Data Backup & Recovery Blog

Electronic Discovery and Legal Mandates on Stored Data

Posted by Stephanie Aldrich on February 4, 2016

courtroom.jpgCloud storage e-discovery becomes essential when legal jurisdiction demands to provide discoverable data. In such circumstances, enterprises cannot get cloud services that do not support these legal mandates. 

In simple words, “e-discovery” is a term, used for a process based on accessing, obtaining and reviewing data that is being stored in remote or local server electronically. Such type of data is either stored by business entity or by individuals. Electronic discovery considers data as “facts”. Calendar files, text, audio files, spreadsheets, images, animation, computer programs and web sites are included in discoverable data. It is interesting that e-discovery includes Trojans, spyware and viruses as part of evidence. As far as criminal or civil litigation is concerned, email is taken as an important source of verification. It is noticed that people give more value to postal snail mails and memos than emails. 

Cyber forensics or computer forensics is particular type of e-discovery. Computer forensics covers investigation regarding hard drive content of particular desktop or laptop. Research work starts after detaching computer and getting digital copy of all content saved in hard drive. Only digital copy is further tested to get results. 

It is obligatory that all information that is demanded legally to e-discover must be accessible, well organized, and available through centralized repository. This means:

  • Selected cloud solution allows keeping information in various computing systems that are centralized and consolidated in a single data repository.
  • The system must have easy-to-use interfaces so that paths and structures of documents and files can be viewed at a glance.
  • All data that is transmitted to offsite server should be encrypted. Important data is fully secured so that there remains no chance of data modification, corruption or data breaches by unauthorized personnel.
  • It is responsibility of enterprises to use effective measures to protect all data from viruses and malicious software.
  • All data must be replicated on to geographically dispersed servers for disaster recovery. Or all data must be backed up at remote and local servers so that data can recover after human errors or natural disasters.
  • Organizations are responsible to store their important data on regular basis by using either continuous automated backup or scheduled backup. In addition to data storage, data must include version and relevant time information. 
  • Activity logs of users are properly organized so that users’ activities are being checked at frequent intervals. Moreover audit trials cannot be deactivated.
  • The system should be activated to produce particular data versions on demand, and changes made to the data should be traceable. 
  • While searching, the system should be configured to support data analysis with dates, email domains, and keywords. 
  • The system must index all data as it is being stored, and help in producing metadata to support search.
  • The system needs to be capable enough to form required parent-child relationship connections to search data easily.
  • As volume of data increases and makes its way towards central repository, businesses need to select a solution for de-duplicate data to store single copy of data for instant data recovery.

In short, e-discovery is a developing field. Its strict policy has given way to several constitutional, legal, personal, security and political issues. When enterprises are demanded to make their information discoverable, they must select all-inclusive cloud backup service.

Topics: disaster recovery, Data Recovery, offsite storage, Data Storage, cloud backup, e-discovery, cloud service, stored data

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