Date of Award

Spring 4-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Wayne E. Pauli

Second Advisor

Dr. Ashley Podhradsky

Third Advisor

Gerald Maye

Abstract

Digital forensic readiness within the law enforcement community, especially at the local level, has gone mostly unexplored. As a result, a current lack of data exists that examines the digital forensic readiness of individual agencies, the possibility of proximity relationships, and correlations between readiness and backlogs. This quantitative, crosssectional research study sought to explore these issues by focusing on the state of Maryland. The study resulted in the creation of a digital forensic readiness scoring model that was then used to assign digital forensic readiness scores to thirty (30) of the one-hundred-forty-one (141) law enforcement agencies throughout Maryland. It was found that an agency’s proximity to a major resource center (hub) did not positively or negatively influence readiness. It was also found that agencies with higher digital forensic readiness scores may be more likely to exhibit backlogs as a result of external agency dependencies. It should be noted, however, that digital forensic readiness scores should not be viewed as a reliable predictive indicator for the existence of backlogs. These findings establish a baseline for the state of Maryland that can be used to monitor, sustain, or improve levels of digital forensic readiness within the state or in a broader national context; it has the potential of enhancing public safety and the field at large.

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