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eDiscovery Solutions

An Affordable yet Powerful Solution to Fulfill eDiscovery Requests, Achieve Compliance, and Minimize Legal Exposure

SonaVault 5.0 packs robust eDiscovery tools and features to solve real problems. SonaVault’s eDiscovery solutions also resolves many of the challenges to achieve compliance of various regulations, i.e. FINRA, SEC, FISMA, SOX, HIPAA, GLBA, FRCP, and FOIA.


CHALLENGE: eDiscovery Requests Take Many Hours to Fulfill

Most eDiscovery software searches very fast during the demo, and a lot of eDiscovery solutions work fairly well when first installed. But, after time, with millions of email collected and a few hundred mailboxes later, these eDiscovery searches bog down. Sometimes they just crawl. Highly skilled admins then have to sit and monitor as the search continues. This is akin to watching paint dry. It is expensive; it is demoralizing. Drudgery. And, yes, it costs a lot of money to watch paint dry.


SOLUTION: SonaVault Automatically Breaks Up the Data Stores to Allow for Always-fast eDiscovery Searches

Sonasoft's eDiscovery Software Solution includes a genuine license of Microsoft SQL Server
Sonasoft’s eDiscovery Software Solution includes a genuine license of Microsoft SQL Server Standard Edition at no extra charge.

Microsoft SQL Server powers the database in SonaVault. Microsoft SQL Server allows SonaVault 5.0 to automatically create data stores within the archive based on time, size, or other criteria. (Admins also have the ability to manually create data stores with just two clicks.) Since the database is broken into little pieces, searches are amazingly fast. Each search simultaneously searches each data store. This allows SonaVault 5.0 to retrieve 100,000 emails in less than five seconds. Other solutions create one big database to search through. This is like sticking a straw in the data lake and asking to retrieve something that buried deep in the mud. On the other hand, SonaVault 5.0 keeps the database nimble and fast irrespective of the number of emails, the number of mailboxes, or the size of the attachments.\


CHALLENGE: Email in Public Folders Must be Archived to Achieve Compliance, but Organizations have Exposure if Anyone Can Access Those Email

It’s that old catch-22. All email including email in public folders must be archived and be eDiscovery-ready in order to achieve legal compliance, but employees can post the darndest stuff in there. There are those employees who treat public folders like Facebook. Inappropriate pictures of their latest beach outings and exploits at a beer bash get shared…. for everyone. Other employees innocently (or not so-innocently) post extremely sensitive information such as product roadmaps, tentative business agreements, confidential marketing and sales information, employees’ salaries and social security numbers, etc. Not good. These scenarios keep HR and legal teams awake at night; the exposure is real.


SOLUTION: SonaVault 5.0 Archives Public Folders with Granular Access

Not all eDiscovery solutions archive public folders. Many of those solutions keep the archive of public folders very public. Although collaboration can increases productivity, immortalizing a few incidents of oversharing in the archived email creates new legal exposure. Yet, it is the law that these emails are retained. Fortunately, SonaVault 5.0 allows granular access to the archived public folders. SonaVault 5.0 serves up a velvet rope to keep only selected groups or individuals out of the archived public folders. Admins can add or remove access with just a few clicks. SonaVault 5.0 offers a way to achieve compliance and fulfill an eDiscovery request without creating new legal exposure or leak sensitive information within the company.


CHALLENGE: Not Every eDiscovery Product Can Do Complex Searches

Don’t always believe the marketing fluff. See it in action! Sadly, many eDiscovery products claim to be able do complex searches, but not all of them can. One competitor that charges a premium can only return ‘or’ searches, which renders itself useless to produce documents for an eDiscovery request. (The same product returns an ‘or’ search regardless of the Boolean phrase used.) Discovery requests can be complex. Here is one example: produce all emails that were sent amongst George, Victor, Maria, but do not include emails that Michelle sent, but may include emails that Michelle received; may not have been sent to domain, and must include the key words of “honey”, “bees”, and “birds”, but may not include any emails with the words “scorpion”. These emails need to be over three time periods of 2009, 2010, and 2013, but not include the years of 2011, 2012, or 2014.


SOLUTION: SonaVault 5.0 Can Fulfill eDiscovery Requests from Simple, Advanced, and Guided Searches

The power of Microsoft SQL Server is unleashed within SonaVault 5.0. SonaVault near-instantly indexes every aspect of an email as it is ingested into the archive. This indexing not only includes header, meta information, and the body, but also every aspect of each searchable attachment. This thorough indexing is a necessary requirement to ensure that each search is complete. Three intuitive options guide the end user to conduct a search as needed. Simple searches allow ordinary end users to find relevant emails. An advanced search screen allows power users to take advantage of all Boolean search expressions such as ‘AND’, ‘OR’, ‘XOR’, ‘NOR’, and ‘NOT’. SonaVault’s query builder guides a search through powerful options such as matching capabilities, keywords, phrases, wildcards, classification, location, scoring, and query suggestion. The query builder allows someone to pinpoint only the relevant emails by searching amongst different custodians, excluding certain custodians, or searching only when a custodian is a sender or receiver, but not vice versa. The date range selector further narrows a search to only specified emails in a discovery.

TIP: When evaluating an eDiscovery product, be sure to have the search capabilities demonstrating with multiple complex searches. Your legal team will thank you.


CHALLENGE: Many eDiscovery Software Solutions Require a Refined Search to be Started from Scratch

Not all eDiscovery solutions put the end user first. Many of these products require that all the search criteria be entered again if the end user wants to refine a search. Although this does not seem like a deal-breaker during the evaluation period, it does get old very quick during an actual eDiscovery. By having to re-enter the data, valuable time and billing hours are wasted. This amounts to expensive drudgery. Furthermore, re-entering data allows for errors to occur, which could prevent an eDiscovery request not to be sufficiently fulfilled or conversely leakage of data that was not relevant. Not good.


SOLUTION: SonaVault 5.0 Allows for Searches to be Saved and Refined

Industry standard, Microsoft SQL Server powers SonaVault 5.0. SQL Server allows for the archived data to be sliced and diced multiple times. Within a case management, admins easily can save a search and refine it multiple times until they obtain just the emails needed. By not having to re-enter the data for each search, admins save time and ensure accuracy, efficiency, and cost savings. The pinpoint precision of each search also prevents leakage of emails that are not relevant to the discovery. Why produce more than what the opposing party asks for?


CHALLENGE: Many eDiscovery Solutions are Not Proactive; Limited Just to eDiscovery Requests

Many IT directors have a mandate to implement an eDiscovery software solution to achieve regulatory compliance or to respond reactively to an eDiscovery request. Although a reactive solution adds value, it is only half-a-solution. It does not prevent legal exposure.


SOLUTION: SonaVault 5.0 Alerts for Key Words, Auto-flags, and Gives the Tools for Admins to Proactively Prevent Lawsuits Before They Happen

SonaVault 5.0 comes equipped with content identification tools that allow admins to set up policies that will alert admins or designated reviewers when an alert is triggered. These alert policies could include nine-digits (Social Security numbers), credit card numbers, W-4, etc. These alerts also could include phrases or other key words such as ‘kill’, ‘destroy’, ‘murder’, ‘massage’, etc. as well as expletives, racists remarks, and other words that are not deemed as being professional. When an email sets off an alert, SonaVault 5.0 auto-flags it until it is reviewed. With thoughtful policies, SonaVault proactively can prevent illegal activities as well as alert to undesirable behavior, e.g. bullying, that could expose an organization to a lawsuit. Having a proactive approach to prevent such allegation like ‘sexual harassment’ has been used as a defense in civil courts for organization to prove that they are not liable. It could then be stated that the organization did everything it could to prevent the alleged inappropriate act and that it certainly did not condone or tacitly approve of the behavior.

In addition, SonaVault 5.0 allows for content sampling. FINRA requires that a percentage of all email be reviewed. SonaVault 5.0 effortlessly achieves this FINRA regulatory compliance. SonaVault 5.0 also allows for collaboration with appended notes to the sampled email. A reviewer also may escalate the flagged email if needed. However, the power of SonaVault’s content sampling goes much further than achieving FINRA compliance. For instance, if a whole department is at risk for scams, then SonaVault’s content sampling feature could be applied to that department as a procedure. In this way, the payroll department, which has access to all the employees’ social security and benefits records, could have a portion of its email reviewed to safeguard against social engineering scams. Likewise, HR could review a portion of all employees who are on probation and who are not in good standing as another way to safeguard against legal exposure as well as maintain a healthy and productive environment.

SonaVault 5.0 also runs detailed reports to monitor key words alerts and possible leakage.


CHALLENGE: Archived Email is Not Always Indexed Immediate

Some eDiscovery solutions have a significant lag between the time an email is archived and the time an email is indexed for eDiscovery. This delay can create legal exposure not only for discovery requests, but can create delays in content monitoring and alerts. The damage from a wildly inappropriate email ‘flame’ war with alerted content could fester for hours before an admin is alerted.


SOLUTION: SonaVault 5.0 Archives and Indexes Email Simultaneously

If an email is in the SonaVault archive, then it has been indexed. SonaVault 5.0 simultaneously does both. Likewise, SonaVault 5.0 captures email in near-real time as email is archived directly from the Microsoft Journaling Mailbox. The SonaVault 5.0 solution is never stale and needs to wait for a ‘refresh’ or an agent to run. This allows eDiscovery requests to be fulfilled with the latest emails. It also allows for content identification and alerts to be almost immediate (by a few seconds). Alerted reviewers will have timely information to intervene if such a measure is necessary.


CHALLENGE: Some Email Archiving Solutions Expire Email that are Held for Litigation

It can never be assumed that the eDiscovery components in an email archiving solution will safeguard an organization. Some email archiving software will purge all email after the set expiration date has passed. For instance, if the expiration policy is set for seven years, then all email that is older than seven years gets purged. If there is an ongoing litigation that has gone on over seven years, then those emails are forever lost. Courts are not always so forgiving.


SOLUTION: SonaVault 5.0 Protects Emails that are on Litigation Hold Even After They have Expired

Sonasoft understands the importance of retaining email that is associated with an ongoing legal case. Sonasoft’s engineers made it easy for these email to remain in the system. Simply, all email that is linked to a case is placed on legal hold. All email that is on legal hold will never be purged from the system even after the expiration policy date has passed. That is the default. No additional configuration is needed. Only after legal case has been closed and the email has been unlinked from the case, then the email may be purged from the archive. Even then, SonaVault 5.0 provides layers of security to ensure that emails are not accidentally purged from the archive.


CHALLENGE: Many eDiscovery Solutions Export Protected Email Such as Client-Attorney Privileged

To fulfill an eDiscovery request, all emails that are specifically requested need to be produced. There are exceptions. Some email that are deemed as being protected are shielded from a discovery requests. For instance, emails that are protected under attorney-client privilege are exempt from production. One company had independent associates that used its email domain, but were employed outside of the company. These independent representatives had legal representation that they had hired directly. Every email that had one of these representatives and its attorney in the To, From, or CC fields was protected. Other competing eDiscovery solutions would not be able to protect these emails. Manually sorting through these emails would have consumed hours of billing and caused delays. There was no guarantee that some of the protected emails would have been leaked.


SOLUTION: SonaVault 5.0 Prevents Protected Email from Export

Sonasoft understands the frustration of a legal dispute. Its engineers developed a way to shield protected email, such as those protected under client-attorney privileges from being produced. Upon the advice of an organization’s legal counsel, other email may be shielded from export with just a few clicks. The protected email still remains associated with the legal case within SonaVault 5.0, only that it will not be exported and produced to opposing counsel. This solution saves time and ensures that protected email is never leaked. With SonaVault 5.0, protected email stays protected.


CHALLENGE: Retaining Legacy Email and Inactive Accounts for eDiscovery with Office 365

It is no secret that Microsoft Office 365 continues to gain market share. However, Microsoft does a better job in some areas in its suite than others. Office 365 only allows for legal hold and eDiscovery tools with its premium accounts. It has been noted that these eDiscovery tools are still a work in progress. For instance, there is a limit on the number of legal cases that Office 365 will support. An eDiscovery search request gets cued to run in a batch. Users have noted that it is slow, which adds time, costs, and pressure.

SonaVault's eDiscovery solutions are Microsoft Office 365 compatible
SonaVault’s eDiscovery solutions are Microsoft Office 365 compatible.

The 2015 Osterman Report, “The Role of Third-Party Tools for Office 365TM Compliance” (2015) exposed that crafty end-users could opt-out of a legal hold within Office 365 and delete their individual emails out of the archive. This act of end users overwriting administrator defined rules completely undermines a compliance order and increases legal exposure. The same report noted that Office 365 has limitations to produce of eDiscovery requests, collaborate amongst reviewers, and cull documents. Likewise, email recipients that are on a list or bcc’d will not be searchable until that mailbox is placed on legal hold. Office 365 does not index all key file types; which is another compliance no-starter. Office 365’s search results are limited to only 250 records. Concurrent searches are limited to just two. Long nights await. And so on.

Importing email data into Office 365 opens another can of worms. It has been noted that an email’s metadata often get modified during the import process. Under these circumstances, the imported email technically is not the same as the original email. This could create a compliance issue and could definitely be used against the organization during a lawsuit. Importing stubbed email often results with the attachments lost, which further places an organization out of compliance.

And, then there’s Microsoft licensing for Office 365. Each account, whether it is active or not, pays the same monthly service fee. Most organization would only like to pay for what they use, but eDiscovery and compliance regulations have changed model. All emails must be retained. It’s the law. Therefore, to keep the emails in old Office 365 accounts, an organization must continue to pay the monthly license. This is very profitable for Microsoft, but not so good for an IT’s budget.


SOLUTION: SonaVault 5.0 Hybrid Features Allows for Full Compliance with Robust eDiscovery Tools at a Fraction of the Cost

The hybrid functionality in SonaVault 5.0 archives an organization’s on-premise data alongside its cloud data. Just one archive. Low cost. Nearly no maintenance is required. This cost-saving solution allows an organization to keep all is historical data intact, without the cost of migrating it to the cloud or the risk of having the emails’ integrity compromised. Because SonaVault 5.0 archives the emails from the Office 365, there is no downside to cancel an inactive Office 365 account when an employee leaves the organization. The email is safely stored. Compliance is met. An eDiscovery request can be produced quickly.

As mentioned above, SonaVault’s superior eDiscovery workflow and tools efficiently will produce just the required email for an eDiscovery. This will save time and legal expense. It also gains compliance and prevents leakage.


SonaVault 5.0 eDiscovery Solutions

 SonaVault eDiscovery Appliances

Organizations looking for a complete, plug-n-play eDiscovery Solution would be interested in our SonaVault eDiscovery Appliances. Our configuration options include a DELL PowerEdge Server for those that want the quality, dependability, and service of a DELL. For organizations that want the performance of an HP Server, Sonasoft offers an eDiscovery appliance with an HP ProLiant Server. Both eDiscovery Appliances come with SonaVault Email Archiving & eDiscovery Software as mentioned above.