It seems that everyone is talking about “The Cloud”. In fact, it has become a universal buzzword in many industries. However, ask people to define cloud storage and many struggle to find the right answer. Every now and then a manager will complicate the issue further, by talking about “The Cloud” as if it were a large ball of cotton wool you just slotted into your computer.
Cloud storage has many advantages. It is the ideal way of storing documents or large files, but many fail to understand the potential risks of this type of storage. So, no one should fail to think about potential e-discovery risks before using cloud computing. You should weigh-up the potential risks such as financial health and future security before you contact a cloud storage provider.
Here are some of the potential risks involved:
1. Slow Production
Will the cloud storage provider you choose be able to cope if large numbers of documents are requested from your account? Many firms try to deal with the E-discovery orders themselves, however, if your chosen storage provider is unable or too slow to cope with your requests you immediately put yourself at risk. The client may go direct to the provider and cut-out the middleman. A number of storage providers are not equipped to deal with e-discovery productions. They will dump the documents, confidential or otherwise, to get the court off of their back.
2. Failure to Produce
Those who receive an E-discovery order should act in a responsible way. They are perfectly within their rights to expect their cloud storage provider to act responsibly too. However, if your storage provider is not capable of producing a large quantity of complex documents there may be a delay. The court is unlikely to accept the vendor is at fault; hence you will take the blame. The delay may result in disciplinary action or a fine.
3. Complicated Chains of Possession
After you have uploaded sensitive data to the cloud server there is a chance you could lose control of the files. This could apply if the vendor is unused to handling large e-discovery orders. Multiple copies of your files may end-up being sent everywhere as untrained staff struggle to cope with the workload.
A great offense is your best defense. You should ascertain certain points before hiring a cloud storage provider. For example, you must vet the provider; ask about their monthly charges and the size of their servers. Ensure they know how to handle large e-discovery orders and chat about their turn-around times. Ask the vendor if he is willing to pay any fines incurred due to late delivery of technical difficulty.
You should not lose control of your documents if you use cloud storage. If you fail to fulfil an e-discovery order you will be held responsible.