March 11, 2016

IT Departments Need to Be Aware of Legal Hold Requirements

2 minute read

Legal holds are by no means a new concept. However, with the ever expanding amount of data that businesses are producing, it is becoming a much bigger challenge.

In fact, organizations are having such difficulty with it that sanctions for the destruction of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) have increased by 271% since 2005. This data comes from a recent white paper from Code42 entitled "Protecting data in the age of employee churn".

An excerpt from this white paper states the case for legal hold software well.

Courts increasingly require that companies document the steps taken to prevent negligent or intentional destruction of evidence. Technology that automates and tracks legal holds:

  • Demonstrates the organization has an established process and enables identification, storage and maintenance of relevant data without increasing IT headcount.

  • Reduces risk and increases defensibility.

  • Guarantees that holds are issued in a timely fashion and contain all necessary information.

  • Enables data set selection.

It's clear that there is a need for a legal hold process in place for companies of all sizes. The component that some may be missing, however, is the direct involvement of IT executives. There tends to be fairly high turnover in IT departments which can lead to a breakdown in the legal hold process and data being deleted or misplaced.

As with all other parts of the information governance strategy, creating a proactive and comprehensive plan to address those involved in the legal hold process and where approvals are needed is crucial. As IT is responsible for the managing and storage of data, the entire department must understand how important maintaing a proper process is to avoid penalties.

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