Video Screencast Help
Symantec Appoints Michael A. Brown CEO. Learn more.
Symantec eDiscovery Blog

Defensible Deletion: The Cornerstone of Intelligent Information Governance

Created: 16 Oct 2012 • 10 comments
pfavro's picture
0 0 Votes
Login to vote

The struggle to stay above the rising tide of information is a constant battle for organizations. Not only are the costs and logistics associated with data storage more troubling than ever, but so are the potential legal consequences. Indeed, the news headlines are constantly filled with horror stories of jury verdicts, court judgments and unreasonable settlements involving organizations that failed to effectively address their data stockpiles.

While there are no quick or easy solutions to these problems, an ever increasing method for effectively dealing with these issues is through an organizational strategy referred to as defensible deletion. A defensible deletion strategy could refer to many items. But at its core, defensible deletion is a comprehensive approach that companies implement to reduce the storage costs and legal risks associated with the retention of electronically stored information (ESI). Organizations that have done so have been successful in avoiding court sanctions while at the same time eliminating ESI that has little or no business value.

The first step to implementing a defensible deletion strategy is for organizations to ensure that they have a top-down plan for addressing data retention. This typically requires that their information governance principals – legal and IT – are cooperating with each other. These departments must also work jointly with records managers and business units to decide what data must be kept and for what length of time. All such stakeholders in information retention must be engaged and collaborate if the organization is to create a workable defensible deletion strategy.

Cooperation between legal and IT naturally leads the organization to establish records retention policies, which carry out the key players’ decisions on data preservation. Such policies should address the particular needs of an organization while balancing them against litigation requirements. Not only will that enable a company to reduce its costs by decreasing data proliferation, it will minimize a company’s litigation risks by allowing it to limit the amount of potentially relevant information available for current and follow-on litigation.

In like manner, legal should work with IT to develop a process for how the organization will address document preservation during litigation. This will likely involve the designation of officials who are responsible for issuing a timely and comprehensive litigation hold to custodians and data sources. This will ultimately help an organization avoid the mistakes that often plague document management during litigation.

The Role of Technology in Defensible Deletion

In the digital age, an essential aspect of a defensible deletion strategy is technology. Indeed, without innovations such as archiving software and automated legal hold acknowledgements, it will be difficult for an organization to achieve its defensible deletion objectives.

On the information management side of defensible deletion, archiving software can help enforce organization retention policies and thereby reduce data volume and related storage costs. This can be accomplished with classification tools, which intelligently analyze and tag data content as it is ingested into the archive. By so doing, organizations may retain information that is significant or that otherwise must be kept for business, legal or regulatory purposes – and nothing else.

An archiving solution can also reduce costs through efficient data storage. By expiring data in accordance with organization retention policies and by using single instance storage to eliminate ESI duplicates, archiving software frees up space on company servers for the retention of other materials and ultimately leads to decreased storage costs. Moreover, it also lessens litigation risks as it removes data available for future litigation.

On the eDiscovery side of defensible deletion, an eDiscovery platform with the latest in legal hold technology is often essential for enabling a workable litigation hold process. Effective platforms enable automated legal hold acknowledgements on various custodians across multiple cases. This allows organizations to confidently place data on hold through a single user action and eliminates concerns that ESI may slip through the proverbial cracks of manual hold practices.

Organizations are experiencing every day the costly mistakes of delaying implementation of a defensible deletion program. This trend can be reversed through a common sense defensible deletion strategy which, when powered by effective, enabling technologies, can help organizations decrease the costs and risks associated with the information explosion.

Comments 10 CommentsJump to latest comment

eDiscovery 2.0's picture

Authored by: What exactly is defensible deletion? « c24 Application Hosting Specialists

[...] exactly is defensible

0
Login to vote
eDiscovery 2.0's picture

Authored by: e-discovery 2.0 » Blog Archive » What Abraham Lincoln Teaches about Defensible Deletion of ESI

[...] The reviews are in and movie critics are universally acclaiming Lincoln, the most recent Hollywood rendition regarding the sixteenth president of the United States. While viewers may or may not enjoy the movie, the focus on Abraham Lincoln brings to mind a rather key insight for organizations seeking to strengthen their defensible deletion process. [...]

0
Login to vote
eDiscovery 2.0's picture

Authored by: What Abraham Lincoln Teaches about Defensible Deletion of ESI – Electronic Discovery - Electronic Discovery - E-Discovery Resources and Guides

[...] The reviews are in and movie critics are universally acclaiming Lincoln, the most recent Hollywood rendition regarding the sixteenth president of the United States. While viewers may or may not enjoy the movie, the focus on Abraham Lincoln brings to mind a rather key insight for organizations seeking to strengthen their defensible deletion process. [...]

0
Login to vote
eDiscovery 2.0's picture

Authored by: What exactly is defensible deletion? « e-Disclosure Information Project

[...] Favro of Symantec, in an article called Defensible Deletion: The Cornerstone of Intelligent Information Governance on the eDiscovery 2.0 blog, defines defensible deletion as “a comprehensive approach that [...]

0
Login to vote
eDiscovery 2.0's picture

Authored by: e-discovery 2.0 » Blog Archive » New Gartner Report Spotlights Significance of Email Archiving for Defensible Deletion

[...] a report that spotlights the importance of using email archiving as part of an organization’s defensible deletion strategy. The report – Best Practices for Using Email Archiving to Eliminate PST and Mailbox Quota [...]

0
Login to vote
eDiscovery 2.0's picture

Authored by: New Gartner Report Spotlights Significance of Email Archiving for Defensible Deletion – Electronic Discovery - Electronic Discovery - E-Discovery Resources and Guides

[...] a report that spotlights the importance of using email archiving as part of an organization’s defensible deletion strategy. The report – Best Practices for Using Email Archiving to Eliminate PST and Mailbox Quota [...]

0
Login to vote
eDiscovery 2.0's picture

Authored by: Web Archiving: Intelligence In Information Governance | Hanzo Archives

[...] so do the requirements for data preservation and storage. In Philip Favro’s article, “Defensible Deletion: The Cornerstone of Intelligent Information Governance“, he discusses organizational failures in data stockpile management. Favro calls out how [...]

0
Login to vote
eDiscovery 2.0's picture

Authored by: Web Archiving: Intelligence In Information Governance - Hanzo Archives

[...] so do the requirements for data preservation and storage. In Philip Favro’s article, “Defensible Deletion: The Cornerstone of Intelligent Information Governance“, he discusses organizational failures in data stockpile management. Favro calls out how [...]

0
Login to vote
eDiscovery 2.0's picture

Authored by: e-discovery 2.0 » Blog Archive » Defensible Deletion and The A-Team: I Love It When An Information Governance Plan Comes Together

[...] of the clear eDiscovery trends that has taken root during the past year is defensible deletion. Indeed, there are any number of news stories reporting that more organizations are taking steps to [...]

0
Login to vote
eDiscovery 2.0's picture

Authored by: Defensible Deletion and The A-Team: I Love It When An Information Governance Plan Comes Together – Electronic Discovery - Electronic Discovery - E-Discovery Resources and Guides

[...] of the clear eDiscovery trends that has taken root during the past year is defensible deletion. Indeed, there are any number of news stories reporting that more organizations are taking steps to [...]

0
Login to vote