Critical Data Services Partners with Index Engines to Offer Tape Indexing Technology and Web-Based eDiscovery throughout Europe

Dublin-based Critical Data Services looks to better support its eDiscovery and risk management partners in Europe by offering Index Engines’ patented tape remediation technology and remote eDiscovery hosting.

HOLMDEL, NJ – Dublin-based data recovery specialists Critical Data Services look to make electronically stored information (ESI) more accessible, defensible and timely for eDiscovery and risk management partners by leveraging patented tape remediation technology from information management company Index Engines.

The addition of Index Engines’ software enables Critical Data Services’ clients to avoid the slow and error-prone restoration process and achieve immediate access to a “search ready” index of the clients’ tape data over a secure web interface.

“Full tape restoration doesn’t make sense anymore: it’s slow, it’s expensive and it’s a largely manual process,’’ said Ciaran Kennedy, Technical Director at Critical Data Services. “Index Engines’ tape indexing technology helps to automate the process, is highly defensible, and can actually get our clients reviewing tape data within days instead of weeks or months.

“There’s no longer a reason to restore bulk data from tape and then have to spend time processing through it conventionally. Index Engines’ approach is far more efficient and defensible.”

To make the process more user-friendly for eDiscovery service providers and law firms within Europe, Critical Data Services combines the convenience and simplicity of the web with the efficiency of their secure lab.

Backup tapes are securely transported to Critical Data Services’ processing facility where a comprehensive, searchable index of all the files and emails contained on the tape is created. Customers can access that index over a secure internet connection to search their contents and identify relevant ESI.

Finally, any identified relevant data is extracted from tape for delivery to the customer and/or collected into a forensically sound archive for continued long term preservation and access.

Allowing customers to identify ESI prior to extraction is what makes this process so much more efficient and cost effective that traditional tape processing.

“Critical Data Services has a well-established reputation of providing outstanding service throughout Ireland and the rest of Europe,” Index Engines Vice President David Ballard said. “They’ve seen first-hand how slow and ineffective full tape restoration can be and are dedicated to bringing their clients the quickest, most defensible solutions in the eDiscovery market today.”

Index Engines sets eDiscovery standard for performance and collaboration

Leveraging state-of-the-art hardware and VMware configurations, Index Engines enables management of multiple large-scale client projects simultaneously through the cloud

Holmdel NJ – Information management company Index Engines announced new hardware and multi-node configurations to increase performance and access to data for eDiscovery projects.

Among the increase in collaboration abilities, the new platform allows for management of multiple large-scale client projects through secure, web-based cloud hosting allowing for increased communication during culling, management and review of electronically stored information.

“We’ve seen a consistent trend of service providers tackling larger cases with stricter budgets and tighter time frames,” said Jim McGann, vice president of Index Engines. “For our customers, we needed to make it faster and easier to process overlapping large tape and LAN projects.”

The multi-node environments are established through VMware. After ESI is collected and culled though Octane’s high-performance engine, responsive ESI is stored on a network server and managed via a VMware node. VMware nodes can be deployed for each client, providing browser based, secure access to specific content.

While the multi-node environment works with Index Engines’ existing hardware, the company also released a new system. Partnering with Dell to leverage Dell Support and a state-of-the-art Intel chip, the new hardware enables eDiscovery collection speeds that can reach 1 terabyte of data per hour.

This 2U rack mounted software has three-and-a-half time the memory (256 GB) and two-and-a-half times the hard drive space (15 GB) of the previous model, enabling it to keep pace with data growth.

The Dell hardware also enables Index Engines’ software to index 1.5 petabytes of data while creating just a 1 percent footprint for metadata processing.

“We’re thrilled that Dell’s software is improving customer experience of our products,” McGann said. “We’ve been thoroughly impressed with the efficiency and capabilities we’ve received from Dell’s hardware.”

Along with the new releases, Index Engines also announced new pricing packages. Annual subscriptions start at $35,000. Unlimited packages and special incentives for current hardware owners are also available.

Streamline data center migrations and consolidations

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Moving unstructured data was time consuming and expensive.

But now when faced with a migration to a new storage platform or consolidation of multiple environments, movement of outdated, abandoned and aged data can be avoided.

Index Engines’ patented data profiling technology enables data center managers to eliminate data with no business value before a consolidation or migration occurs.

Through data profiling, you can:
•Understand the environment with a meta-data level analysis that shows data owners, duplicate files, last accessed data, potential PII and more,
•Classify data as abandoned, aged, risk, active or personal to develop an accurate view of your data, and
•Decide disposition so only content with business value is tiered to a new platform.

TransPerfect Legal Solutions (TLS) and Index Engines tackle legacy data discovery with Preferred Partnership

Index Engines names TLS its first Preferred Partner, forming a union between expert eDiscovery resources and best-in-class indexing technology

HOLMDEL, NJ – Information management company Index Engines named eDiscovery service provider TransPerfect Legal Solutions (TLS) as the first partner to join their new Preferred Partner Program.

This unique partnership enables Index Engines and TLS to collaborate on large-scale eDiscovery projects, providing a full-service collaboration for law firms and inside counsel in need of ESI collection and management.

“We’ve worked with TLS for the past three years and their company-wide work ethic and commitment to excellence is second to none,” Index Engines Vice President David Ballard said. “We’re thrilled to be working with them on a closer level and announce them as the first member of our elite Preferred Partner Program.”

To become a Preferred Partner, TLS professionals underwent rigorous training on Index Engines’ technology and had to show a proven track record of using the technology in eDiscovery projects.

TLS easily met the requirements having frequently used Index Engines’ Octane platform to remediate legacy tapes, as opposed to sending them out for restoration, a method that increases accuracy and decreases processing time.

“We pride ourselves on delivering the most accurate, complete results and surpassing our clients’ expectations on every project,” added Michael Wudke, President of Forensic Technology and Consulting, TLS. “Our partnership with Index Engines allows us to add more value to our clients and service more of their projects. We’re excited to continue working with Index Engines.”

In this partnership, Index Engines provides legacy tape processing or licensing services, remote hosting of the search interface, extraction of identified files, delivery of extracted data and CoC tracking if data is processed in its Cloud Services Lab.

TLS in return takes over the project management portion, delivers the interface to the end user, and can provide a number of value-added services including query preparation, bates stamping and hosting case management tools.

Unseen Data Risks: 5 Things to Never Put in an Email

Almost daily there are news reports of emails being breached, hacked or searched. Much of this resulted from information that was intended to be between certain parties spreading with the exposed information costing victims their identity, bank account, reputation and even their job.

Besides generally being too trusting of internet and email security, there is little understanding of what happens when an email is sent and who can access these communications.

When corporate email is saved to desktops, accessed through networked computers or forwarded throughout an organization, many duplicate copies could be made for backup recovery, saved to networks and even hidden on the desktop in PST folders. Each time a copy is created, the risks of it being accessed by unintended eyes increases exponentially. Even when all sending and receiving parties delete an email communication, it’s never really gone.

With litigation, compliance and security costs on the rise, many corporations are starting to manage email that takes place on their servers. But email governance is a relatively new concept for most and organizations are struggling to create and enforce policy. As a result it is up to the individual users to protect themselves and there are certain things, no matter how innocuous they may seem, that should never be written in an email.

1 – Let’s start with the obvious: never send personally identifiable information through email. Sure, it seems convenient when you need to update the HR department, complete a loan application with a bank or wrap up a purchase with an online sales rep, but sharing Social Security and credit card numbers, dates of birth and other forms of personally identifiable information can put a person at risk.

Of course there’s always the risk that the person on the receiving end of the email is unscrupulous and will use that information for their own personal gain, but that email is backed up and archived throughout networks and if the system is breached, that information could be at anyone’s disposal. And although most states have laws requiring companies to notify customers/users when there’s a breach of records, there’s a good chance it won’t happen.

2 – Keep your legal/potential legal problems to phone calls or risk more legal problems. Asking for legal advice could be considered an admission of guilt, or at least an admission that you knew there could be a problem. Depending on the circumstances or subsequent action taken, failure to act or even an act of premeditation can be accused.

Whether it’s about child custody, a corporate litigation event or a personal-injury case, when asking friends and family for advice or just discussing the case – pick up the phone.

3 – If it’s not work, don’t send it through a work email. Everyone’s heard this before – employers own the email server their employees use, so all employee email is property of the corporation and can be accessed by said corporation. Yet, we still send anything and everything through work accounts.

Sure, that viral kitten video sent to a colleague will not do much more than reallocate a few minutes of everyone’s day, but other chatty work email can get you in hot water. Remember that Wednesday night party you were bragging about and called out sick the next day, the school play you forgot to put in for and came down with a stomach bug early that morning or those vacation photos from Cancun you uploaded – while your coworker may not tattle, your email will. Of course honesty is still the best policy, but not putting your deceptions in writing is the second best. Once perceived as a liar, your days at work are probably numbered.

4 – Slang terms don’t make you trendy, but they do make you vulnerable. Vulnerable for misinterpretation. Vulnerable for accusations. Vulnerable for lawsuits. If you’re a rapper racist, bigot or prejudicial words may have multiple connotations, but for corporate America and the general public they don’t. Whether it is meant as a joke, nicknames between buddies or an attempt to blend with a younger crowd, these words should never be used.

Paula Deen’s recent ‘lack of judgement’ has made headlines, causing her empire to fall and her millions of fans to offer no defense. She’s not the only celebrity to have their reputation lost after poorly or ignorantly choosing words (actors Michael Richards, Alec Baldwin, Mel Gibson; musician 50 Cent), and if once beloved celebrities can fall in an instant – where would your job and reputation land when using one of these terms in passing or even out-of-context? Forget email, it’s best to never speak them either.

5 – There’s a thin line between compliment, correction and harassment. Whether it is meant to be an innocuous statement, observation or compliment, comments on appearance, work ethic and character can be used as part of class action and employment lawsuits.

Blowing off steam about a colleague that has been late to work every day for the past month since becoming pregnant, making a comment that items have gone missing since the latest hire or complimenting wardrobe choices can bring you into lawsuits. Few approve of it, but we live in an environment that is overly politically correct and a tad sue happy. What may seem like a private conversation or a flattering remark is too often misinterpreted or coincides with another string of events – like the pregnant colleague being passed over for a promotion – that drags you into litigation.

Use the current headlines as a reminder – email is never really private and it is never really gone. While some corporations are bringing in data profiling technology to audit for PII, reduce their chance of breaches and permanently delete email for the same reasons above, you can take control of your data security today by being a little smarter about what goes into your emails.

If in doubt about what to write, just assume your boss, your mother and your neighborhood identity thief will be reading.

The importance of metadata in content management

Metadata accuracy is critical to ensuring accurate and reliable unstructured data classification. Many tools that exist in the market will corrupt metadata making the management of this content nearly impossible.

Organizations are learning that once metadata becomes unreliable it is difficult to make decisions about the data and it becomes lost and abandoned.

Take for example tools that crawl through networks and servers in order to index the metadata and content. In order to accomplish this task they access the document, thus changing the last accessed time. Some tools will reset this time, some may not.

As a result a key date field becomes inaccurate. In fact data that has been languishing on the network for a decade, untouched and long forgotten, can be suddenly indexed and the last accessed date become current. As a result data center and records managers would treat this content as valuable information rather than the classifying it as outdated and trivial which it is.

Another more common example is data center tools that change the owner of the document from a specific user to “administrator” or “admin.” These tools are common and will change one of the more critical metadata fields that is required for classifying content according to department and business unit.

As these tools scan the network they can change thousands of documents ownership to the useless “admin” owner and the document loses context and importance. One financial services company found that 50 percent of their unstructured data belonged to “admin” after being corrupted during consolidations and migrations – during this time last accessed dates also changed making the data useless and unmanageable.

Metadata is key to managing content and determining the disposition. As long as organizations continue to use tools that corrupt and cause spoliation of metadata content that has value or is sensitive will become lost among the complex infrastructure.

Understanding how a tool or platform extracts metadata and indexes content is important in ensuring long term metadata accuracy and confidence that user data will remain reliable.

Forbes: Three things companies can learn from A-Rod

After investigating alleged steroid use by New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Major League Baseball has reportedly offered him a plea deal. It’s the latest installment in a sad story, with important lessons for companies and workers, both inside and outside the ballpark.

Read Jim McGann’s entire guest post on Forbes.

Abandoned Data Clogging Corporate Networks

When an employee leaves an organization their data lives on. Their computer’s hard drive may be wiped, however they leave many footprints scattered about the data center. A very small portion of this content may be useful to existing employees, but the vast majority is abandoned content that has outlived its business value.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, organizations are currently facing a 3.3% turnover rate. Take an example of a 5,000 employee organization; this represents 165 ex-employees annually. If these ex-employees were generating 5GB of unstructured content annually this would represent almost 1TB of abandoned data annually.

However, we know that corporate data is never represented by the single copy created by the user. Corporate data is replicated over and over again over time. Copies are made for backup and archiving. Copies are attached to email and sent to other users for review and consumption. When a single document is created over time this document can easily turn into 10 copies of the same document.

Taking the previous example of 1TB of data abandoned on networks by ex-employees, this number quickly turns into 10TB of annual useless content cluttering the data center. Over 10 years this will explode to 100TB of abandoned data.

Abandoned data is a hidden class of content that is taking up valuable storage capacity and causing long term risk and liability in today’s legal climate. Organizations rarely think about this content and are unaware that they are managing and storing it, often upgrading server capacity annually to continue to make room for this data.

Classification of user content is gaining steam due to the challenges data center face in managing decades of user content. When classified, data owned by ex-employees or abandoned data is something that no longer has a place on the primary network. Understanding this data and taking action on it has been complex, but data classification software can easily integrate with the Active Directory/LDAP environment to find and tag data owned by inactive users or ex-employees.

Once data is classified it can be easily managed according to policy. Legal and compliance would be happy to make disposition decisions about the content and in some cases purge it from the network. Worst case this content should be moved to less expensive storage or offline to recoup the capacity on the primary storage network.

Using Data Profiling to Mitigate 7 “Red Flag” Information Risks

Data profiling technology can help an organization identify what electronic information it has and where it is located, which is the first step to ensuring that information governance policies are applied to it, reducing the organization’s costs and mitigating its seven greatest information risks.

Uncover these red flags in the summer edition of ARMA’s Information Magazine.

Read Using Data Profiling to Mitigate 7 “Red Flag” Information Risks

Read the entire July/August 2013 issue of Information Management