Electronic Discovery and Information Compliance
The age of information compliance and electronic discovery is here, and companies are putting themselves at risk by failing to adequately prepare.
Storing data can be a double-edged sword. The more data you keep, the greater your potential liability in the event of a leak or privacy breach. However, keeping stored data to a bare minimum is not an option, since many regulations specify long retention policies.
To protect themselves, companies need to implement secure backup policies, with strong encryption.
But in the event of litigation, even the best-laid backup plans might not be enough.
When electronic discoveries are requested for a court case, failure to present the requested information could lead to stiff penalties. Even if data was properly backed up, it might be expensive to sort through terabytes of information to accurately and comprehensively locate specific pieces of requested information.
And once this data is disclosed, the company must then prove the integrity of this digital information. In other words, they must prove that these digital disclosures have not been modified in any way.
This is an area where cloud archiving can help. With cloud archiving, emails can be archived as soon as they are sent or received. This ensures a tight chain of ownership of the data. (In other words, it limits the window in which the data might have been changed before backup)
Also, by relying on a neutral third party for archiving, companies add legitimacy and transparency to the archival copies. This third-party provider can show that they’ve had the archival data since the time it was received and that there was no opportunity for this data to be modified.
Finally, cloud providers can archive data using Write Once Read Many (WORM) media. With WORM storage — such as locking tape drives or Write-Only DVDs — data cannot be modified again once it has been written. These systems require substantial investments in time, training, software, and hardware. But by outsourcing this task to a cloud archiving provider, companies can get WORM-based archiving in a way that’s both convenient and cost-effective.