If you work for an organization that is frequently sued, occasionally on the other end of litigation or constantly consumed by the threat of legal action, then you should be familiar with the term “Electronic Discovery,” aka eDiscovery or e-discovery.
If not, here’s a quick refresher just in case:
What is eDiscovery?
TechTarget, an industry leading technology resource, defines eDiscovery this way:
“Electronic discovery refers to any process in which electronic data is sought, located, secured and searched with the intent of using it as evidence in a civil or criminal legal case. E-discovery can be carried out offline on a particular computer or it can be done in a network…”
The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School considers Rules 26 and 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to be the most critical rules governing the discovery of electronic information. These rules essentially mean that when confronted with an eDiscovery request your organization must be able to retrieve specific email or other evidence of online communication. You must also identify your process for preserving and being able to retrieve email.
Common eDiscovery Challenges
In order to comply with an eDiscovery request it is presumed that your organization has an efficient and thorough way of retrieving the requested emails and documents. However, companies and organizations that have no plan in place often run into the following issues:
- Wasted Time Tracking Down Emails — Assuming that your office server has the capacity to store all your emails, retrieving specific email stored on your server is surprisingly time-consuming and not always successful. Even if it can be found, the search for specific data stored on your office backup system eats up time, causing staff to leave other work idling.
- Difficulty Ensuring Integrity of Emails — The required data you’re searching for may be corrupted, infected with a virus or even lost. The risk of retrieving the wrong data is also a concern.
- Risks Related to Privacy Exposure — If you can’t quickly/easily locate the specific emails that are required, you may end up being required to share too much information and that may reveal personal and private information that your employees may prefer be left unearthed.
- Missed Deadlines — In a federal inquiry, requests for emails come with deadlines and, as indicated above, are laden with federal compliance rules. Running afoul of those is not recommended.
A quick scan of all the risks above makes it clear that attempting to retrieve locally stored emails can be a costly undertaking. Is your organization prepared?
How Your Organization Can Prepare for Future eDiscovery Requests
In order to adhere to the rules and regulations surrounding eDiscovery, it’s a smart idea for your organization to preserve each and every email received by each and every employee. However, saying and doing this are two different things.
Your organization can protect itself against potentially high litigation costs and reduce the risk of non-compliance in federal lawsuits simply by choosing a trusted, experienced, cloud-based or on-prem email archiving and retrieval service that can quickly, accurately and appropriately retrieve just those specific emails requested, or subpoenaed, by legal counsel.
Using a trusted partner for your email archiving and retrieval service has the further advantages of preventing the risk of stolen or lost data, while ensuring the privacy of the data stored in your office email system.
Compliance, cost reduction and early warning systems — key reasons to consider cloud-based email archiving and retrieval using a trusted and experienced partner.
Intradyn stands ready to assist with our reliable email archiving and eDiscovery solutions for any size company. For more information, please contact us.