Symantec slays “zombie” data

Symantec’s latest release of Enterprise Vault adds new cloud capabilities and features to help organisations implement managed retention strategies and prevent ediscovery costs from blowing out.

Organisations that don't have a proper information retention strategy are at risk from “zombie” data, according to Sean Regan, Director of product Marketing for Symantec’s Information Management Group.

“Organisations that keep everything as an insurance may find that data becomes the digital ”undead” and those backup tapes can come back to haunt them.”

“We regularly ask organisations why they keep everything forever,” said Regan. “one of our US customers has 800,000 backup tapes, but these days companies must have a deletion strategy.”

Symantec’s recommended strategy is to archive everything that is going to be archived after 30 days in Enterprise Vault.

“Most litigaton that companies are likely to experience is civil, the amount of litigation that is criminal is very small. So forensic imaging of every hard drive in the organisation is overkill in most cases.”

“With Enterprise Vault Discovery Collector for early case assessment, Symantec is offering a structurally different aproach,” said Regan.

Enterprise Vault 9.0 now draws in email from hosted Exchange Online offerings such as Microsoft BPOS to a central repository where it can be accessed for ediscovery and internal investigations. Support has allso been added for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1), SharePoint Server 2010 and Domino 8.5.1.

Enterprise Vault Discovery Collector is a new offering that can discover unmanaged information from desktops and laptops, as well as data that has not yet been archived from SharePoint Server and file shares, and quickly produce it for e-discovery requests.

The tool can search specified email repositories and apply targeted search terms to provide speedier early case assessment capability.

Symantec's 2010 Information Management Health Check Survey found that while almost 96 percent of enterprises recognise implementing a proper information retention strategy would allow them to delete unnecessary information, less than half actually have a formal information retention plan in place.

Companies instead save information indefinitely because they fear deleting information that may be important to the business or may be required as part of a future e-discovery request. As a result, information becomes harder to find and the costs of storing and searching for that information rise.