Compliance is a top issue for businesses across all verticals. Companies today face rising pressure from government agencies, watchdog groups, and consumers to follow strict regulatory protocols and operate with transparency. Businesses that fail to do this risk encountering serious fines and penalties.
As such, companies are increasingly boosting their compliance and eDiscovery strategies. At large firms, the average cost to maintain compliance can be as much as $10,000 per employee.
If you’re interested in learning about the link between compliance and eDiscovery, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn why compliance and eDiscovery are so important in today’s digital world and some key considerations to keep in mind that can help your business stay on track.
Compliance and eDiscovery: What You Need to Know
Companies today are collecting more data than ever before and using it to guide daily business decisions. This is true across all departments, including sales and marketing, research and development, operations, and everything in between. In fact, 97.2% of businesses are now investing in big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to make sense of all the data they have under their control.
That said, the days of ingesting large volumes of data and processing it with minimal oversight are coming to an end. Widespread privacy and security concerns are forcing companies to be responsible custodians when handling electronically stored information (ESI).
Businesses need to be able to quickly search for and review ESI and procure data rapidly for customers, partners, internal audits, and legal reviews. To do this, they need strong data management tools — particularly when they’re dealing with complex and ever-growing compliance mandates.
The Link Between Compliance and eDiscovery
Businesses need to maintain regulatory compliance to protect their resources, reputation, and bottom line. At the same time, they need eDiscovery to locate relevant digital information and maintain regulatory compliance. Taken together, compliance and eDiscovery go hand-in-hand.
With that in mind, here are some of the top reasons why businesses need compliance and eDiscovery.
Avoid Financial Penalties
Noncompliance can lead to major financial penalties, including fines and sanctions. Companies can avoid these punishments by following regulations and standards and by being able to quickly procure documents as evidence when required.
During a legal proceeding, a company must be able to demonstrate chain-of-custody compliance to demonstrate that the evidence is valid. An eDiscovery strategy can prove evidence of ownership and movement from end to end.
Improve Operational Efficiency
Efficiency is critical for success with compliance. An eDiscovery solution can quickly procure documents at any point, saving businesses time, effort, and stress.
Handle Consumer Data Requests
Certain regulatory frameworks, like the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), enable customers to request copies of their personal information at any time. With the help of an eDiscovery system, procuring consumer data and fulfilling requests becomes fast and easy.
Minimize Legal Delays
The eDiscovery process moves very quickly during civil cases. Companies must quickly procure information or risk facing court fines and other penalties.
How Are Compliance and eDiscovery Evolving Over Time?
The pandemic is accelerating technological innovation across all industries. The majority of businesses now have a remote or hybrid workforce and are heavily reliant on the cloud, having big implications for compliance and eDiscovery. Here are some of the ways that compliance and eDiscovery are changing:
Data is increasing in size and complexity, which is creating new management challenges. Businesses need to demonstrate compliance when handling large volumes of complex data and turning datasets into operational analytics.
Data Access and Governance
Companies with heavy regulations in sectors like finance and healthcare must limit access control to ESI and provide strong data governance. Failure to protect data in a remote or cloud environment can carry stiff penalties. It can also lead to brand damage and reputational harm.
New Data Sources
Many organizations are expanding their data sources and finding new ways to collect insights. As companies tap into new data streams, they need to maintain fluid eDiscovery strategies and carefully document how and where they collect, store, and process information.
Changing Data Privacy and Protection Laws
Data protection laws and regulations are constantly changing as governments continue to grapple with consumer concerns and limit how companies can use information.
For example, the EU has the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and China has the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL). There are also new data protection laws starting in Saudi Arabia and India. And while the U.S. still lacks a federal data protection mandate, businesses need to comply with multiple statewide initiatives that limit information usage (e.g., in California, Virginia, and Colorado).
Add it all up, and it’s critical to have an eDiscovery system that tracks changing data privacy and protection laws and guarantees compliance with evolving regulations.
Key Considerations for eDiscovery and Compliance
When forming a compliance and eDiscovery strategy, you’ll want to carefully consider your business’s local, state, federal, and industry requirements. As you begin the process, keep the following considerations in mind to minimize friction.
Never assume that your organization complies with government, industry, or corporate policies. Auditing frequently can expose inconsistencies and help you avoid blunders that would have costly repercussions. Auditing may seem like a pain, but regularly taking the time to carefully analyze compliance could avoid hundreds of hours of litigation.
Lean on AI
When collecting data at scale, it’s very difficult to separate and track important information. For this reason, a growing number of companies are using AI to augment the collection, processing, and storage of ESI.
An eDiscovery platform with embedded AI can enable data analysts to spend less time combing through datasets and more time analyzing insights and preparing information for audits and litigation.
Future-Proof Your Digital Infrastructure
To maintain cybersecurity compliance, companies must be careful about the digital infrastructure that they use. Outdated systems and infrastructure can lead to cybersecurity threats and potentially put the organization and its customers at risk for breaches and data loss.
One of the best things you can do to avoid issues is to future-proof your infrastructure by working with cloud providers that offer the latest security updates and innovations.
Vet All Partners and Vendors
Just because your business complies with government or industry regulations doesn’t mean that your partners and vendors do. Businesses often get into hot water when they work with third-party organizations that fail to properly handle ESI.
As such, it’s a good idea to scour partners and vendors for compliance before signing any contracts — especially when working with agencies that provide data processing, storage, or analysis. Otherwise, your company could be responsible for violations.
How Software Makes Compliance and eDiscovery Easy
As you can see, compliance and eDiscovery can be a tremendous ordeal. It can pull team members away from important tasks and force them to spend more time on documentation than on driving business growth.
The good news is that, with the right eDiscovery software in place, compliance is a breeze. For example, Venio Systems provides end-to-end eDiscovery that’s easy, accurate, and lightning-fast. Venio Systems leads to faster data processing, reduces data volumes, and increases team productivity tenfold.
With the help of Venio, your company can alleviate eDiscovery issues and leverage automation and AI to take care of repetitive tasks. Venio’s user-friendly platform is a one-stop shop for compliance and eDiscovery and is useful for any organization that’s serious about avoiding violations and following industry best practices.
To experience Venio’s transformative approach to eDiscovery, request a demo today.
About the Author
Justin Reynolds, Akshita Singhal & Lianna Vaughan
This post was written by Justin Reynolds. Justin is a freelance writer who enjoys telling stories about how technology, science, and creativity can help workers be more productive. In his spare time, he likes seeing or playing live music, hiking, and traveling. This post was reviewed and published by Akshita and Lianna, the in-house team of Venio.