of use, effective visualization of complex data, maintenance, scalability, as well as other factors that you find relevant. Should training be part of this?
It is important for you to take screenshots of your work to use as figure image examples of the visual analysis process. Unlike the other labs in this course, you do not need to follow the Guidelines for Digital Forensics Examiner Reports. You will be writing a formal paper rather than a typical examiner’s report.

Use APA format to summarize your findings in a two- to three-page paper, written so that a nonexpert can understand. Review the paper carefully for accuracy and completeness. It will serve as the fourth section of the white paper to be submitted in the final step.
Once you have developed the tool evaluation section of the paper, you are ready to move on to the next step in the project—implementation recommendations.
Step 5: Develop Implementation Analysis and Recommendations
During your research, you have learned a lot about visual analysis tools, but this scenario asks you to close the deal with your supervisor’s boss. In other words, based on what you know now, which visual analysis tool(s) will best meet the needs of your department?
To answer this question, you need to do a cost-benefit analysis that compares the costs of purchasing and implementing the tool(s) with benefits for your department and employer. Examples of benefits could include time and money savings, work quality, staff morale, and professional recognition. Base your general projections on the project scenario and related research (in-class readings, outside resources). Conclude this section of the paper with recommendations for the use of visual analysis tools in this scenario.
The presentation of the analysis and recommendations should be two to three pages. Use APA format and write so that a nonexpert can understand the recommendations. Review the paper carefully for accuracy and completeness. It will serve as the fifth and final section of the white paper to be submitted in the final step.
Step 6: Submit the Final Paper
You hope that you have made a solid case for purchasing the visual analysis tools that the department needs. You are anxious to share the results of your research with your supervisor so she can pass it along to her manager.
Combine the results of the prior steps into a single 10- to 15-page Word file (page count excludes images and references) that contains the following five sections:
1. Description of the problems presented by large volumes of data in forensic investigations, especially the ways that such volumes may cloud the analysis and interpretation of the data, and how relationships, patterns, and key data points may be missed in such cases.
2. Discussion of how visual analytics can help in the analysis of large volumes of data. Include specific techniques in visual analysis such as filtering, timeline analysis, link, and statistical analysis.
3. Explanation of the different applications of visual analysis such as link, temporal, and geospatial, with examples of past cases in which visual analysis played a key role.
4. Evaluation of visual analytics software and platforms that summarizes and illustrates (with screenshots) the features you learned to use while piloting Maltego.
5. Implementation recommendations, including a cost-benefit analysis.
Review the paper carefully for accuracy and completeness and submit to your supervisor (instructor) for evaluation by following the instructions below.
Check Your Evaluation Criteria
Before you submit your assignment, review the competencies below, which your instructor will use to evaluate your work. A good practice would be to use each competency as a self-check to confirm you have incorporated all of them. To view the complete grading rubric, click My Tools, select Assignments from the drop-down menu, and then click the project title.
• 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.
• 2.1: Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration.
• 2.2: Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
• 3.2: Employ mathematical or statistical operations and data analysis techniques to arrive at a correct or optimal solution.
• 6.2: Demonstrate ability to investigate mobile technology.
• 6.8: Utilize visual analysis to assess files for possible evidence.
• 7.1: Conduct forensic analysis on a database system.
• 7.5: Evaluate encryption.
• 7.7: Incorporate Geographic Information Systems into plans for conducting Digital Forensics on a network.

$80.00

Project 2: Visual Analysis

$80.00