Digital data preservation is the practice of ensuring that valuable, relevant information is preserved in a reliable, compliant, and accessible way. Data preservation pertains to data throughout its lifecycle from creation to defensible deletion, but is especially important when it comes to compliance, litigation and legal hold. When litigation, audit or investigation is anticipated, an organization has a responsibility to protect and preserve all relevant digital data. The legal hold is basically a notice from the legal team to the IT team that a specific data set for a specific custodian(s) be maintained throughout the duration of the case for eDiscovery purposes. A legal hold pertains to active data in a user’s mailbox, but also the archive, backups, and file systems, and prevents the user from accidentally or maliciously tampering with or removing the data. Organizations that fail to preserve data could be charged with spoliation of evidence.
Ignoring preservation responsibilities could mean:
- Incurring fines
- Spoiled reputation
- Increased legal fees
- Adverse legal outcome
Since archives are one of the main tools used for digital preservation, it is important to make sure that your archive is maintained and is able to produce the necessary digital information quickly and fully. Over the past few years, several mainstream archives have become obsolete, however many organizations fail to migrate their archives onto a newer platform, and just turn off their old archive. The problem with this method is that the emails on that platform could be subject to eDiscovery and legal hold and that archived data is not easily accessible and could be inaccessible if it hasn’t been maintained over the months or years that it’s been inactive.
The cloud is becoming a more popular means for data preservation because it’s less expensive, can protect against technology obsolescence, and provides centralized information management. Solutions like Office 365 allow for litigation hold or in-place legal holds for data preservation. Litigation holds apply to an entire mailbox, while an in-place legal hold applies only to items that meet the criteria of a certain search query.
Features of Cloud Data Preservation Solutions:
- Preserve items indefinitely or for a specific time-period
- Preserve mailbox items deleted by the user or automatic retention policy processes
- Place a single user on multiple holds
- In-Place eDiscovery
HubStor, which runs on Azure, is another solution that enables data preservation. It has the ability to manage legal holds, perform collections, and leverage search-as-a-service for data preservation. HubStor, as well as Microsoft, allows you to control permissions and access roles for data preservation to ensure secure practices. To learn more about your data preservation options, contact Bishop!