Security Learning its Role in E-Discovery


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Security Teams are learning their crucial role in processing e-discovery requests. In the film Erin Brockovich, the dramatic story of one woman's record-setting 1996 legal triumph over a negligent utility company, paper files of some 634 plaintiffs filled a roomful of boxes. That's a lot of information.

These days the lion's share of information in organizations is electronic. Such electronically stored information (ESI) increasingly represents the heart of litigation in civil cases, in which each side's legal teams request extensive evidence from the other.

With changes to the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) in December 2006, ESI received all the legal rights of those traditional boxes full of paper documents. This means it can be crucial evidence, and therefore must be handled accordingly. IT teams play an important role in the storing, finding and producing of critical ESI, but why is e-discovery a security issue? At stake is the integrity and availability of information, and in some cases, its confidentiality as well. Hitting three fundamental security objectives, it becomes clear that security teams should understand the requirements and challenges involved in e-discovery.

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This was first published in March 2008

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