Tag Archives: Cloud

What is Hybrid eDiscovery and How Will it Shape the Future of Legaltech?

hybrid eDiscovery

In Gartner’s 2019 Market Guide for E-Discovery Solutions, they say a future trend in eDiscovery will be people moving to a Hybrid eDiscovery deployment where “organizations are looking for greater cloud flexibility where capabilities can be ‘dialed up’ and ‘dialed down’ as needed. Established processes, methods and technologies may not be enough. Indexing and classification services, for example, will work better and be less bandwidth-and resource-intensive if they are located closer to the data source.”

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise. For many years, people have touted end-to-end solutions, with the notion that an in-house legal team can handle everything that comes their way with the right software. But there are a lot of stakeholders involved in the eDiscovery process, which makes the idea of a single team doing everything extremely complex:

  • Attorneys need electronic evidence to make their case
  • Litigation Support, Paralegals, and Case Managers have to actually get that data and put it into a usable form so attorneys can review it
  • IT has to work with all parties, collecting, managing, and hosting that data in a secure way, while the legal team does their work

In the same way, there are a lot of components to ensure eDiscovery happens.

  • Software is needed to process, cull, search, review, and produce electronic information
  • Services are needed to do the work of eDiscovery, either though utilizing in-house personnel or looking to outside service providers
  • IT Infrastructure is needed to host the software and all of the case data in a secure and accessible way.

What is hybrid eDiscovery and how does it deal with these issues differently than the current models?

As a concept, it combines the best aspects of powerful in-house software, an outside service-provider, and a dedicated cloud environment and IT department specialized to eDiscovery, bundled into a solution with a single technology partner. Hybrid eDiscovery gives you the confidence, that no matter what type of case falls in your organization’s lap, you have the flexibility, scalability, and support to handle it, either in-house or utilizing your technology partner’s services.

Software:

Obviously, it’s a non-starter if you don’t have access a robust eDiscovery tool that can process any type of data, while utilizing the latest innovations in ECA, Advanced Analytics, and AI in order to speed up the review process and accurately produce ESI. Some software claims to be “easier to use” than others. But what really matters is if the software can handle the needs of high-volume complex eDiscovery. A drag and drop, single-click process doesn’t mean anything if you’re constantly having to send work out to someone else when things get heavy. It also gets costly. Add that with the ability to flexibly deploy software in whatever way works best for you – on prem or in the cloud for enterprise level clients, or a modern desktop deployment for smaller law firms and government agencies – and you have the foundation for a Hybrid eDiscovery solution.

Services:

Having a technology partner to help out when you need it allows your organization to surge or dial back resources depending on workload and data needs. And unlike an outside service provider, a Hybrid eDiscovery technology partner is the creator and owner, as well as the user of the technology, so they can adapt quickly to better support your organization. From helping with case and user creation, strategy, processing, data imports, setting up Review Passes and custom searches, exports and/or productions, they can be as hands on or hands off as you’d like. And because you’ll work with the same case managers, they’ll come to know you’re your workflow, acting more as an extension of your case team, oftentimes giving around-the-clock support in order to meet tight deadlines. Long-story-short, they are prepared to handle the technical aspects of a matter, thus allowing attorneys to focus on the practice of law.

Hybrid eDiscovery in the Cloud

A lot of people think of “The Cloud” as a singular place, but there are many types of clouds. Here are the three types of cloud hosting most used in eDiscovery.

Public Cloud (AWS, MS Azure):

  • All infrastructure exists in the data centers of the provider
  • Users have a private environment within larger ecosystem
  • Cloud host responsible for data security, IT management & support

Sounds good right? Except these public clouds aren’t just used for eDiscovery, so case data is in the same cloud as the data of large corporations and financial enterprises (which may be high-profile targets for hacking). Public cloud providers are experts in data security & IT management, but they aren’t specialists in eDiscovery.

Private Cloud (AKA, On-Prem):

  • More control over data and environment
  • Dedicated private network located either on-premise or at a remote site
  • “On-Prem” eDiscovery deployment often means a private cloud

Control of eDiscovery data is fully with the user, which is an added benefit from a security and control standpoint. But the burden of maintaining an in-house system is heavy: managing hardware and software upgrades, maintaining an IT team that understands the needs of the legal department, securing against hacks and data breaches, while trying to recover costs and scale in the face of ever-growing datasets.

Hybrid eDiscovery:

  • The scalability of a public cloud with the data control of a private cloud
  • Hosting team speaks the same language as your legal team and acts as your dedicated eDiscovery IT department
  • State-of-the-art data center, with limited employee access to sensitive data & a lower profile for targeted hacks
  • Hosting fees are a fraction of those on public clouds. And because you’re changed flat rates for data processed and hosted only, cost is not only reasonable but predictable
  • Regardless of the software deployment you’re using (desktop, on-prem, or cloud hosted), you can scale up using your Hybrid eDiscovery partner’s cloud at any time

Conclusion

As Gartner stated, Hybrid eDiscovery is something that will continue to trend in legaltech. Software alone isn’t enough. Data continues to grow in size and complexity, and the need for that data in investigations and litigation is now a daily occurrence. For an agile response, innovative approaches to eDiscovery are necessary, and rather than trying to go it alone, forward-thinking legal teams will look toward a hybrid approach.

Find out more about Hybrid eDiscovery with Ipro

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Manager, Ipro

Hybrid eDiscovery: How This Unique Cloud Deployment Can Free You from the Burdens of On-Prem Without Forcing You To AWS

hybrid cloud ediscovery

What Does the Capital One Hack Reveal About Hybrid Cloud eDiscovery?

Most of us are already aware of the arrest of Paige Thompson, a Seattle resident and former Amazon Web Services (AWS) employee, who was taken into FBI custody earlier this week for hacking Capital One and exposing personal data of more than 100 million customers. According to Israeli security firm CyberInt, other organizations including Vodafone, Ford, Michigan State University, and the Ohio Department of Transportation may have also fallen victim to the same hack.

AWS is sometimes referred to as the most secure cloud environment in the world and is the only company that has received the highest-level Defense Department IT certification, known as Impact Level 6, which allows it to handle top-secret data. That advantage stems in large part from a $600 million contract with the CIA that was awarded in 2013.

Hack and data breach may seem interchangeable as terms, but in actuality, they are different, and it’s that difference that may affect who is liable. A hack is an intentional attack perpetrated by a malicious actor who gains unauthorized access to a protected system (e.g. computer, server) in order to steal private information or hold the system ransom. A data breach occurs when data that is unintentionally left vulnerable in an unsecured environment is viewed by someone who shouldn’t have access to that data. The question here is whether the liability lies with Capital One and a misconfigured database within the AWS environment or with AWS because a former employee may have used credentials to access the cloud and/or knowledge of the misconfigurations.

Many eDiscovery solutions host their platforms, along with users’ case data, on public clouds like AWS and Azure, which might lead some to question the security of cloud-based eDiscovery. First, it’s important to remember that the Capital One hack (or is it breach? Or both?) had nothing to do with security certificates (after all, they have an Impact Level 6 certification), but an attack conducted by someone with inside knowledge.

But it is an opportunity to review the notion of “Cloud eDiscovery” and note that there isn’t a single environment that everything is operating in, but instead many options when it comes to choosing a cloud hosted platform.

Public Cloud (AWS, MS Azure):

In a public cloud, all infrastructure exists in the data centers of the cloud service provider. Each user then has a private environment within the larger public ecosystem, while the cloud host has physical control of the hardware and is responsible for all aspects of data security, IT management, and support.

Sounds good right? Except these public clouds aren’t just used for eDiscovery. They’re used for everything. Case data is in the same cloud as Capital One, Ford Motors, MSU, and ODOT (and others). And while the cloud provider is in charge of data security, IT management, and support (which is a definite plus), they aren’t specialists in eDiscovery, and they aren’t the same people who created the eDiscovery software that is being hosted in their cloud. So it adds additional stakeholders.

Private Cloud (AKA, On-Prem):

In lieu of some of the issues mentioned above, an organization may want more control over their environment and set up a dedicated, private network located either on-premise or at a remote site. Many times, when eDiscovery vendors talk about an “On-Prem” deployment, they may actually mean installing the solution on the user’s private cloud.

This definitely brings control of eDiscovery data wholly onto the organization, which is an added benefit from a security and control standpoint. However, for many, the burden of having to maintain an in-house system is heavy. Managing upgrades to software as well as hardware, while trying to recover costs, maintaining an IT team that understands the needs of the legal department, while being challenged with the ability to scale in the face of ever-growing datasets, as well as the liability of securing against hacks and data breaches, can be draining on both personnel and financial resources.

Hybrid eDiscovery: The Ipro Cloud

If only there was a hybrid of the two eDiscovery cloud options, one with the scalability and easy management of a public cloud, but with the control and security of a private cloud. And even better, what if that cloud was created and managed by people who not only understand the unique needs of eDiscovery but are dedicated to you?

That’s not just any cloud, but the Ipro Cloud. It gives you the flexibility to run your own environment on a private cloud managed by the creators of the eDiscovery software you’re using. Ipro teams speak the same language as your legal team and act as your eDiscovery dedicated IT department.

With Hybrid eDiscovery in Ipro’s Cloud, you also get the scalability of a public cloud with the control and security of a private cloud, utilizing Ipro’s decades of IT and industry experience running and operating the largest of client-environments. Unlike large public clouds, the only data hosted here is related to eDiscovery, all housed in a state-of-the-art data center with limited employee access to sensitive data, as well as a lower profile when it comes to targeted hacks. And hosting fees on the Ipro Cloud are a fraction of those on public clouds.

While you can secure and fully manage your own environment in the Ipro Cloud, you also get the benefit of a true technology partner Ipro’s hybrid approach. Ipro’s services team has been in your shoes and know the pain points and urgency of eDiscovery. Clients return again and again, because we specialize in building customized workflows for both simple and complex cases, while using our technology and advanced analytics to speed up processes through review with a focus on delivering quality results.

Proven Client Success:

Ipro is a 30-year legal technology veteran and hosts some of the biggest corporations and law firms in its cloud. One of them is Chamberlain Hrdlicka, a diversified business law firm with offices in Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Antonio. In a recent case study, they said, “The Ipro eDiscovery Suite ultimately improved our firm’s ability to produce higher quality, streamlined reviews and provided the flexibility to handle cases of any size. Using Ipro, we were able to increase caseload by hosting over 330 cases and 40TB of data, while still working fewer hours and maintaining a small team. The workflows are well thought out and the system is intuitive to use, which minimized the learning curve for our technical staff, support personnel and attorneys as they adopted the system.”

 

Should Small Firms Adopt eDiscovery?

To a small law firm, perhaps one of the most anxiety-inducing aspects of eDiscovery is the uncertainty. There is a starting point and an endpoint, but the in-between can be a walk through a minefield. The most significant question of all can be, “Can we do our eDiscovery in-house?”

To help you safely navigate eDiscovery, let’s look at the most common pitfalls you’re likely to encounter and how to get past them.

You Don’t Have a Lit-Support Staff

When people think about discovery, it’s usually teams of attorneys burning the midnight oil, sifting through data to find that smoking gun. It can take an entire supporting staff to manage the technology that gets ESI in front of reviewers. These are the folks whose responsibilities include:

  • Loading data into review systems
  • Keeping the pipeline moving by batching data
  • Handling technical issues that might arise

However, the cost of maintaining or outsourcing work quickly becomes prohibitive, limiting the size of cases you can manage. Fortunately, as eDiscovery has become more common, related technology is making leaps and bounds.

For example, Ipro Tech’s Automated Digital Discovery platform lets organizations of any size implement a workflow where discovery data is automatically copied, processed, filtered and loaded with minimal human interaction. Systems like these can quickly pay for themselves; time and staffing requirements are reduced while more extensive and lucrative cases become feasible.

Your Current Solutions Can’t Scale to Your Projects

The phone rings. It’s the case of a lifetime. You eagerly agree. But fast forward a few months; megabytes become terabytes, and your eDiscovery platform is redlining trying to keep up.

It’s critical to remain aware of any thresholds your technology might have, and plan accordingly. If you’re expecting to take on bulkier cases, choose an eDiscovery platform for the future. Knowing the options for swappable and burstable licensing is a must before committing to a solution. Does the provider offer both; In the Cloud or Behind the Firewall options?

Make sure you find a veteran provider, like Ipro Tech, who offers live support, training and consulting to ensure clients are never stuck while deadlines loom. Client-focused providers often have service teams, like Ipro’s Professional Services, which are deployed to provide clients with any necessary support from implementation to project management.