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An online U.S.-based survey was administeredduring the fourth quarter of 2009, in which 665 IT professionals and 271 attorneys participated. The CompTIA (News - Alert) study-'E-Discovery Trends and Practices' offers insights into current understanding of e-discovery practices, policies, and training among both IT professionals and attorneys.
New research from compTIA indicates that organizations will resort to e-discovery processes much moe than before. In fact, 88 per cent of attornerys surveyed expect law firms to veer towards e-discovery as cases become electronic in nature.
Among more than 650 IT professionals surveyed, 53 percent expect the use of e-discovery within their organizations to increase over the next few years.
Electronic discovery refers to any process in which electronic data is sought, located, secured, and searched with the intent of using it as evidence in a civil or criminal legal case. Routine collection of data and informal investigations, violations of company policies and security breaches that do not involve the legal system can still be considered to come under the purview of e-discovery.
So what triggers e-discovery?
66 percent of survey respondents indicated investigation of employees who had violated company rules, 62 percent said security breaches caused by outside threats, 60 percent indicated pending lawsuits, while 53 percent and 44 percent indicated intentional internal security breach and unintentional security breach respectively to be the kind of situations that most often triggered the use of e-discovery.
With such a broad base you would expect that organizations would already have developed an e-discovery strategy. Strangely though, only 50 percent of organizations surveyed had either a partial or a comprehensive one in place, while 26 percent had engaged in e-discovery process informally. Cost and expertise were the primary reasons cited by organizations which had yet to develop an e-discovery strategy.
"Many organizations lack expertise in this emerging area," Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA, said, and added that this was significant because the increasingly connected and digital world in which companies operate meant that the number of situations calling for e-discovery would only grow.
Herbert also indicated that IT companies that offer services such as security, data storage and archiving may find opportunities to expand their business and their client base by becoming an e-discovery resource.
Offering recommendations regarding the steps that IT firms could take to enhance their e-discovery credentials, Herbert suggested that employees get trained in e-discovery, keep abreast of the regulatory environment, and follow industry best practices for conducting e-discovery.
The complete study is available at no cost to CompTIA members who can access the report at the Web site.
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