8 EDRM services you can take advantage of if your IT department is using HubStor for Azure.
Built on Microsoft Azure for the most comprehensive compliance coverage, HubStor is well-known for its cost-effective, pay-as-you-go cloud archiving, backup and recovery services.
However, it delivers so much more than cloud storage management for the IT department….This mini guide looks at the role HubStor for Azure plays in information governance, and in particular, how in-house legal, risk, and regulatory departments are using HubStor to achieve more on ‘the left-hand side’ of the EDRM process.
Clean Up Legacy Data
and get your ‘file house’ in order!
Coping with decades worth of unstructured content presents big challenges for legal and compliance teams.
Migrating it into Microsoft Office 365 – especially when it belongs to leavers – is rarely the best strategy.
By using Microsoft Azure and HubStor to house ex-employee and other legacy data you can retire on-premises storage without compromising accessibility to the business.
Your data will be de-duplicated and compressed to save costs.
Importantly, once in the cloud you can start using HubStor’s powerful analytics and policies to identify and then defensibly delete ROT (redundant, outdated & trivial information).
This can create significant savings in the event of litigation by reducing the amount of data for review without jeopardising the case through over- or under-collection.
Build a Data Preservation Lake
..and stop random files from swimming around.
HubStor’s backup and archiving capability is used by IT departments to protect Office 365 content, but did you know the same service can be used to preserve potential evidence during litigation or eDiscovery?
We call this concept the Data Preservation Lake, and you can use it to preserve all Office 365 content – or just that belonging to high-risk departments or functions – in secure, optionally WORM-compliant storage.
Your lake is also the perfect home for other content such as file servers, databases, forensic images, virtual machine backups, loose PST files, voice calls and video.
Once in the lake, your content is indexed and rapidly searchable, complete with navigable folder structures*, data ownership and access rights information.
In the event of an eDiscovery or subject access request, content can be placed on full or targeted legal hold.
HubStor also lets you manage the lifecycle of digital evidence in the lake, with the ability to defensibly delete content no longer needed and respond to ‘right to be forgotten’ requests.
*Note that with native Office 365 data retention services the original folder structure is lost. This isn’t an issue if you’re just trying to search or restore the odd lost or corrupted file. However, it does make life difficult if you’re trying to use that data to restore a leaver’s mailbox or OneDrive or want to understand the context of an event that occurred in the past.
Journal Emails in Azure
…so you can do email searches in just one place.
Legal departments are often shocked to learn Microsoft does not provide an email journal service in Office 365.
Although Microsoft positions its data retention and litigation hold service as a way to retain all items sent and received by each individual, there’s various challenges, not least what to do with the legacy journals you’ve accumulated to date.
To avoid searching in two locations, many enterprises attempt to re-locate their old journals into Office 365.
Apart from the fact this can involve migrating a LOT of data, according to Microsoft it’s illegal to use a mailbox – even a shared mailbox – to archive data belonging to multiple people.
Using HubStor you can host journaling in Microsoft Azure.
- You can configure Office 365 to write emails to this journal.
- You can also migrate your legacy on-premises email journals into HubStor.
This means you can very quickly search across all past and present email activity in just one place.
Capture activity logs…before Microsoft deletes them*
Microsoft maintains an audit log of every event that occurs in your Office 365 environment.
Audit logs are great tools for compliance, security and HR as they can be used to investigate suspicious activity or prove an event occurred (or not). For example:
- High download activity from SharePoint Online or OneDrive may prove to be evidential in a case of industrial espionage.
- A harassment claim made against a manager might be discounted on the basis that the manager was not logged into their mailbox at the time an alleged email was sent.
- A data protection breach might be uncovered through changes made to access rights settings in Azure Active Directory (AD).
HubStor retains these audit logs for as long as you need them.
*NB – The problem is that, with Office 365, the audit logs are only retained for 90 days before they get deleted. This means you are unable to investigate an incident that occurred anything beyond 3 months ago.
Understand Your Data
….so you can press the delete button without fear!
In reality, very little information should live forever. It should be made subject to specific, policy-based lifecycle management processes that can defensibly ‘press the delete button’.
It’s not just a massive cost-saver – less to store means less to secure and less to worry about in the event of an eDiscovery case or security breach!
HubStor bundles intelligent data management features to give you a clearer view of what’s in your data, classify it, correlate it by business entities such as projects, departments, and clients and figure out which data really needs to be kept.
Using HubStor’s analytics and retention policies (with deletion previews for impact analysis prior to execution), we’ve seen organisations halve their storage by getting rid of irrelevant data or PII.
NB – The Office 365 E5 license enables you to automatically apply retention labelling to a range of file types. Those on lower license tiers must apply retention policies manually.
Collect on Demand
..so you can quickly grab EVERYTHING that’s relevant.
Collection of data can be done exceptionally quickly, thanks to HubStor’s powerful connections into all Office 365 ‘workloads’ plus a very wide range of other sources, including third-party archives, PST files, file servers, laptops and mobile devices.
Being able to collect diverse and often active data quickly and incisively into a single, central repository will massively speed up search times and reduce the amount of data you need to work with.
Sometimes it can be difficult to work out what belongs to whom, especially when you’re working with ‘unstructured’ data from legacy file shares, anonymous PST files or data that belongs to leavers no longer listed in Active Directory.
HubStor lets you create a custodian data map that enables you to very quickly identify the relevant data, and then drill down further to reduce the amount of data that goes into the next stage.
Search Multimedia Content
..don’t miss out evidence in audio and video files.
‘Evidence’ and other content of interest such as personally identifiable information (PII) isn’t always located in emails and Office documents.
Image files, document scans, audio recordings, videos, etc., all have the potential to have content that’s responsive to an investigation.
HubStor delivers powerful search (at any scale) on an extremely wide range of content, including scanned documents and standard image formats such as TIFF, JPEG, PNG, and multi-page PDF files.
There’s also the ability to transcribe and classify the dialogue in audio and video files*.
This saves both cost and time and means you have a better chance of picking up all responsive content in the fastest possible time frame.
*NB Microsoft’s Advanced eDiscovery (available with an E5 licence or as an add-in to E3) supports the ability to extract text from image files only.
Do Early Case Assessment
…so you can tell which way the wind is blowing early on.
HubStor is a very useful early case assessment tool, able to quickly perform the identification, preservation and collection stages of the electronic discovery reference model (EDRM) stages.
Using HubStor, legal teams can create discrete ‘cases’ with associated case members, audit trails, holds, searches and exports.
This is very helpful for visualising and tracking all the data and activity associated with a specific incident, maintaining confidentiality and segregating unrelated investigations.
HubStor also streamlines exports to authorised third parties (such as external legal counsel) by grouping relevant content together with authenticated, revocable and fully audited, link-based sharing capabilities.
Check out other solutions for in-house Legal teams