Symantec introduced an updated version of its legal discovery suite on Aug. 21, promising new features that further streamline companies' abilities to meet information reporting demands spurred by lawsuits and other mandates.
Dubbed Enterprise Vault Discovery Accelerator 6.0, the product is meant to integrate with the data storage and lifecycle management applications sold under the company's Veritas product line.
The package is designed specifically to help companies address the process of retaining, tracking down and turning over electronic documents demanded during the discovery process of litigation.
The newest iteration of Discovery Accelerator promises significant advancements in the areas of enforcing discovery-related policies within messaging systems, archiving legacy data and integrating with other electronic discovery technologies.
Unlike compliance-oriented applications, which have sold primarily into vertical markets affected by major government data protection regulations, such as the medical and financial services fields, so-called e-discovery tools are finding a home in almost every industry, Symantec executives said.
Whereas mandates such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), passed by the U.S. government in 1996, have spurred large-scale investment in data retention and security technologies in the health care field, litigation affects all businesses, creating a giant market opportunity for e-discovery tools, said Nick Mehta, senior director of product management at Symantec, Cupertino, Calif.
"If you look at regulations like HIPAA, they only affect a certain number of companies, whereas e-discovery has universal applicability," said Mehta.
"We're also seeing laws being updated to recognize that electronic data now represents the bulk of all records, with more specific requirements for discovery; companies are already looking for ways to become better prepared for the inevitable."
Specific additions offered in Discovery Accelerator 6.0 include a revamped ad-hoc search function for completing early assessment and production of records that may be demanded during a lawsuit.
Another modification includes enhanced capabilities for companies to tag and enforce policies around data that must be retained or deleted based on its legal sensitivity, and native export of content from e-mail and Microsoft Office files.