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Forensic Collections for E-Discovery: When to Use

Created on September 10, 2021


Vice President, E-Discovery

It’s more important than ever that in-house legal departments ensure that they have the capabilities to preserve data and collect it in a variety of ways from a range of different sources. A few major factors are driving this, all related to how businesses handle risk associated with their data management practices, and regardless of the use case for which they are preserving the data—whether it’s for internal investigations/criminal, litigation, or data breach response— e-discovery professionals must be prepared to defensibly preserve and collect data in ways that meet growing demands from the business.

These days, those demands include forensic collection.

“We’re seeing increasing scrutiny from regulators, we’re seeing an increasing awareness among consumers regarding how their data is used,” says Len Robinson, Manager of Digital Investigations, E-Discovery & Corporate Threat Intelligence for Retail Business Services. “We’re seeing state legislatures now thinking—in the U.S., of course—of enacting more privacy laws. And we’re seeing increased strength in privacy regulations in the EU and other nations. So all this combined, this ocean of data just amplifies the challenge to all of us when we’re looking to search for that information.”

Forensic collection is now a part of the converging realities within legal and regulatory landscapes like data privacy and e-discovery. In this whitepaper, we’ll take a look at what forensic collection tools are, why they should be used by e-discovery professionals, and how to pick the right data collection tool for the job.

Common Forensic Collection Tools & Terms

When we talk about forensic data collection, we’re talking about a different type of collection than e-discovery professionals are used to. Rather than finding and preserving data in-place, and collecting an individual file or folder (called a logical collection), forensic collections create exact copies of the data beyond just the physical file, which is a way of containerizing evidence in its entirety in a forensically sound manner and creating a working copy for examination.

This type of collection is incredibly valuable for legal professionals in certain specific scenarios because it empowers you to look beyond what’s natively contained in a document (the words on the page) and unearth deleted or encrypted data. Usually, forensic collections occur from the hard drives, whereas typical e-discovery collections (logical collections) can take place from any number of data sources.

Learn more about when to use forensic collection software, including specific use cases when forensic collections are needed in Exterro's new forensics for e-discovery e-book. Download Now.