Businesses and legal firms alike are facing a key challenge in today’s operational landscape: data. On the one hand, the digital age has opened a world of possibilities. Thanks to in-depth data, organisations are able to make better, smarter and more insightful decisions than ever before.
However, these benefits are balanced by a number of risks:
Regulatory compliance: Privacy issues and how customer data is collected, stored, used and disposed of, have all been legislated, both locally and internationally.
In South Africa, the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), requires organisations to only collect information for a specific purpose, to ensure that the information is relevant and up to date, to have reasonable security measures in place to protect the information, to only keep necessary information, and to allow the data subject (person whom the data relates to) to obtain or view their information on request.
Processing involves anything that is done with personal information and includes the collection, use, storage, dissemination, modification or destruction of personal information (regardless of whether the processing is automatic).
When you consider how much data your business generates every day and how prevalent sophisticated cyberattacks are becoming, this is no small risk. Compliance is complex and mandatory.
POPIA has strict regulations that every company must comply with and depending on the nature of the offense, businesses as well as individuals can be punished. Offenders can be fined up to R10 million and can even be jailed.
Reputational risk: Customers are well aware that their data is being collected and stored, and when a business is breached by a cyberattack that their personal information, including banking details, ID numbers and contact details could be captured and used by cybercriminals. The reputational risk when something like this occurs is extremely high. Individuals expect businesses to keep their data safe.
Costs: Collecting, storing, processing and even deleting data all comes at a cost – and the more data a business has, the higher the costs, particularly when data is being duplicated across different business units and platforms. Even simply working through large sets of data has a high cost.
Legal risks: Every action a business or individual takes, every message sent, every response to a message, every decision is all captured somewhere digitally. In the case of litigation, this data needs to be processed and reviewed to ensure all relevant data is identified and shared with opposing counsel (and that privileged information is not shared). Similarly, in the case of a data breach, a digital forensics investigation is imperative to not only trace how and where a cyberattack entered a system or network, but what data was compromised and how the system has been secured against future attacks. Digital forensic investigations are crucial from a legal and compliance perspective, but insurance businesses are increasingly requiring these investigations before paying out claims on ransomware attacks.
Addressing risks and challenges
When we launched Lextrado in 2010, eDiscovery and digital case review was unknown. However, because of the risks and challenges listed above, the benefits of these revealing tools are increasingly being realised. For law firms, eDiscovery is not yet recignised in. South Africa, however international cases already all require it, and we anticipate that South African courts will require it in future as well.
As we’ve mentioned, in any forensic investigation cases that is either digital or working through data, this technology is imperative. However, we know that in the past, many law firms could not afford this technology, which was only available internationally. For non-legal organisations, the need wasn’t always recognized for digital forensic support – the exponential rise in cybercrimes – both internal and from outside the organisation – has also changed this.
At Lextrado, we have successfully mitigated these challenges to deliver a local, cost-effective and highly successful solution:
Work with the experts: All of our solutions are internationally accredited. We only work with top, stable and reliable brands, including Exxterro, Relativity, Zylab, Reveal and Brainspace. Our personal also have 12 years’ experience in this field and are internationally accredited eDiscovery and digital forensic experts. Through our managed solution, we provide the platform, give guidance to ensure projects are successful and cost effective
Access top solutions at a fraction of the cost: Because we have invested heavily in our own technology and partnered with the best by signing long-term contracts, we are able to offer South African businesses international solutions at local rates. Paying in rands on a month-to-month basis not only delivers cost savings, it allows our clients to budget their projects appropriately and not run into hidden costs or suddenly have exchange rates throw budgets out.
Comply with local legislation: Our team or POPIA experts and our platforms ensure our clients are compliant with all local legislations.
Tailored solutions that deliver results: As one of the only vendors in South Africa that can offer such a broad range of products, we don’t sell a platform – we deliver a full solution. Our clients receive tailored solutions that leverage different platforms for different needs, from visual analysis, to early case assessments, tech assisted reviews, or simply to work through large sets of data at a low cost.