Clearwell Updates Its E-Discovery Package

Clearwell Systems, which supplies the e-discovery tool set for Cisco Systems, says its platform now enables easier identification and collection of information without affecting what it calls the chain of custody of data.

Data compliance and e-discovery software maker Clearwell Systems announced Sept. 16 the addition of an Identification and Collection Module in Version 6.0 of its Clearwell E-Discovery Platform.

Clearwell, which has been supplying the e-discovery tool set for Cisco Systems since 2007, said the module enables IT teams to easily identify and collect electronically stored information without affecting the "chain of custody" of the data.

The data can is made available to legal teams for early case assessment, review and production, Clearwell said.

The phrase "chain of custody" makes sense in data storage terms when discussing access to data that involves litigation-or potential litigation-because data must pass through a number of hands and security levels before finding a permanent residence in a storage system.

In fact, one would think that a vendor such as Clearwell would have already had this feature in its package.

"Our focus up to now has been processing analysis, review and production," Kamal Shah, Clearwell vice president of products and marketing, told eWEEK. "As we went out and spoke to our customers and prospects, what we got from them is that e-discovery continues to be a disjointed process.

"Collection and preservation is typically done by IT [staff], who collect the data and pass it on to legal teams. There is very little collaboration. IT teams struggle to keep up with demand from legal. When they have to do a collection, they have to use a hodgepodge of tools, which is a burden that decreases productivity."

Clearwell's E-Discovery Platform 6.0 works for both IT and legal teams by using streamlined workflows which lead to significant reductions in the costs, duration and risks associated with e-discovery, the company said.

Key features in Clearwell's Identification & Collection Module, according to the company, are:

"Interactive Data Map: Provides the flexibility to build a data map immediately with Active Directory import or gradually on a case-by-case basis. Users can easily navigate through data sources with an iTunes-like filter and securely manage authentication access accounts.Network Collector: Collects directly from critical data sources including Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lotus Domino Servers, file shares, personal computers, and applications in the cloud. Data is collected in a forensically sound manner, with all metadata kept intact.Collection Scheduler: Allows users to assign tasks to run during off-hours and schedule recurring collections, providing flexibility and freeing administrative resources. Collection throttling capabilities ensure that server loads are managed and optimized.Incremental Collector: Collects only new or modified data for recurring collections with the same parameters as the original collection, saving users the time of having to set up follow-on collections from scratch.Collection Templates: Save commonly-used collection settings, including specific directories, filters, preservation stores, and custodian assignments, for reuse during future collections to further streamline the collections process.On-Site Collector: Collects data on-site from laptops, PCs, and file shares onto generic USB drives. No end user interaction is required other than simply double-clicking an .exe file. [...]Data Verification: Automatically performs separate MD5 [security] hashes of the source copy and the destination copy. If hashes do not match during the copy process, the data is re-copied until hashes do match, ensuring that every collection is forensically sound and defensible.Collection Analytics: Provide a complete portfolio of analytical charts and tables that display the types of data collected for each custodian, delivering real-time visibility into collected or outstanding data and facilitating the immediate remediation critical for defensibility.End-To-End Analytics: Generate interactive charts and graphs that offer detailed visibility into data volumes from collection through production. Users can further drill down by custodian or data source or pivot by different stages of e-discovery."

"As enterprises look to streamline in-house electronic discovery, they can accelerate their efforts by using a single product that supports the e-discovery process from beginning to end," said Brian Babineau, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "Clearwell addresses this need. An additional benefit of this single, integrated product is that it addresses the often unstated need to facilitate greater collaboration between legal and IT departments."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...