by John Burchfield
A variety of data collection procedures can be used for eDiscovery. Lately the trend has gone from traditional onsite collection to remote data collection, which offers many benefits that other data collection procedures can’t provide.
Law firms and corporations are always looking to save time and money. Remote collection has many benefits, including the ability to help reduce the amount of time and money spent on eDiscovery. Travel is the most obvious expense that comes with on-site collections, especially if the documents and custodians are located in an isolated area. With remote collection, data can be gathered from any place in the world through a secure, defensible process. Remote collection can also allow data to be collected without disturbing the user or disrupting normal business activities, saving money on company operations.
There are several methods for remote collection, and each offers its own unique benefits. As eDiscovery continues to grow, new remote data collection procedures are coming out all the time. Some of the best remote collection methods today are remote collection portables, web collection and placing a remote collection device behind a company firewall.
Remote collection portables: Remote collection portables are small pieces of hardware, similar to thumb drives, that are sent to custodians to gather data. The device, pre-programmed by professional technicians, is plugged into the target computer and automatically finds the data that has been deemed relevant. That data is then saved to an accompanying hard drive. Remote collection portables are:
- Most beneficial when collecting from multiple custodians at multiple locations.
- Able to filter at the point of collection, including culling based on file format, date, time or hash values.
Web collection: Web collection allows multiple types of data to be safely and defensibly gathered from a limitless amount of custodians via the Web. Data is collected using a single Web-based portal. Companies of virtually any size can use this data collection procedure. Web collection offers:
- No software installations or hardware costs required.
- Live updates on collection status and file types.
Remote collection device behind company firewall: Placing a remote collection device behind a company firewall allows a forensic expert to log in remotely and perform defensible data collections from any accessible device on the network, including computers, servers, smartphones, tablets and other devices.
These enterprise systems can vary a great deal in size and functionality, and some provide more scalability than others. Current and future requirements should be considered when determining the best platform for your corporation.
DSi’s proprietary Remote Governance and Collections (RGC) platform remotely identifies, collects, verifies, filters and transfers data in a timely, secure and cost-effective manner with minimal demand on the client’s IT resources. RGC is also:
- Able to perform various filters, including date range and file type, during collection, which expedites collections and reduces subsequent processing or storage expenses.
- Eminently scalable and flexible.
- Easily upgradable with new modules or servers to accommodate future requirements.
- Able to identify issues in your information management policies, retention and network security.
We have done proofs of concept for RGC that verify the effectiveness and security of the method. In one case, we saved the company at least $60,000 by using our RGC. (Read this case study to learn more.) Savings of this type can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.