A Digital Forensic Readiness Architecture for Online Examinations


  • Ivans Kigwana University of Pretoria
  • H. S Venter University of Pretoria




digital forensics, digital forensic readiness, online exam architecture, online examination fraud, digital evidence, cheating in online tests


Some institutions provide online courses to students to ease the courses’ workload. Online courses can also be convenient because the online course content management software conducts marking of tests and examinations. However, a few students could be willing to exploit such a system’s weaknesses in a bid to cheat in online examinations because invigilators are absent. Proactive measures are needed and measures have to be implemented in order to thwart unacceptable behaviour in situations where there is little control of students’ conduct. Digital Forensic Readiness (DFR) employs a proactive approach for an organisation to be forensically prepared for situations where there is little control over people. This can be achieved by gathering, storing and handling incident response data, with the aim of reducing the time and cost that would otherwise be spent in a post-event response process. The problem this paper addresses is that, at the time of writing this paper, there existed no known DFR architecture that can be used to collect relevant information for DFR purposes, specifically in the course of an online examination, as described in the standard published by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) (ISO/IEC 27043:2015) for incident investigation principles and processes. Due to the lack of DFR architecture, the authors propose an Online Examination Digital Forensic Readiness Architecture (OEDFRA) that can be used to achieve DFR when online examinations are conducted. This architecture employs already existing DFR techniques, discussed in the study, to help educational institutions achieve DFR in online examinations. This architecture, (OEDFRA), when implemented, will be tested in future research in order to confirm its contribution to the field of DFR.

Author Biographies

Ivans Kigwana, University of Pretoria

Department of Computer Science MSc Computer Science student.

H. S Venter, University of Pretoria

Department of Computer Science Professor






Research Papers (general)