eDiscovery in SharePoint 2013 – This one is for Auditors, Legal Officers, Compliance Officers

Hello Auditors / Compliance officers,

Have you ever come across a situation when you are doing Audits or Legal Investigation of a case and you are unable to get the required data from IT Department – such as emails, electronic documents, contracts, and all the correspondence done by the employee or received by the employee or deleted by the employee?

I remember when I was doing a role of IT Auditor in American Express Bank, the biggest challenge we faced was “ Gathering Data”, and it used to take weeks and months to get the updated and fresh data. This is a very serious business, because just imagine if you are in the middle of a legal investigation and have to present some evidence in the Legal Court and because of the poor controls, its taking ages to find data. The impact could be very high, reputational loss, information inaccuracy, losing evidence or monetary fines or prison. Every data is a piece of evidence, even if someone deletes data it resides in the hard disk and forensic engineers can dive deep down inside to get the evidence after a thorough process – time consuming process.

So my friend Auditors, how would you like to do Audits? Well I have a good news for you! Just think if you can get all the data in a single click of a button? Or if you want employees mailbox and read all the important correspondence with ABC customer in 2 seconds? Or you would want to have all the data and the analysis independently where you don’t need to go to the IT Department and beg them to give you data and access rights.

Yes, for Auditors and Compliance officers there is a gift from Microsoft in SharePoint 2013 which is called “eDiscovery”, it means electronic discovery. So, what is this?

In simplicity, it’s a site collection where you can input queries and search the data that you want for your audit.

So, how does it work?

It works on a simple basis, if your organization has a SharePoint 2013 implementation, Exchange, File Servers, Lync then you are on cloud nine. The way it works is that IT Pros configure a new site collection and give admin rights to the Auditors and then auditors can play around with the data.

But first it needs to be setup and configured for the very first time. IT Pros will do below steps:

  • Make eDiscovery Site Collection in SharePoint 2013
  • Configure connections between Exchange, File Servers through using Result Type Sources option at the Site Collection Level and Tenant level. It works well with Exchange Online and SharePoint online as well
  • Make user account for Auditors and Voila……….Auditors can use it and its a life time experience change indeed

For complete configuration steps please see: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/fp161514.aspx

We just need to configure it and use it, no data required to put in this site collection or any color or formatting. As easy as 1 2 3………………

So, what can Auditors do with it?

In a nut shell, auditors / Legal Officers can do below with it

(Please continue reading and kindly see the snapshots of the eDiscovery Screen, its interface is like a web portal just as SharePoint looks like)

  • They can make a case for example “ ABC Investigation Case”
  • They can gather data for the case from – SharePoint, Mail Boxes, File Server, Shared Drives of the employee
  • They can declare “HOLD” on a document or Mail Box or Site or Employee, so that by any chance no one in the company could delete that record. (Think of it as a legal evidence). Copy of this record will still be available for editing, however original one will be locked down. I know this is getting serious!!!
  • They can review Lync Chats as well, even if employee deletes it
  • Auditors can make their search queries and save it, use it again and will get fresh data results always
  • They can export and save the results
  • They can review audit reports for the activity Auditors are doing in the eDiscovery Portal (to keep control check on everyone)
eDiscovery Home Page
eDiscovery Home Page
Make Legal Cases and do search queries
Make Legal Cases and do search queries

So, Auditors can:

  • Preserve the Record
  • Do Search Query as you like
  • Export the record and save it anywhere – print it or take to court (if required)

As simple as 1 2 3…………………

There are many resources available on the internet that how you can configure it or how you can use it or what do you need so that you are able to use it? In this blog I have tried to keep things simple so that business people can make most of this eDiscovery Site Collection.

Please feel free if you would like to know more about eDiscovery or how to use it. Please like this post, comment and contact, would love to hear from you. Thankyou…

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