What is eDiscovery and Regulatory Compliance

What is eDiscovery and how it can help your organization?

Electronic discovery, or eDiscovery, is the process of identifying and delivering electronic information that can be used as evidence in legal cases.

Nowadays, by considering most of the organizational information kept electronically, it’s becoming more important and critical to locate the information when its needed to be presented in court. SharePoint provides an out of the box enterprise solution to solve this problem, eDiscovery.

eDiscovery is a feature and available in SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013 and Office 365. It’s a centralized location in your SharePoint Farm to discover evidence for legal cases or even to do a routine check at the enterprise level for your organization’s information policy.

Benefits of using eDiscovery

When eDiscovery is configured for your organization, you can benefit of the underlying power of SharePoint Search and you can:

  • Reduce the time and afford to discover usable evidence.
  • Crawl file shares, websites and Exchange Server besides SharePoint
  • Secure evidence from being deleted or destroyed electronically
  • Have all the content from eDiscovery be exported to an industry standard format (EDRM – Electronic Data Reference Model)

eDiscovery also provides:

  • Statistics about the items that were found.
  • Preview the results from eDiscovery.
  • Filtering results by file type (for SharePoint) or by message type (for Exchange).

How eDiscovery Works?

eDiscovery is a site collection on SharePoint and in this demo, we’ll assume that there is an ATIP request for an employee regarding to a case and we were asked to find evidence for finance and audit related information from employee. The employee’s name is Miriam Graham.

After signing we will navigate to eDiscovery Center and on the home page we’ll click on “Create new case”

Each case is being create as a subsite on eDiscovery Center. We’ll go ahead and fill the new site creation form and click on “Create” at the end of the page.

After the case is created, you will see the home page of the case. This page has two sections. First is Identify and Hold and second is Search and Export. Identify and Hold is the section where you add and manage sources to search any type of information and place a hold on results if needed. Search and Export is for creating queries to go deeper in results and filter them by types.

In Identify and Hold, we created a new eDiscovery Set and add Miriam Graham’s email and Contoso Site to search items with finance or audit keyword included in sources.

Once your sources are added you can click on Get Statistics and see the results from your search.

If you would like you can preview your search results and place a hold on items returned from your search.

In-Place Hold Status you can follow the process on case.

In Search and Export, we created a query and this time we are only interested with emails contains audit keyword. You can also export the results in EDRM format to be reviewed by 3rd party authorities.

eDiscovery Requirements Setup (On-premise)

  • SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise Edition or higher.
  • Exchange Server 2013 Standard or higher.
  • In use with Exchange Server:
    • SharePoint Site must be configured to use Secure Socket Layers (SSL).
    • The Exchange Web Services Managed API must be installed on every server that is running SharePoint 2013.
  • An eDiscovery site collection in SharePoint
  • A designated security group

For Office 365, steps are:

  • Step 1: Create an eDiscovery Center
  • Step 2: Configure Exchange Online as a result source
  • Step 3: Create a security group for eDiscovery managers
  • Step 4: Assign eDiscovery permissions in SharePoint Online
  • Step 5: Assign eDiscovery permissions in Exchange Online


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