Financial Service organizations are among the most highly regulated industries and routinely face a myriad of compliance and administrative proceedings. Prominent financial regulators like the UK Serious Fraud Office and the US Securities and Exchange Commission have already adopted the best eDiscovery (electronic discovery) solutions available to enhance their own reviews. By combining eDiscovery policy and software, organizations can effectively tackle large review projects in-house, meet regulatory demands, and avoid the spotlight of costly sanctions. The question is: is your organization keeping up?
An eDiscovery solution requires the ability to work with structured and unstructured data including emails, databases, text documents, trade data, spreadsheets and even audio and instant messages like Bloomberg chat. The best e-discovery software works quickly, enabling litigation support to identify, retrieve and produce the required information in a clean format untainted by any digital fingerprints from the search.
Choosing the best eDiscovery software for Financial Services
In simple terms, eDiscovery involves the collection, processing, review, analysis, and production of any electronically stored information (ESI) within a corporation to respond to internal, due diligence, litigation or regulatory requests.
When choosing the best eDiscovery platform for financial services institutions, look for these five benefits:
1. Prioritized review with continuous machine learning
Gone are the days when legal teams would review all documents one by one to respond to a regulatory demand, litigation request, or conduct an internal investigation. Instead, modern legal professionals leverage machine learning and AI technology known as predictive coding to prioritize the identification of relevant documents buried in mountains of big data. Predictive coding with continuous machine learning utilizes human coding decisions (i.e., relevant / not relevant) to actively learn the kinds of document and language patterns that the lawyers are looking for.
Applying predictive coding saves time and money, helps identify the most relevant documents earlier and lowers costs by reviewing far less irrelevant data. After just a few example documents, the AI can begin searching for similar content and identifying documents for human review. Throughout the review process, the system continuously learns more about what is relevant and adjusts its suggested documents for review accordingly, with most likely relevant documents at the top of the queue. Plus, the machine learning model doubles as a quality control, and at the end of a project it can be used to verify human review decisions, analyze related data sets, and correct errors before production.
2. Automated pattern detection and redaction
In the financial services sector, firms deal with exorbitant amounts of sensitive and private data and thereby must comply with customer data privacy regulations. Many documents contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII) like social security numbers, street addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. In addition, financial enterprises must comply with a host of specialized financial privacy regulations necessitating the redaction of Payment Card Information (PCI) like credit card and account numbers. Having the proper automated pattern detection and redaction tools integrated with eDiscovery software helps prevent inadvertent disclosure of PII that could lead to costly sanctions.
Basic eDiscovery technology anticipates manual redaction of documents, whereas the best eDiscovery software is able to recognize patterns and redact sensitive information automatically. For instance, information found in banking statements, financial records, and mortgages documents tend to follow a regular expression pattern. Sophisticated eDiscovery software can detect and filter on those patterns and then redact the references directly. OpenText™ Axcelerate™ Smart Redactions do just that—automatically redacting PII, PHI, and PCI across thousands of documents at a time.
3. Flexibility and scalability
Financial services firms handle cases varying in size and scope; smaller cases may contain tens of thousands of documents while larger projects hold terabytes of data. The best eDiscovery software will offer the ability to scale up securely and flexibly to meet a project’s growing needs or archive when a project slows down or ends. Flexible deployment models in the cloud or on-premise offer the right mix of scale and security. Some financial service clients prefer a hybrid configuration, conducting early case assessment (ECA) on-premise behind their own firewall to cull the data for review and then hosting that data in a managed cloud environment accessible by outside counsel and monitored by corporate legal operations.
Additionally, taking eDiscovery in-house enables internal teams to investigate whenever they want to—moving data in and out of the review platform as desired. The best eDiscovery solution for financial services will enable self-service collection, processing, and case creation so that lawyers can rapidly investigate a matter at a moment’s notice.
4. Integrate with existing systems for standardized, defensible workflows
Unifying eDiscovery with enterprise information management is more relevant than ever, particularly for financial services firms with a multitude of enterprise content management systems (ECM). In the OpenText Corporate Legal Ops Survey Results 2017, 74% of respondents said it would be helpful to the entire law department if their ECM systems were integrated with their eDiscovery platforms. Integration enables eDiscovery systems to crawl, index, search, and collect the data where it lives. Internal employees can search across all the key data repositories simultaneously using the same, standardized set of keywords and metadata filters.
Integrations further allow for development of standardized workflows and processes by leveraging internal knowledge and expertise. Over time, IT or technical personnel will be invaluable in helping develop standardized eDiscovery policies on data mapping, collection, record management, storage and retention. Having well-established policies enables the creation of repeatable and defensible processes. With an integrated system, the internal investigations team need not rely on IT personnel for each legal matter and can focus instead on building subject-matter expertise.
5. Meet Compliance and regulatory obligations around the world
Financial service organizations face heightened legal scrutiny around the world: from FINRA, to the SEC, to the FSA, to the Dodd-Frank Act, financial services must comply with more regulations and regulators than nearly any other industry. Such compliance may require the fast analysis of a wide range of communication data, ranging from text messages to social media messages to emails. Delivering such a quick turnaround on communication data requests is only feasible by utilizing sophisticated eDiscovery solutions.
In addition, the best eDiscovery software enables an enterprise-wide view of eDiscovery projects via a central platform for all discovery activities. Overlapping projects can be identified and documents relevant in one jurisdiction can be set aside for use in another. This is particularly valuable for financial service firms in that a production to one financial regulator often begets a similar production to another regulator.
Find an eDiscovery software partner with financial services experience
Savvy financial service regulators like UK SFO and the US SEC already use the best eDiscovery software available to investigate and measure compliance. Regulators are not behind when it comes to adopting advanced technology – in fact, they are among the most sophisticated eDiscovery users. Financial service organizations are well-advised to find the right eDiscovery technology for themselves, to ensure efficient compliance.
eDiscovery software and systems providers who specialize in the financial services sector should be at the top of your list for preferred eDiscovery vendors. While the principles of eDiscovery are similar across all sectors, specialist knowledge of industry customs, processes, data sources, vernacular and legislation can be invaluable. To ensure success, financial service clients should look for an eDiscovery vendor with previous financial cases, demonstrable experience, and trusted relationships in the industry.
Why choose OpenText for eDiscovery?
OpenText is a global-level provider of eDiscovery software and information management for financial services, offering a suite of solutions to achieve litigation readiness through a comprehensive strategy combining records, retention, disposition, and legal hold management. This is built using key enterprise content management components that address content lifecycle management (including content held in Microsoft SharePoint environments), records management, and email management.
OpenText Discovery Suite offers gold-standard forensics and unstructured data analytics designed to search, collect and investigate enterprise data to manage legal obligations and risk, and ultimately reduce the cost of litigation.