e-Discovery - Planning is Essential
Retrieval of electronic information as a result of discovery proceedings preparatory to a legal action is now an accepted element of legal proceedings. And given the expectations of courts and litigants regarding the ability to request and receive information, failure to deliver could be catastrophic.
An enterprise needs to identify the information that could be required in discovery proceedings and ensure its retention and security. This requires a careful evaluation of the risks of litigation and the information that could be relevant to such litigation.
When data are retrieved, it is important to preserve its integrity throughout the process. In addition, a company needs to be cognizant of the risk of inadvertently including information that might be linked or embedded that may be superfluous or unnecessary in the particular case.
All of these considerations and more require a carefully constructed system of controls over the designated information. The ISACA white paper "Electronic Discovery" provides an excellent starting point for developing such a system. It can be downloaded here.