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Utilizing eDiscovery tools for internal investigations

Jeffrey Wolff
May 29, 2018 12:01:31 AM

As corporations look to consolidate the number of applications utilized to support their businesses, parallels in the use cases of existing solutions across the enterprise can be better leveraged. Case in point, eDiscovery applications, once thought to be the domain only of legal or the corporate counsel’s office can be used by IT/IS departments as well as Human Resources for internal investigations.

Such investigations do not typically involve the full eDiscovery suite, as there is often no need to produce/export data to counsel for review.  However, collecting, processing and reviewing data related to an HR matter or ensuring that sensitive or critical information data is not accessible to those who should not have access, is still within the wheelhouse of an eDiscovery solution. End-to-end eDiscovery tools are by nature designed to collect data from multiple repositories, process it for maximum recall including OCR of non-readable content, identifying patterns or keywords and allowing for document review.

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Find What You Do Not Know What You Look For

When you do not know what you are looking for, keyword searching is not particular efficient as a means to begin your review process. Using Artificial Intelligence features such as Topic Modeling to cluster and identify important concepts within the dataset, can give investigators a place to begin their review when they are not entirely certain what information resides in the data provided to them.

Pairing that up with the ability to automatically classify content during the processing of data can be a way to speed up the investigation. Let me give you an example. By instructing my eDiscovery solution to tag all indexed documents that contain the regular expression pattern [0-9]{3}-[0-9]{2}-[0-9]{4} I can immediately drill into documents that might contain U.S. Social Security Numbers. The regular expression pattern is simply a number from 0-9 that appears three times followed by a hyphen followed by a number appearing two times followed by a hyphen and then a number appearing four times. Similar rules to classify content based on names, email addresses, keywords or patterns can be configured into an eDiscovery platform to provide lists of hot document to begin an investigation. ZyLAB has a number of customers who also use these automatic classification tools for identifying sensitive data located outside of the approved quarantine locations on their network.


The Ease of One Single Platform

Reviewing documents within a single platform when performing your investigation is far easier, when all of the documents have been rendered in a single view. This eliminates the need to read emails in Microsoft Outlook for example and then have to open other applications to view attachments.

Finally, eDiscovery tools provide a way to make notes on the documents both with searchable fields and coordinate-based annotations right on the document itself. These functions allow an investigator to put their case notes right alongside the documents they are organizing to make their case.

It is important to get the most value out of any application the corporation decides to invest in. As such, finding a new use case for an eDiscovery solution is great way to automate what is often a manual process in many enterprises.


Webinar “Reducing Your Legal Fees”

Join us for the ACEDS webinar "Reducing Your Legal Fees" with Adam Platt, Senior eDiscovery Specialist at FirstBank, ACEDS’ Executive Director Mary Mack and Johannes Scholtes and learn how you can reduce more than just your legal fees by bringing (parts of) the eDiscovery process in-house.  Or try it now for free!

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