The most reported negative consequences resulting from preserving more electronically stored information than necessary include: Increased costs associated with collection, analysis and review (54 percent); increased time spent to collect, analyze and review ESI (47 percent); increased risk that sensitive information may be disclosed (44 percent); compromised position in potential or actual litigation (27 percent); and information unintentionally made available for potential future litigation (28 percent).
The survey also reports that organizations are keeping information longer than is needed, and keeping the data within backups rather than archives for legal holds, which reduces efficiencies when performing an ESI request. The survey reveals that 38 percent of data that organizations back up is not needed or shouldn't be kept in backup. In fact, respondents say that a third of backup data (34 percent) shouldn't be kept and is unnecessary due to litigation risk.
More than half of organizations keep that data indefinitely: 56 percent of organizations reported that their backup storage is used for infinite retention that is dedicated to legal hold. This has grown from 43 percent in 2011 and continues to get worse. Further, 85 percent of organizations routinely perform legal holds in their backups, which are not designed to be accessed in the same way as an archive.
Majority of organizations impacted by data privacy laws & regulations
As expected, data privacy laws and regulations have significant impact on organizations with 53 percent reporting that laws and/or regulations impact archiving and eDiscovery initiatives. However, there are many reasons respondents report collecting electronically stored information including: Litigation (60 percent); internal investigations (59 percent); internal compliance initiatives (58 percent); compliance with international regulations and laws (57 percent); compliance with local regulations and laws (55 percent); governmental inquiries or investigations (52 percent); and public information requests (46 percent).
Following are recommendations that organizations can implement to help them more effectively implement their information retention plan:
•Adopt a defensible deletion mindset: When organizations can adopt a defensible deletion mindset they can delete information with confidence according to their information retention policies. •Err on the side of fewer, rather than many, retention policies: This improves the odds of successful information governance. Start with deleting obvious unnecessary files, then set minimum retention periods for compliance. Additional policies can be added later, if necessary. •Automate privacy, retention and compliance policies to reduce risk: Allowing your policies to automatically work as they are designed not only reduces the risk of inconsistencies in policy implementation, but reduces the risk of unintentional access or distribution of information. •Implement a solution in which legal holds can override expiry policies: Consider a unified eDiscovery solution where legal holds can be easily implemented to override expiry policies to avoid spoliation and sanctions. •Don't use backups for long term retention: Backups are for recovery, archiving is for discovery. Deploy an archiving solution to quickly and easily respond to search requests for electronically stored information.
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