Why is eDiscovery So Hot?

While now old hat to litigators, the advanced technology and procedural rules governing eDiscovery in its present form have only been around for about 15 years. That’s when a cottage industry of savvy tech providers started offering outsourcing services to law firms attempting to identify, preserve, collect and process the often overwhelming amounts of documents and metadata that could be evidence in a lawsuit. All that happened with little general public or investor notice. What accounts for the seemingly sudden interest in the relatively obscure service used predominantly in litigation? And why now?

Consider what’s happened in less than a year between 2020 and 2021. Chicago-based legal software provider Relativity had received a $3.6 billion growth investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and later announced it had acquired artificial intelligence company Text IQ Inc. In another major acquisition, the Portland-based eDiscovery company Exterro acquired AccessData. Elsewhere, the growing demand for eDiscovery spawned an initial public offering when eDiscovery company CS Disco made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

This roundtable discusses how and why eDiscovery became such a hot commodity, what the future holds for the industry and the legal professionals who use these services, and the challenges associated with remote working and cybersecurity.

Our Panelists

Kenya Parrish-Dixon (KD) is the general counsel and COO of Empire Technologies Risk Management Group, a cybersecurity, information governance, eDiscovery, and managed review corporate holding company.
George Socha (GS), the senior vice president of brand awareness of Reveal, consults clients on effective deployment of legal technology. He co-founded the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) in 2005 whose frameworks and content have empowered a generation of legal professionals.
Colleen Kenney (CK), a partner at Sidley, leads the firm’s eDiscovery and Data Analytics group. She is a published author and frequent speaker in the areas of eDiscovery and electronically stored information.
Chris Dahl (CD), the Senior Vice President, Market Solutions Group for Lighthouse, helps clients implement innovative products as well as eDiscovery best practices and technology behind the corporate firewall.
Andy Wilson (AW) is the CEO and co-founder of Logikcull, which is a highly secure, cloud-based eDiscovery platform used by over 20,000 legal professionals.
Andrew Shimek (AS), the chief revenue officer of DISCO, has more than 20 years of experience in legal and AI technology.


How long do you expect the rapid growth in the eDiscovery industry to continue?

KD: The eDiscovery industry will continue to grow as long as (1) data volumes continue to explode; (2) there are opportunities for rollups, mergers and acquisitions; and (3) money is cheap. If the existing companies think there is more money to be made, and new entrants think there is opportunity to get in the industry, the eDiscovery industry will continue to grow.

CD: We see the growth continuing for the foreseeable future. Most market analyses project continuing or accelerating growth for the next three to five years. This is because of a combination of proliferation of data, expanding complexity of that data, expanding privacy and other regulations, and better data accessibility and searchability.

AS: I see the industry embracing a new vision for eDiscovery – one that is product-led, native to the cloud, and provides end users with enterprise-grade capabilities through a consumer-grade user experience.

Before the arrival of native cloud providers, eDiscovery teams were forced to choose between a consumer-grade user experience that lacked the necessary functionality, or a solution with an enterprise scale and feature set required for multi-terabyte complex litigation but a terrible user experience. Providers like DISCO recognized that legal professionals are demanding to have both, and invested in software engineering along with design to deliver the most innovative legal solutions. I expect this growth phase to continue through a complete cloud migration as the demand for Apple-like products and Google-like performance becomes the new normal in law.

CK: We will continue to see considerable growth in this industry for the foreseeable future. EDiscovery growth is in part a reflection of digital growth in business generally, which shows no signs of slowing down. The volume of data businesses generate continues to grow. The speed at which they generate data continues to grow. And, perhaps just as important, the variety and types of data businesses are generating is growing and evolving, the most common example currently being data from collaboration tools such as MS Teams. The downstream impact is more data is at play for clients in litigations and investigations moving forward.

AW: We’ve seen a lot of consolidation in the vendor space for several years, which would point to a maturation in the market and slowing growth. But the fact is that this is still a rapidly expanding space and one that, we think, is still ripe for disruption. As the amount of discoverable information grows exponentially, organizations that didn’t previously have to deal with discovery get pulled into the market by the day.

Where is this all heading? Well, over the last two decades, discovery has grown into a $10B+ business, and it’s expected to surpass $15B in the next few years.

But the market share has been split 2-to-1 between services vendors and software. We expect that ratio to shift dramatically. As software continues to simplify the discovery process, and as buyers become more discriminating in their investments, we expect to see more and more tasks once handled by vendors replaced by technology that brings superior automation, efficiency, and security to the discovery process.

We’re also seeing a shift in who is buying discovery services and technology. More and more often, corporate clients are equipping themselves with in-house discovery tools, whether for initial culling and ECA or for their law firms and third-party partners to use.

Clients have been footing the bill all along. Now they’re increasingly making sure this work happens under their terms—or taking it in-house altogether.

GS: How long the eDiscovery industry is likely to grow rapidly depends in part on which facets of the eDiscovery industry you examine. The growth rate for document review in litigation may be leveling off in some situations, but growth in areas such as investigations and information governance seems to be picking up. Overall, the eDiscovery industry’s growth over the last several years has been impressive and shows no signs of abating. Driving this continued growth are many of the same factors that impelled growth to date, especially the unrelenting increase in the volume, variety and velocity of data that eDiscovery systems and practitioners are called on to handle. That increase has been most notable when it comes to communications both professional and personal, where now we need to address not just email but also text messages and communications from collaborative platforms such as Slack, Zoom and Teams.

What factors alerted the market that eDiscovery is a good investment?

CK: There is a convergence of several factors here: (1) eDiscovery as an industry has matured to the point where it has its own body of law, industry analysist and commentators, business models, market leading companies, upstarts, disruptors, market studies etc. It is fully arrived in that sense and no longer viewed as niche industry. Data is available that sizes the market, growth, and demand. (2) Leading eDiscovery platform companies such as Relativity have provided examples of tremendous, well-publicized financial success that investment companies want to emulate.

AW: Investors are always looking for huge markets that are ripe for disruption, and eDiscovery certainly fits the bill. It’s still called “e” discovery. Is there a better tipoff?

But there are accelerants driving more opportunity in the market. For one, you can’t conduct a litigation, investigation, or records request today without needing to review vast amounts of data—and that data is expanding exponentially.

Secondly, while the legal profession has a reputation as resistant to change, that is becoming increasingly less accurate. Sophisticated corporate clients demanding more efficient, cost-effective approaches are driving the legal profession to embrace technology, leading to a boom in everything from eDiscovery to AI to good-old-fashioned legal research. That, in part, has fueled a discovery market that has more than tripled in size over the last ten years and will grow another 50% or more within the next four.

CD: eDiscovery as a reactionary process is extremely expensive, with most of that spend being wasteful and presentable. Opposing parties in litigation and regulators are constantly assessing their adversary’s credibility and competency regarding their data management practices. When there is a lack of expertise, the adversary will request for broad swaths of data, and it will be difficult for counsel to push back without sound processes with which to defend that push-back. Investing in an eDiscovery program so that organizations are prepared and have a firm grip on their data avoids massive spend and risk associated with the lack of such a program.

GS: eDiscovery has been a strong investment for many for years now. For more than a decade, there have been dozens of examples of eDiscovery investment and M&A activity. Factors contributing to this start with the basics. It is essential that those conducting lawsuits and investigations, for example, find out what happened in their matters and eDiscovery software and services offer the best opportunity ever to unearth what happened, when it happened and who was involved as well as to dig into the why and how of key activities. Contributing factors go beyond fundamentals to include such considerations as frequently published articles and press releases about the most recent investments as well as the unrelenting assertions from providers that they now offer something that is better, faster, cheaper, easier, or all the above.

AS: The biggest factor is the rapid acceleration of cloud adoption by the legal industry. As key enterprise legal data such as email moved to the cloud through platforms like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Vault, the legal buyer became more educated and realized that the cloud was a state-of-the-art, hyper-secure data center frequently housed at Amazon with unlimited compute and scale. Unfounded fears that the cloud was a scary, unsecure repository rapidly diminished. The pandemic further accelerated cloud adoption when end users could no longer commute to the office and instead had to embrace a “work from anywhere” model.

The combination of native cloud code and infrastructure brought unique performance efficiencies to discovery that previously seemed unattainable, delivering quick search results and document rendering speed. When advanced AI was embedded in the cloud to review applications created a renewed appetite for a product-led approach to automate the tasks that do not require human legal judgment. At the same time, it gives lawyers time back to focus on what they do best – bespoke client consulting and advocacy. The confluence of these factors has investors focusing on this kind of innovation across legal, one of the last standouts now ripe for automation.

What emerging or new industries are you (or the eDiscovery industry in general) paying attention to and why?

GS: I continue to monitor real and asserted advances in tools and services to enable lawyers and their staff to perform traditional eDiscovery activities such as review more effectively and more efficiently. What catches my eye most, however, are situations where someone takes capabilities from academia or industries outside of legal and adapts them to the eDiscovery industry. Three examples of such capabilities include the use of image labeling to identify content in pictures, the application of high precision classification to enable more targeted active learning, and the incorporation of stylometry to communications evaluated for lawsuits and investigations. Adaption from outside can lead to changes that make a real and positive difference.

CD: The two areas that we see as most interesting are cyber-related use cases and data protection within the security discipline. Use cases stemming from a cyber-related incident are closely related to eDiscovery use cases. Typically, investigators or outside counsel need to find crucial data, determine whether it has been compromised, and determine what is in that data. Once they understand these issues, they can help organizations respond to cyber issues. EDiscovery processes, technology, and professionals are well-suited for these issues.

Data protection is a necessary consideration when establishing an enterprise eDiscovery and compliance program. Such a program or programs focuses on closely managing data for eDiscovery and compliance matters. Yet, if that data lacks commensurate data protection measures, eDiscovery and compliance programs run the risk of becoming the proverbial castle without a moat.

AW: The proliferation of audio/video and chat data is already posing serious discovery challenges, and we’re seeing those challenges impact certain types of organizations more than others. For example, think about businesses working remotely that rely on collaborative messaging systems like Slack, or companies with huge call center operations, or large brick-and-mortar presences that generate a lot of security footage.

That data is increasingly getting swept up in the dragnet of discovery that poses expensive, complicated problems—but problems that can be tackled with the right technology.

Audio/video is nothing new, but the cloud has made it so much easier (and cheaper) to stockpile that data. Imagine if just a fraction of a typical company’s daily Zoom meetings are retained and subjected to discovery. That’s thousands of hours of the most boring meetings you can imagine that legal professionals must comb through. Legal teams, particularly in-house legal teams, need to be equipped with the tools to help them sort through that data quickly and defensibly.

We work with many of the most innovative in-house legal departments, and we’re seeing more and more teams run into these challenges. One Fortune 500 in-house team recently estimated $200,000 in review costs just to review 15,000 voicemail messages. With the latest technology, they quickly narrowed that down to 8 messages, in minutes, in-house—but imagine the waste had they pursued a more traditional method of review.

KD: Cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and risk management.

What impact is DISCO’s IPO having on the eDiscovery space?

KD: The first tell is that companies are beefing up with mergers and acquisitions. Second, larger firms are acquiring software firms, so they have something proprietary to offer the market. Last, compliance, due diligence and risk management are taking hold in eDiscovery for the first time. You must have your house in order before you even think about going public. It’s a good thing for the industry.

AS: Historically, eDiscovery – despite the electronic moniker – has been a people-led approach, where law firms and alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) did not rely on technology as much as they leveraged staffing to review all available documents. DISCO’s IPO, increased M&A in the legal technology industry, and the widespread embrace of artificial intelligence embedded in review platforms has created new enthusiasm for investors and practitioners. Companies that embrace the most modern and high-performing tech stack to improve client case outcomes therefore providing an attractive investment option for the market.

We are nowhere near the final mile in eDiscovery; many opportunities remain for ongoing innovation to increase speed to evidence and improve legal outcomes through a product-led eDiscovery approach.

Beyond traditional eDiscovery, how will uses of search-related technology expand to create other areas of growth, such as in investigations?

CD: eDiscovery gets its name from the electronic variety of discovery described in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which of course was established long before information existed electronically. Yet, eDiscovery has really expanded from a litigation-only concept to what is now considered a discipline for professionals, and a center of excellence for most larger enterprises, which focuses on data management, searchability, and retrieval. Typical use cases in litigation, compliance, employment investigations, anti-financial crimes, forensic investigations, and many others benefit from the modern eDiscovery discipline. So yes, certainly, we see non-litigation-based use cases driving outsized growth in eDiscovery relative to more traditional litigation-based use cases.

AS: Not that long ago, artificial intelligence and advanced analytics tools were viewed exclusively for use in large cases with massive amounts of documents. Due to advances in modern AI technology, our clients are now leveraging AI not only in large cases but also small matters including databases with just a few thousand documents.

Legal technology will evolve far beyond search to focus on speed to evidence and driving better outcomes without forsaking quality. As one example, we are working with global law firms and corporations to create AI model libraries that can be ported to matters with similar claims. This positions our clients to create a flywheel of efficiencies on the back of prior matters, where the review is instantly and accurately completed by leveraging a model used on prior matters. The only remaining task for the case team is to spot check that documents are properly categorized and nothing relevant or privileged was left behind.

Investigations are an example of where a portable model can be applied to very small subsets of data which prioritizes the most salient documents for examination. Other cases ripe for automation and a technology-led approach are data breach incident requests and responding to consumer driven inquiries on how an individual’s personally identifiable information (PII) is stored. Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs) in the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are two examples where search-related technology can be leveraged at the outset to reduce expenses associated with complying and responding to consumer inquiries.

KD: Thanks to the amount of data being created and social media, traditional review is nearly impossible. Data analytics and artificial intelligence, especially facial recognition and voice recognition, are going to be necessary to find the needle in a haystack. The government doesn’t have 100 document reviewers for an investigation. That will have to be done automatically by the software, which will create buckets of information and push the relevant information forward. There is room for growth in that area.

AW: When we think about discovery, we typically think “litigation,” but its scope is so much broader. Discovery is inclusive of disputes and investigations and is also essential to responding to subpoenas, executing on subject access requests under GDPR, meeting open records obligations under sunshine laws, and so on. There are so many emergent use cases, particularly around privacy and compliance, and organizations are starting to understand that, when it comes to discovery technology, they can kill multiple birds with the same stone.

GS: From keyword searching to TAR to a host of AI-driven functions, a wide array of eDiscovery capabilities is gaining traction beyond traditional eDiscovery uses. For data privacy, they help with PII identification, DSAR responses, and HIPAA, CCPA, and GDPR. In compliance, they are used for monitoring employee behavior, empowering internal investigation, and identifying anomalous behaviors. For cyber, they are turned to for post-breach and PII identification, with contracts they are used in various ways including anomaly detection, and for court documents they are used to help with the analysis and synthesis of the documents as well as of related information.

CK: Using search-related technology in investigations is certainly a growth area. I think a more interesting area for search related technologies is in the complex divesture and acquisition of assets, specifically company generated data both structured and unstructured data.  Another area we are seeing a lot of growth in is using search related technologies in analyzing the impact of data breach matters. Both have the potential to greatly expand the use cases for traditional eDiscovery technology and expertise.

As eDiscovery technology continues to improve, how does that impact the ability of lawyers and other professionals to understand the technology, use it more efficiently, and deliver better results?

GS: As eDiscovery technologies continue to improve, they are becoming simultaneously more powerful and easier to use. When new technologies first are brought in, they tend to be difficult to understand. Over time, software developers and legal professionals working together make the tools easier to understand and control. Supervised machine learning is a good example of this, where a set of capabilities now commonly referred to as TAR initially caused great confusion in the legal space but now are widely understood and used. As a result, practitioners can do a better job tackling traditional tasks: finishing them fast, obtaining more reliable results, unearthing key information they previously would not have been able to locate. They also can accomplish tasks that previously were too expensive to take on or in ways that previously were not feasible.

KD: Training is key. Training is always the key to the magic that is technology. Without it, no one grows.

CD: The main areas lawyers need to understand regarding current eDiscovery trends are: (1) methods for handling modern data in eDiscovery; (2) the enterprise data landscape for data retrieval; and (3) data analytics technologies. We are seeing eDiscovery leverage modern, main-stream data analytics technology, versus leveraging proprietary and or dated technology with first generation analytics platforms. Modern, mainstream data analytics technology is not only better at integrating data to drive better and more efficient results, but there are more professionals who lawyers can leverage to wield the technology for best results. Additionally, the trend in the courts continues to be positive for technology adoption. The precedent we’re all familiar with regarding predictive coding should apply equally to modern analytics and AI solutions – i.e., a thoughtful modern analytics or AI-based process via experts that is bolstered by statistics should be as defensible as its legacy predictive coding counterpart.

CK: eDiscovery lawyers and professionals are very much at an “evolve or die” crossroads. These technologies are tools that must be used properly, but also, more importantly strategically. Further, the ability to explain technology in simple, layman terms to lawyers, judges, and clients is becoming the preeminent skill set of a successful eDiscovery lawyer/professional.

AS: Historically, only the largest and most funded law firms were able to secure complex global litigation and commercial matters. As technology continues to improve and become more accessible, it enables small and midsize firms to more effectively compete and expand their practices. They are using technology as a competitive advantage, capitalizing on speed and accuracy across many legal functions to the benefit of their clients.

Corporate legal departments are eager to see their outside counsel leveraging technology improvements to provide more streamlined, cost-efficient outcomes, but never at the expense of quality. The new class of cloud entrants to eDiscovery makes a technology-driven approach not just viable but the obvious choice.

AW: There’s this notion, particularly among professionals, that technology must be complicated to be powerful. This is part of the reason you see an arms race around feature development and the emergence of these incredibly complex tools that, in theory, can do everything, but very few can actually use.

Today’s leading legal teams innovate with simplicity. They strip away overly complex processes, eliminate the need for downtime and expert services; they strip out all that extraneous and distracting noise—by focusing on the problem the end-user or client is trying to solve. And that’s where you’ll see truly impressive results—skyrocketing adoption, reduced overhead, and much more efficient delivery of legal services.

Legal technology shouldn’t slap you in the face with its complexity. It should get out of your way and empower you to get the job done quickly and on budget.

Are new laws or regulations driving growth in the eDiscovery market? If so, what are they?

GS: New laws and regulations are spurring growth in the eDiscovery market. Privacy requirements arising from the GDPR and its analogs, including the CCPA and WPA, call for the types of abilities to find and analyze data from disparate sources upon which the eDiscovery industry is built. In addition, emerging regulations around the need to monitor and audit the use of AI potentially will not only cause practitioners to examine how they use AI for lawsuits and investigations but simultaneously prompt them to call for ways to use AI to facilitate the monitoring and auditing.

CK: Certainly data privacy laws are driving growth in the industry as companies, their attorneys, and the entire industry grapple with compliance with data privacy in all aspects of the EDRM model. While data privacy laws are evolving quickly, eDiscovery law continues to lag behind not just a changing data privacy landscape but also changing technology used by business.

AW: One thing we’ve been tracking close is how discovery sanctions are being imposed since the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The data would seem to suggest that the imposition of severe sanctions — think evidence preclusion, adverse inferences, default judgments — are significantly down since the beginning of 2016, which is what we might’ve expected given the higher burden moving parties must meet under the new Rule 37(e). That’s in the weeds, but it’s important.

To us, this signals a kind of “open season” for organizations to bring more discovery in house because, from a rules perspective, they have a little bit more leeway to operate. The fear associated with headline-making sanctions is subsiding, and now in-house legal departments are starting to feel like they can take more control of this function.

CD: First, data privacy laws and regulations we are seeing continue to proliferate globally as well as state-by-state in the US. Data privacy requirements impact eDiscovery in obvious ways—the fact that certain data cannot transit certain jurisdictional boundaries; and in nuanced ways—contractual issues with enterprise cloud licensing which may permit certain nations and companies to access data.

Second, with financial services regulations, we are seeing government agencies moving and enterprise cloud providers maturing vis-à-vis the immutability and date retrieval requirements of existing regulations. Progress here paves the way for broader adoption of native and modern cloud-based content and communication archives, allowing organizations to retire expensive last generation, on-premises solutions.

What are the eDiscovery challenges to gathering data derived from ephemeral messaging and chat (Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.) – especially given the rise of remote workforces?

AS: Ephemeral messaging, chat, and modern communications tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams are the new email. Users have a false expectation these message forms are either not discoverable or not readily accessible, and often communicate more casually than they may in written communication or email. For that reason, it can be the best source to understand intent, state of mind, or knowledge of facts and circumstances.

We are helping our clients to collect, present, and review these data sources. Technology enhancements and our modern UI/UX interface has made it possible to review this type of data as it was presented in the original application – something referred to as near-native review. There are processing considerations with respect to creating time-boxed intervals for discrete documents, but sophisticated providers know how to work with clients to prescribe processing options and preferences to make the review experience as close to near-native as possible. Legal practitioners ignore these sources at their peril.

AW: We live in a world where most data has ceased to become information. It’s noise. Think about it. Slack, social media, constant texting, Zoom calls. Many of it is just noise that’s mostly irrelevant from an evidentiary perspective but getting swept up in discovery, nonetheless. That noise, the type of data you’re asking about, is making discovery a complete nightmare for most organizations: expensive, complicated, and insecure.

We know from 17 years of experience that, on average, about 97% of all data that gets collected in discovery is completely irrelevant. The challenge for organizations today is efficiently and affordably culling that noise to highlight the signal. That’s why we focus on the noise. We obsess over it. So, we’ve built a platform that automatically removes it from the equation. Nevertheless, it’s a bear of a challenge and one that gets harder to solve every day as the number of data sources continues to multiply.

GS: Some of the eDiscovery challenges related to gathering data from ephemeral messaging and chat are the same ones we have seen since the earliest days of eDiscovery, such as how to build tools and workflows for types of data we had not previously encountered. Other challenges are newer and highlighted by these forms of content. These challenges include how to gain access to content designed to disappear; how to gather messaging, chat and similar content in ways that are sufficiently complete to ensure the data can be used later; and how to gather content in a way that allows users to make fulsome use of that data in their matters.

CK: Ephemeral messaging applications are not designed to preserve data – they are, in fact, specifically designed not to preserve data. Trying to preserve data from these applications after the fact is the wrong point of entry not only because eDiscovery tools are not designed to do it but also because it is often too late. The time to deal with this issue is much farther left on the EDRM scale. IT is an information governance question for the business to decide if they are going to bother to use these tools prior to and after a duty to preserve occurs. This is complicated by remote working as some options for preserving this type of data with the IT architecture of a business may not be available under a remote working scheme.

KD: The problem with ephemeral messaging is that regulated industries are on to the use of ephemeral apps and have provided guidance against their use. Courts have also caught on. If you are in a regulated industry and use ephemeral apps, even casually, you may get caught. Magistrates and trial judges now understand what the use of these apps mean, and they are not going to sit by and allow a party to an investigation or litigation get away with using them.

CD: There are many challenges related to modern data sources. Modern data spans collaboration platforms such as Slack and Teams, as well as ephemeral message and chat sources such as WhatsApp and WeChat. One issue is format—whereas the unitization of an electronic email or office document directly descends from paper-based formats, modern data is totally different. It is semi-structured data, which can exist in multiple locations and formats simultaneously, and requires context to understand as well as new thinking to represent in productions to opposing counsel and regulators. Additionally, modern enterprise data platforms have vast configuration that differ from organization to organization, meaning the considerations for data management and retrieval differ greatly too. When performing eDiscovery on modern data it is extremely important to consider the full data lifecycle to fully understand the end goal for a particular client or matter. From this vantage point, you can deploy the right technology and processes to accommodate data format variances and achieve the end-goal.

What do users need to know about keeping eDiscovery data secure from cyberattacks?

KD: The first order of business is to figure out if one of the 24 or 25 state cyber laws apply to you and the work that you do. I am willing to bet that if you collect data from your clients, there is a cyberlaw that applies to your company and your third-party service providers. There are new data protection, breach notification, and third-party service provider laws on the books in half the states. Most of these laws require collectors of data to create information security programs, attend training and hire chief information security officers. These new requirements are not for your IT professionals. It’s time to hire real information security experts or risk running afoul of the law.

GS: With cyberattacks on the rise the unfortunate reality for most organizations is that the question is not whether an attack will occur, but when. A key first step toward keeping eDiscovery data secure from cyberattacks is to follow sound business practices which should include training, testing, and monitoring. When it comes to eDiscovery, some key protective measures include maintaining careful control over access to content, securing data in transit as well as at rest, use systems that have been tested and hardened. For the latter, increasingly cloud systems can offer more secure setups than many organizations can afford to put in place locally.

AW: I’ll just say this. If you’re a business and you’re trusting your outside law firms and services vendors to handle your most sensitive data, start paying attention to the headlines. It’s absolutely the case that hackers target these firms. They’ve been doing it for years. And they’ve been highly successful.

CK: Most importantly, cyber attackers have figured out that there is great value in eDiscovery data. It is not the case that data today is less secure than it was before, it is that it is now a target.

About the Author

Nicholas Gaffney (NG) is founder of Zumado Public Relations in San Francisco and a member of the Law Practice Today Editorial Board. Contact him at ngaffney@zumado.com or on Twitter @nickgaffney.

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