Always wear sunscreen: Using information governance to prepare for defensible discovery

Part two in a four-part series on information governance.

In our first post in this series, we talked about what information governance is and took a look at document retention. Now let’s dive into something new: defensible discovery.

This considers the controls you set to help avoid legal messes and reduce costs if you ever find yourself in an eDiscovery process.

If this has happened to you before, you probably know how painful it can be. In a world where anything from an instant message to a file creation date can have huge implications for a lawsuit, the legal discovery process is expansive, intricate and costly.

The average cost of eDiscovery is $18,000 for every GB of information reviewed. And it's common practice for IT admins to spend enormous amounts of time combing through your employees’ devices searching for relevant content.

The good news is that legal holds—a key aspect of information governance—can help make eDiscovery much easier (and cheaper).

Legal holds prevent content that could be legally iffy from being altered or deleted. They override any retention policies and don’t need any involvement from the user affected by the hold. Legal holds are based on people and periods of time. For example, you might hold all documents touched by Employee X from January 1, 2017 through January 31, 2017.

Content affected by a legal hold can be curated into lists, then exported for legal review—automatically. That’s huge.

Metadata also plays a big part here. Metadata lets you easily search to find out who created certain content, when it was born and where it lives. These are important details in lawsuits where the results can sometimes be decided by seemingly trivial things like dates, times and storage.

The takeaway: An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.

For more on defensible discovery and other facets of information governance, check out our on-demand webinar 5 Best Practices for Governing Your Content in the Cloud.

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