The National Law Forum

The Blog of the The National Law Review

Gearing Up Electronic Discovery to Handle the New Generation of Smart Devices

The National Law Review recently published an article regarding Electronic Discovery written by Marcus Evans Summits:

New technologies are presenting Chief Litigation Officers (CLOs) with additional challenges during eDiscovery, which was an already daunting, time-consuming and expensive process, says Jay Hagan, Chief Executive Officer, DriveSavers Data Recovery. As more people make use of smart phones, tablets and storage devices based on Solid-State Drive (SSD) and NAND flash technologies, CLOs are facing a new set of failure issues and recovery challenges, he adds.

Jay Hagan discusses the data vulnerabilities that new devices are adding to the eDiscovery equation and how to handle them.

What are the data storage vulnerabilities that CLOs should be aware of?

There is heightened demand for document preservation, fueled by changes to the Federal and State Rules of Civil Procedure, proliferation of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) and the growing number of information storage devices. It is imperative that documents of all types receive proper handling and storage throughout the eDiscovery process, as the failure to properly preserve and produce ESI in litigation can result in serious consequences, including court sanctions, loss of reputation and financial implications.

What new challenges do SSD technologies present for CLOs during eDiscovery?

Smart phones, tablets and other storage devices based on SSD and NAND flash technologies often contain digital records, forensic footprints, personal information and business-critical intellectual property. SSD technology continues to be in the design of mobile products for its many advantages to the user, but it presents a whole new set of failure issues and recovery challenges that adds variables to the eDiscovery equation.

While traditional magnetic data storage is well understood and reverse engineered with great success, we have far fewer “tools in the toolbox” for the new technologies. They are more difficult to reverse engineer or obtain cooperation, trust and proprietary tools from the original manufacturers. Vendor-specific SSD designs and encryption technologies, whether in the controller or in the NAND itself, are likely to be the norm and are creating new challenges from the data recovery perspective.

As the amount of valuable data stored increases, so does the impact of device failure and data loss. This is driving the need for a certified, secure, data recovery solution as part of the eDiscovery package.

How can CLOs minimize the cost of eDiscovery?

When making decisions on how to collect, preserve and produce ESI, CLOs will be required to balance convenience and security of the relevant data. For example, ensuring that ESI is protected from a breach during the eDiscovery process – from data collection and data analysis to data processing – is integral to a successful litigation, regulatory or investigation.

To avoid excessive cost, disputes, sanction or fine, a CLO must seek experts and consultants who can offer solutions customized to their case or specific project requirements. They also need to be prepared to not only utilize the best technology available, but also explain to the court or jury how and why it works for the case at issue.

It is impossible to achieve eDiscovery without the expertise, technology and methodology to successfully retrieve data from all storage devices, including smart phones and tablets.

 What are the data storage vulnerabilities that CLOs should be aware of?

There is heightened demand for document preservation, fueled by changes to the Federal and State Rules of Civil Procedure, proliferation of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) and the growing number of information storage devices. It is imperative that documents of all types receive proper handling and storage throughout the eDiscovery process, as the failure to properly preserve and produce ESI in litigation can result in serious consequences, including court sanctions, loss of reputation and financial implications.

What new challenges do SSD technologies present for CLOs during eDiscovery?

Smart phones, tablets and other storage devices based on SSD and NAND flash technologies often contain digital records, forensic footprints, personal information and business-critical intellectual property. SSD technology continues to be in the design of mobile products for its many advantages to the user, but it presents a whole new set of failure issues and recovery challenges that adds variables to the eDiscovery equation.

While traditional magnetic data storage is well understood and reverse engineered with great success, we have far fewer “tools in the toolbox” for the new technologies. They are more difficult to reverse engineer or obtain cooperation, trust and proprietary tools from the original manufacturers. Vendor-specific SSD designs and encryption technologies, whether in the controller or in the NAND itself, are likely to be the norm and are creating new challenges from the data recovery perspective.

As the amount of valuable data stored increases, so does the impact of device failure and data loss. This is driving the need for a certified, secure, data recovery solution as part of the eDiscovery package.

How can CLOs minimize the cost of eDiscovery?

When making decisions on how to collect, preserve and produce ESI, CLOs will be required to balance convenience and security of the relevant data. For example, ensuring that ESI is protected from a breach during the eDiscovery process – from data collection and data analysis to data processing – is integral to a successful litigation, regulatory or investigation.

To avoid excessive cost, disputes, sanction or fine, a CLO must seek experts and consultants who can offer solutions customized to their case or specific project requirements. They also need to be prepared to not only utilize the best technology available, but also explain to the court or jury how and why it works for the case at issue.

It is impossible to achieve eDiscovery without the expertise, technology and methodology to successfully retrieve data from all storage devices, including smart phones and tablets.


Interview with: Jay Hagan, Chief Executive Officer, DriveSavers Data Recovery

© Copyright 2012 marcus evans

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