How to Compare and Use Legal Hold Software
Evaluating Legal Hold options? Experts note these dos and don'ts.
By Mary Brandel
April 05, 2010 — CSO —
Legal hold software helps keep, and keep track of, potential legal evidence. There are several options available, but it's important to select the package that best meets your specific needs, and implement the software correctly. Here's advice from the field.
DO consider integration with a collection and processing system. According to Guidance Software, which sells EnCase Legal Hold, many current legal hold solutions do not provide an integrated technical means to systematically collect and process data from custodians subject to litigation holds. These systems, Guidance says, merely send and track e-mails to custodians, often while promoting custodian self-collection, which has drawn harsh scrutiny from the courts and presents risks such as noncompliance, under- or over-collection, meta-data alteration or spoliation, inadequate chain-of-custody documentation, authentication challenges and business disruption.
For a higher degree of risk protection, Guidance and others argue, it's best to consider a system that comes with the native ability to track and report on the collection and processing of data, or that tightly integrates with other e-discovery systems that can do so. In Guidance's case, users can issue litigation holds, interview custodians, monitor compliance with the holds and track the progress of collection and processing of potentially relevant data, all in a single case database.
Autonomy's sales pitch emphasizes the system's additional features, such as automated data identification, preservation and collection with notification and interview management, and the ability to automatically suggest custodians and data sources.
Meanwhile, Kazeon says it integrates seamlessly with retention providers such as NetApp's SnapLock, Data Domain's Retention Lock and Symantec's Enterprise Vault. According to Kazeon, this feature provides extensive defensibility and auditability for e-discovery by ensuring no spoliation of data and no modifications of meta-data.
DO look for a legal hold system that integrates with your e-discovery processes. At Hershey, Klinger wanted a system that acts as an extension of the company's e-discovery program. Exterro's Fusion, he says, automates and streamlines Hershey's e-discovery process, and provides critical integrations with data lockdown solutions that search, crawl and archive information.
For more on e-discovery, see a case study of NBC Universal's move to bring e-discovery in-house.
DO consider in-place functionality. Systems such as Kazeon's KazHold and Autonomy's Aungate provide both a copy-and-move function and another called in-place legal hold, which locks data where it resides on the network and modifies file permissions so that only the legal hold owner has access. Users that had permission to access the file previously will still be able to read it, but not destroy it.