eDiscovery comes directly from the term “discovery” in legal proceedings, such as investigations, litigations, or Freedom of Information Act requests. eDiscovery is the mirror of this process when the situation involves collecting electronically stored information (ESI). So, why is eDiscovery important to a company when it comes to security?
Electronic information is inherently more complex than physical copies, thanks to the variety of forms it can take and its unique properties. The problem becomes even more complex when it involves cybersecurity as sophisticated malware may use multiple attack vectors and actively seek to cover its tracks.
Even standard ESI comes with a variety of metadata. Sifting through this information during a security incident and verifying what is authentic, and what is not can be a momentous challenge.
How Does eDiscovery Work?
Your company may also fall victim to large-scale data breaches or massive, coordinated cybercriminal attacks. In these cases, you might have to liaise with authorities and assist them in their investigation by providing relevant information.
The eDiscovery procedure shares a number of steps with an IR (incident response) procedure. IR response procedures detail how organizations should react to incidents, such as data breaches, hacked accounts, or infected systems. The typical eDiscovery process is:
During the preservation phase, any affected files or relevant artifacts need to be placed in what is called a “legal hold.” This is achieved by using specialized software that ensures that the documents/files are not altered between the time the incident happens and its investigation takes place.
Specialized software or eDiscovery managed services is often required for this. In an increasingly digital world, the total eDiscovery market is expected to grow to $17.3 billion by 2023.
Why Is eDiscovery Important in a Security Context?
eDiscovery is crucial as part of engaging in effective IR as well as for what comes after. Gathering and documenting all possible information about a threat during a forensic investigation is needed to effectively undertake the following steps:
- Remediation and recovery
- Analyzing your response effectiveness
- Preparing for future incidents
Detailed and accurate reportage is not only necessary from a legal standpoint, but also from an internal one. Information needs to be timestamped and verified for authenticity. Where possible, this involves determining where and when the adversary evidence obfuscated by the malware’s defensive techniques. A timeline detailing these events is helpful for tracing the origins and spread of an infection, for example.
A complete picture will help you not only pinpoint external-facing weaknesses in your security systems but critical internal components as well. Finding out which systems the adversaries harmed or what information they stole will help you come up with insightful damage reports. You can use the reports to claim remediation in criminal proceedings or to prioritize future security spending on critical systems.
A formalized eDiscovery procedure is critical for effective incident response, remediation, and possible litigation when your company falls prey to a cyberattack. However, the complexity of these security operations requires significant investment and operational overhead. This is especially true of organizations that have no SecOps in place.
In this case, a cyber incident response retainer that can carry out digital forensics services as part of their investigation is an excellent solution. You can leverage the experience and expertise of a trusted elite digital security solutions company in LIFARS.
Data breaches cost companies up to $3.86 million per breach. This means effective IR can help you mitigate millions of dollars in damages. Thorough eDiscovery may help you limit further damage or remediate costs while also helping you better respond to future threats.
That is why eDiscovery is important to your company and why you should implement it ASAP as part of your cybersecurity operations.