top of page

Cloud-Based eDiscovery Repositories Can Save Your Defense Team Time and Money

Updated: Jun 28, 2023


eDiscovery Cloud Repository

Corporate legal teams are constantly juggling collecting and storing vast amounts of potentially responsive sensitive information with strict eDiscovery deadlines.


In the fast-paced world of eDiscovery processing, budget, completeness, and accuracy are required. Additionally, response time is, in most cases, of the essence to protect your organization from penalties and fines. The eDiscovery process is a well-documented description of rules and procedures memorialized by the electronic discovery reference model (EDRM) for collecting, protecting, reviewing, and producing evidence. The EDRM was established many years ago and has been regularly updated to include new processes and possible technologies.

However, most legal departments and law firms are not known as early adopters of technology. Over the years, legal departments and law firms have developed their own granular eDiscovery processes and are hesitant to update them to account for new eDiscovery processes and technologies.


Figure 1: The handling of data for eDiscovery has not changed much over the years…


Legal professionals are often too busy to keep up with the latest technologies that would benefit their established eDiscovery procedures. To make matters worse, corporate legal departments and law firms have become a significant focus of cyber criminals and ransomware due to the sensitive eDiscovery and other business data they collect, hold, and transfer. One example is the adoption of cloud storage to store the sensitive data they collect for eDiscovery response securely. Legal organizations have pushed back on cloud adoption due to security concerns; however, many very large cloud platforms – such as Azure, AWS, and Google, now offer best-in-class data security capabilities that on-premise installations can offer – including powerful data encryption technology.


With the advent of secure, cloud-based data repositories, legal departments, and law firms now have more secure ways of storing and securing sensitive datasets, potentially changing how defense teams operate - offering a secure and efficient solution for managing, accessing, and sharing critical data.


Cloud storage also offers a way to make the need for large data transfers to external law firms, eDiscovery service providers, and opposing counsel a thing of the past for many organizations.


This blog post will explore how centralized cloud-based repositories can save defense teams valuable time, money, and risk, ultimately enhancing their overall eDiscovery effectiveness, data protection, response time, and in the end, reputation.

The benefits of cloud storage for eDiscovery include:


Streamlined Data Management

Traditional data management methods involved physical storage, which was time-consuming and susceptible to loss or damage. Cloud-based repositories offer defense teams a centralized and secure platform for storing and organizing case-related documents, attorney work product, evidence, privilege logs, and other information. Defense teams can significantly streamline their data management processes by digitizing and centralizing all data.


Centralized cloud repositories provide eDiscovery teams features such as more advanced security capabilities (more on that a little later), advanced search capabilities, document versioning, and customizable role-based access controls and activity tracking, making it easier to locate, update, apply litigation holds, and share critical information. This accessibility ensures that defense teams can collaborate seamlessly and efficiently, reducing the time spent searching for and managing documents.


Additionally, the legal department cloud repository can be set up to allow other interested parties, such as outside counsel, eDiscovery service providers, cloud-based eDiscovery platforms such as Relativity and Exterro, and opposing counsel to work with the discovery datasets - reducing the need to transfer the eDiscovery datasets from party to party.


Improved Collaboration

Effective collaboration is crucial for defense teams working on complex cases involving multiple team members, outside counsel, eDiscovery service providers, or consultants. Cloud-based repositories can facilitate real-time collaboration by allowing authorized team members (including external counsel and eDiscovery service providers to access, search, edit, and share documents from anywhere at any time. This eliminates the need for physical (or electronic) sensitive data transfer, which can cause delays and put sensitive data at risk of corruption or loss.


With secure cloud repositories, defense teams can collaborate on documents simultaneously, run eDiscovery searches and data culling, track changes, and maintain a clear record of revisions from remote locations. This not only improves efficiency but also reduces the risk of costly over-retention and search results false positives.


Enhanced Security and Data Protection

Defense teams deal with large amounts of highly sensitive and confidential information that must be safeguarded at all costs. Cloud-based repositories offer robust security measures to protect data from unauthorized access, breaches, ransomware/extortionware attacks, or physical damage. Data stored in the cloud can be encrypted with the latest encryption technology, making it significantly more secure than physical storage methods. Additionally, data can be stored on a cloud-based immutable storage tier (WORM), protecting it from ransomware deletion or corruption.


Cloud repositories provide granular access controls, allowing defense teams to define granular permissions for individual team members, datasets, individual documents, or folders. This ensures that only authorized personnel can access and work on specific information, reducing the risk of data leaks, loss, or unauthorized disclosures.

Additionally, cloud-based repositories often have built-in backup and disaster recovery mechanisms and the ability to automatically replicate data in the same cloud or at different data centers. This ensures the integrity and availability of data even in the event of a hardware failure, malware attack, or natural disaster.


Cost Savings

Cloud-based repositories can significantly reduce traditional data storage and management costs. Eliminating some physical storage requirements minimizes the need for increasing physical storage infrastructure – a CapEx versus OpEx argument. This reduction in hardware requirements and annual support contracts results in lower maintenance and personnel costs and the ability to increase and decrease storage when emergencies arise dynamically.

Cloud repositories operate on a subscription-based model, allowing defense teams to scale their storage requirements based on their ever-changing needs. This eliminates the need for upfront storage estimates and investments in infrastructure (CapEx) and provides cost flexibility.


The Next Step

Cloud-based eDiscovery repositories have become invaluable tools for defense teams, revolutionizing how they manage data, collaborate, and protect sensitive information. However, the legal industry still needs to take the next logical step to fully utilize centralized cloud storage capabilities.


As eDiscovery datasets continue to grow, the next logical step is to utilize a corporate cloud storage capability to minimize the need to move sensitive data around.


For example, your legal department could perform its data collection and store the datasets in the legal department file share. Based on policies, those datasets would be virtualized and moved to the secure restorVault cloud while leaving tiny virtual data files behind (pointers to the cloud-stored files). Your team could then perform first-pass culling to remove duplicates, system files, and obvious false positives.


Figure 2: Utilizing storage virtualization and secure cloud storage, sensitive eDiscovery datasets can be shared, processed, and produced with limited movement


Once ready, you can provide access to the specific datasets stored in the cloud to your external legal counsel for continued processing. And because the restorVault virtual storage solution utilizes the Windows file system, Law firm eDiscovery platforms such as Relativity and Exterro (which both use Windows file system capability) could reach out to the cloud-stored datasets and continue their eDiscovery processing. The same holds true if your organization works with Relativity or Exterro directly.


And finally, the opposing counsel could be provided access to the finished eDiscovery datasets for either continued in-place review (improbable) or direct transfer to their system.

Corporate cloud repositories offer a comprehensive solution that saves defense teams’ risk, time, and money by centralizing data, improving collaboration, enhancing security, limiting data transfers, and reducing costs.


Defense teams that embrace cloud-based repositories gain a competitive advantage by maximizing efficiency, ensuring seamless collaboration, and freeing up valuable resources that can be redirected toward other critical tasks. As the eDiscovery landscape continues to evolve, embracing secure virtualized cloud technology will be essential for defense teams to stay ahead and effectively navigate complex cases.


The benefits of cloud-based and secure repositories for defense teams cannot be overstated. The rising cyber theft and ransomware attacks put legal departments and law firms at elevated risk.


Also, the time and money saved through streamlined data management, improved collaboration, enhanced security, and cost savings are invaluable in the fast-paced world of eDiscovery. By adopting secure, cloud-based repositories, legal departments, and law firms can improve their overall effectiveness and efficiency and raise their reputation with their clients. Many Outside Counsel Guidelines (OCG) require higher levels of data security. Access controls, data encryption, and immutable storage go a long way in meeting OCG security requirements.


As technology advances, legal defense teams must embrace cloud-based solutions such as virtualized cloud storage and stay ahead of the curve. The time and money saved by adopting cloud-based repositories can be better utilized to focus on critical tasks, research, and strategizing, ultimately improving the quality of defense and increasing the chances of case success.


restorVault Provides a Highly Secure eDiscovery Repository

restorVault’s intelligent cloud virtualized eDiscovery repository data management solution can automatically move sensitive legal department data sets, managed by configurable policies, to more secure and less costly immutable cloud storage while keeping file access for your eDiscovery teams available on the initial file server. This ensures that eDiscovery teams can search, retrieve, and export data without additional training or the need to enter a new application.


For eDiscovery activity, the restorVault storage virtualization capability provides a more secure, straightforward, and legally defensible process for providing eDiscovery data sets to (only) those with authority to access it than just relying on department file shares.

And because the restorVault virtualized data storage solution works with the Windows file system, eDiscovery platforms, like Exterro and Relativity, can potentially work directly with virtualized datasets without the need for data export.


Please reach out to us today to learn how restorVault can help your company save time and money during your eDiscovery requirements.


Comentarios


bottom of page