Tag Archives: legal

Cloud Search: Not As Simple As You Think

By Barry Murphy

Corporations and Government agencies are moving data to the Cloud in droves.  No matter which analyst firm you look to on Cloud storage adoption, you will find consistent results:

  • Forrester Research reports that 40% of enterprises surveyed indicated they have already rolled out workloads on public clouds or have near-term plans to do so and that the number will increase to 50% this year.
  • IDC predicts that from 2013–2017 public IT cloud services will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.5%, five times that of the IT industry as a whole.
  • Gartner says Cloud Computing Will Become the Bulk of New IT Spend by 2016 and that spending on public Cloud services will have a CAGR of 17.7% from 2011 – 2016, with spending on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) itself will have a CAGR of 41.3% in that time period.
  • In eDJ Group’s recent Cloud services adoption fast poll, Greg Buckles found that less than 5% of respondents reported that all information is kept on-premise on company infrastructure and cloud services are not being actively considered.

Cloud-icon_magnifying-glassNo matter where data is being stored, though, the fact remains that the ability to search that data will be critically important.  Workers still demand unified access to email, files, and SharePoint information, and they want fast-as-you-type search results regardless of where the data lives.  In addition, Legal teams require that search queries and collections execute within specific time-frames.  But, Cloud search is slow, as indexes live far from the information.  This results in frustrated workers and Legal teams afraid that eDiscovery cannot be completed in time.

Lest you think this is not a big deal, consider the following story.  When I was at eDJ, we worked with a very large enterprise client that wanted to move its collaboration system to the Cloud.  The problem was that the Cloud system the client was contracting with could not meet the Legal Department’s requirements for speed of query results and collection.  This significantly slowed down the movement to the Cloud until the client had worked with the Cloud vendor to ensure that search and collection could execute at the necessary speeds.  The delay frustrated an IT team anxious to reap the promised benefits of the Cloud and cost the project team significant man-hours.

This story highlights the need to granularly define search and eDiscovery requirements before moving data to the Cloud.  Most “cloud search” solutions pass queries through connectors, and then the Cloud vendor needs to figure out where in its vast data center the index lives, find the content, return the query result, and then the customer will need to download all the content.  The result is a slow search and another copy of the data downloaded on premise, which basically defeats the purpose of moving to the Cloud in the first place.

If a customer wanted to speed up search, it would have to essentially attach an appliance to a hot-air balloon and send it up to the Cloud provider so that the customer’s index could live on that appliance (or farm of appliances) in the Cloud providers data center, physically near the data.  There are many reasons, however, that a Cloud provider would not allow a customer to do that:

  • Long install process
  • Challenging pre-requisites
  • 3rd party installation concerns
  • Physical access
  • Specific hardware requirements
  • They only scale vertically

The solution to a faster search is a cloud-deployable search application, such as X1 Rapid Discovery.  This creates a win-win for Cloud providers and customers alike.  As enterprises move more and more information to the Cloud, it will be important to think about workers’ experiences with Cloud systems – and search is one of those user experiences that, if it is a bad one, can really negatively affect a project and cause user revolt.

 

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Filed under Cloud Data, Enterprise eDiscovery, Enterprise Search, Information Access, Virtualized Environment

National White Collar Crime Center Launches Certified Training for X1 Social Discovery

This past month, the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), an internationally recognized leader in education and support in the prevention and prosecution of high-tech crime, announced a strategic partnership with X1 Discovery to provide training and support to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies worldwide, as well as to legal, corporate discovery and risk professionals. The partnership will focus on promoting best practices and advanced techniques for website and social media evidence collection and analysis, based upon the X1 Social Discovery software.

Training and certification on a computer investigation process is very important to help bolster the qualifications of a testifying witness. A great example of this is the “on point” case of State v. Rossi, where an Ohio appellate addressed the issue of authentication of social media evidence and involved the expert testimony of a police detective, where the defense unsuccessfully challenged his qualifications as a computer forensics expert. Here is the key quote from the court:

“Det. Roderick testified that he received forensic computer training from the FBI and National White Collar Crime Center. Accordingly, the trial court did not err by
allowing Det. Roderick to testify as an expert in forensic computer investigations.” (Emphasis added)

As State v. Rossi tackles social media evidence, best practices for its collection (which were not followed by the defense), the issues of training, expert testimony, and the credibility of NW3C, the case serves as “Exhibit A” for the importance of the NW3C and X1 Discovery relationship.

NW3C has now posted their first schedule of classes online, available here. The classes are open to both law enforcement and private sector professionals. The training curriculum will provide best practices and new methods to collect, search, preserve and manage social media evidence from social media networking sites and other websites in a scalable, instantaneous and forensically sound manner. Participants will learn about specific cases involving critical social media data; find out how to collect and index thousands of social media items in minutes; understand and identify key metadata unique to social media; learn how to better authenticate social media evidence in a safe and defensible manner; and more. Attendees who complete the course will received a certificate of authorized training on the X1 Social Discovery software, which is designed to effectively address social media content from the leading social media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In addition, it can crawl, capture and instantly search content from any website.

The cost of the 1-day training is $595, which is a great investment in your credentials and career as an expert witness and computer investigation professional.


> Learn more about this “hands-on” training in our live webinar

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Filed under Best Practices, Social Media Investigations

The Future for eDiscovery: Social Media and the Cloud

Greetings and welcome to all. This is the inaugural post of Next Generation eDiscovery, a blog that will focus on legal, technical and compliance issues related to the collection, preservation and early case assessment of social media and other cloud-based data. To provide some context, the team here at X1 Discovery is experienced in developing and supporting technology for collecting electronic evidence in the enterprise to meet eDiscovery and investigation requirements. Many of us hail from Guidance Software, the developer of EnCase, which is the leading eDiscovery and investigative solution for collecting from hard drives, both standalone and within the enterprise. And now we turn our focus to current trends and the future.

And the future for eDiscovery is about social media and the cloud. In fact, it seems like just this year when social media became a compelling issue in eDiscovery and is reaching critical mass given the level of rising discourse. With over 700 million Facebook users and 200 million people with Twitter accounts, evidence from social media sites can be relevant to just about every litigation dispute and investigation matter. Social media evidence is widely discoverable and generally not subject to privacy constraints when established to be relevant to a case, particularly when that data is held by a party to litigation or even a key witness.

It seems like in recent months there has been much talk in the eDiscovery and digital investigation fields about social media, mostly outlining the scope of the problem and the need to put corporate policies and procedures in place concerning social media.  That discussion is an important first step, but it’s time for actual solutions in terms of technical, legal and investigation techniques. This blog will seek to identify and foster discussion points, educate, and even pontificate at times but also learn from our readers, customers and non-customers alike. We look forward to the dialogue.

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Filed under Preservation & Collection