One observation I’ve made over and over while working with Casepoint’s Government Solutions Team, is that government agencies at all levels often grapple with a deep-seated risk aversion.
They tend to be more risk-averse than their private sector counterparts due to the highly sensitive and confidential nature of their work. This tendency to err on the side of caution is understandable, given the high stakes of public sector work, but I’ve also seen it stall agencies’ progress, clog their calendars, and expose them to unnecessary risk.
This is perhaps no truer than when weighing the decision to adopt a cloud-based eDiscovery technology. There’s a lot of inherent risk in settling on a new eDiscovery solution, and transitioning to a cloud-based solution can increase these risks. There are myriad concerns and objects that may arise, but the most common we see surface include: Will this technology work? Will it support my agency’s various use cases? Is it actually safer than on-premises technology? Will we lose data during a migration?
When you’re already facing institutional risk aversion, the last thing you want to do is introduce something that could potentially expose your agency to even more risk.
However, it’s important to understand — the reality is much the opposite. Adopting a powerful, secure cloud-based eDiscovery solution isn’t just another “risk” to take — it’s a critical step toward increasing efficiency, enhancing security and compliance, and achieving better legal outcomes. When better outcomes are consistently achieved, it allows organizations to actually minimize risk, and in turn, chip away at institutional risk aversion.
With that in mind, here are five ways in which eDiscovery solutions can help government agencies decrease risk:
5 Ways an eDiscovery Solution Can Help Government Agencies Lower Risk
1. Better Safeguard Sensitive Data
One of the primary concerns for government agencies, unsurprisingly, is data security. Again, when dealing with sensitive information, the stakes are exceptionally high. Robust cloud-based eDiscovery solutions, such as Casepoint, are designed with focused security measures to protect sensitive information. Casepoint’s encrypted data storage, secure communication channels, and access controls would put even the most risk-averse minds at ease. Notably, Casepoint’s legal discovery platform is the first cloud-based Legal Hold and eDiscovery software to achieve Impact Level 5 (IL5) Authority to Operate (ATO) from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Here’s a complete list of Casepoint’s security certifications and third-party audits.
Another benefit to using a cloud-based eDiscovery solution is that most of the investments and advancements in cybersecurity are being made on the cloud. So when an agency’s data is stored in the cloud, it helps with interoperability, which can quicken response times and detection times if your agency is ever faced with a security breach.
2. Decrease Human Error
While risk aversion often leads to lengthy manual processes, eDiscovery solutions automate many aspects of the discovery process. The resistance to adopting innovative cloud-based legal technology to automate discovery, investigative, and FOIA processes can lead to the continued practice of lengthy manual processes, which is actually more risky. There are three unfortunate side effects of lengthy manual processes: increased human error, time, and cost. eDiscovery technology that allows for automation creates less risk.
Casepoint’s features and benefits are designed to help organizations achieve more in less time by automating tasks, streamlining workflows, and providing advanced analytics and reporting capabilities — delivering better outcomes for government agencies.
3. Improved Response to Litigation
Federal cases with massive volumes of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) are growing more and more common. That means government agencies are sorting through more data than ever. Without the proper technology, it’s nearly impossible to effectively search and review all of the relevant information within discovery timeframes and without burdening staff When government agencies can’t corral ESI at the scale they need to, it can lead to, at best, delays in production, and at worst, court fines and prolonged litigation.
Agencies can easily overcome this obstacle by leveraging a scalable eDiscovery solution built specifically to handle massive data volumes. Casepoint’s end-to-end capabilities allow agencies to quickly identify, collect, review and produce relevant documents faster, reducing the risk of delays and associated legal repercussions. Built-in Artificial intelligence and continuous active learning tools expedite the time-consuming process of combing through large datasets to identify relevant documents. This is an enormous time-saver that also improves data defensibility. This is an enormous time-saver and improves agencies’ ability to manage litigation.
4. Improved FOIA Responses
Government agencies must comply with a range of laws and regulations, such as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and interdepartmental requirements. However, many agencies have yet to implement a unified technology to handle these workflows. In fact, according to the National Archives and Records Administration, 63% of FOIA offices say the top reason they do not use eDiscovery software for FOIA is that it is unavailable to them.
Agencies that still rely on manual systems or outdated technology to process FOIA requests are likely to struggle with delays, errors, inconsistencies, lack of transparency, high costs, and legal risk. The steady increase in the volume of FOIA requests year-over-year only compounds these problems. For reference, government agencies received a record-high 928,353 FOIA requests in 2022. Not to mention, when a government agency receives a FOIA request, it must respond promptly — generally in about 20 days.
A modern eDiscovery platform such as Casepoint can help agencies improve FOIA response and manage workloads. Casepoint features an array of tools that radically expedite and enhance the FOIA request processing workflow, including centralized collaboration, automated collections and search functionalities, AI and analytics, and automated redactions.
5. More Control of Your Data
Better data management empowers agencies to know what data they have, where that data resides, and who can access that data — which leads to better records management compliance and enhanced security.
While it’s not widely known, some eDiscovery solutions provide comprehensive data management features, including audit trails, dashboards, and reporting features that allow for better insight and control of data. With Casepoint’s dashboard and reporting features, agencies can easily see where their data is in the Casepoint workflow. They can also manage specific datasets, track job requests, view statistics, and create reports that provide key insights into data management.
Another way Casepoint gives agencies more control of their data is through Casepoint FileStore™, a new cloud-based data storage and staging solution. They can store data in Casepoint FileStore™ that they do not need to access regularly. When litigation, investigations, or regulatory response needs arise, they can easily sync that data into a Casepoint eDiscovery workspace. Casepoint FileStore™ enables agencies to keep their data within the secure confines of the Casepoint platform at all times, which, in turn, enhances security and limits risk for the agency.
Start Lowering Risk For Your Agency Today
It’s time for government agencies to view eDiscovery solutions not as risks, but as key allies in their quest for efficiency, compliance, and optimal legal outcomes. When agencies can leverage an eDiscovery solution to help lower risk, they’ve begun the process of chipping away at institutional risk aversion.
While it could seem counterintuitive, what might actually expose agencies to the most risk, is to stand pat. When agencies settle on a modern, innovative eDiscovery technology and realize its ability to mitigate risk — among other benefits — they will find their agency will become more receptive to embracing other innovative solutions, too.
When you’re ready to unlock the benefits of a powerful cloud-based eDiscovery solution, Casepoint will partner with your agency every step of the way.
Download our whitepaper to see how a trusted partner can help government agencies overcome their biggest eDiscovery challenges.