Security Learning its Role in E-Discovery


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The same goes for video. Many companies elect to save and periodically review digital security video for physical protection. Other companies retain tapes or digitally stored recordings of voicemail messages. Such data might play a role in a court case, which affects its long-term management.

Ultimately, there can be absolutely no uncertainty about a business process related to ESI lifecycles and retention. An organization must be clear about what it keeps, its policies for retention and retirement, and the responsibilities of data custodians across the enterprise (not just IT, but also business-unit and individual-user obligations). In a similar vein, there should be close ties between legal counsel and IT groups to monitor upcoming litigation, understand information-handling practices, ensure holds are executed properly (relevant information is not destroyed), and so on. The IT team should be able to answer questions about the data's location, when it was collected, who has access and control of it, how it's managed over time and how quickly it can be restored/ retrieved.

Road to Improvement
Maturing e-discovery capabilities in concert with critical phases

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of information management: data creation, storage/distribution, archival and destruction.

Maturity Model
Given the likelihood that an enterprise isn't fully prepared for e-discovery, what are the prudent steps to take? The good news is that, for once, cost reduction is a valid argument for IT and information security. Because a manual records search is extremely expensive and negative judgments are bad news for the enterprise, it's legitimate to make a case for policy changes and infrastructure enhancements to automate the processes of preserving, locating and producing electronic evidence.

This was first published in March 2008

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