Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

News

3/13/2009
11:54 AM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

A Recession Demands Retention

As we work our way through the current economic situation, IT staffs are faced with a variety of challenges that are in conflict: maintain or increase services levels, drive out costs and increase efficiency. One of the items that can't be neglected is retention of data. In fact, it may be more critical in tough times than in prosperous times.

As we work our way through the current economic situation, IT staffs are faced with a variety of challenges that are in conflict: maintain or increase services levels, drive out costs and increase efficiency. One of the items that can't be neglected is retention of data. In fact, it may be more critical in tough times than in prosperous times.One bad effect of the economy is termination and layoffs, and one bad effect of terminations and layoffs is an increased number of wrongful termination lawsuits, which is one of the best tests of a company's records-retention system.

Most companies when going through the termination/layoff process will do a better-than-adequate job of documenting the process, but the problem is, are you able to capture everything? Can you produce it on demand? Do you know what other documents are on your systems that may hurt your case? For example, did you terminate someone who six months ago received a commendation from the organization or even something as simple as a few e-mails telling the person what a great job he or she was doing? Because if you don't have the data, you can count on the fact that the former employee does.

This is another example of where a strict retention policy that calls for rapid deletion of e-mails won't help you. You can be assured that the person bringing the lawsuit probably forwarded these e-mails to a personal e-mail account. The only thing to do is make sure you retain everything for the correct period of time.

The challenge brought on by the current economy is that you also can't afford to keep everything forever. Keeping e-mail for employees who haven't been with the company for the last five years probably doesn't make sense as it costs too much money to store and time to manage. There's a time and place to delete everything, and you should do so when it's legally possible.

The good news is that the retention solutions available are very mature. Hardware-based archive solutions with retention and lock (WORM) capabilities like those from EMC, Permabit, and Nexsan can help not only provide a reliable chain of custody, they can also provide a mechanism to remove files when they've reached their legal retention requirements. Archive software from Symantec, Mimosa Systems, and others also has become mature and easier to use and implement. You can even outsource the e-mail archive and retention process to companies such as LiveOffice and MessageOne.

For complete retention workflow management, companies like PSS Systems are providing software solutions that can provide end-to-end retention management solutions that improve litigation readiness and drive down litigation waste issues like storing too much data.

Even if your data set is mostly tape-based, companies like Index Engines can provide context-sensitive indexing of data that's stored in proprietary backup formats even if that data is now only on tape.

2009 is the right time to shore up your retention and compliance strategies to balance litigation protection against cost reduction.

Track us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/storageswiss.

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is founder of Storage Switzerland, an analyst firm focused on the virtualization and storage marketplaces. It provides strategic consulting and analysis to storage users, suppliers, and integrators. An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Crump has held engineering and sales positions at various IT industry manufacturers and integrators. Prior to Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest integrators.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google's new See No Evil policy......
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31664
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 44741ff99f7a71df45420635b238b9c22093647a contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33185
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS contains a buffer overflow in the set_range test in TestBitmap which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33186
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS in test-crypto.cpp contains a stack buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-31272
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS before commit 3844e8569689dd476064a0759d704bc64fb3ca2c contains a directory traversal vulnerability in tar/unzip that may lead to command execution or privilege escalation.
CVE-2021-31660
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 85da504d2dc30188b89f44c3276fc5a25b31251f contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.