How Collecting From Cloud Workplace Apps Can Strengthen Your Investigation
The world has changed dramatically in recent years, particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic, with remote working becoming the new normal for enterprise employees. In addition, there is a huge increase in the amount of data produced and a dramatic rise in the number of endpoints from which data needs collecting. This includes desktop computers, laptops, mobile devices, cloud servers, virtual meeting platforms, messaging apps and others.
This ever-expanding digital environment is compounded by the trend of ‘bring your own device’ meaning employees are accessing employer documents and data on a wide range of endpoints at any time and from anywhere. Meanwhile, the proliferation of cloud-sharing platforms, such as Microsoft 360 and Google Suite, extends accessibility to information even further, with the ability to store and share potentially sensitive materials well beyond the corporate enterprise.
In the past, an employer was largely able to access emails and texts from employees on company issued or personally owned devices. Today, employee communication has extended to virtual meeting platforms (e.g., Zoom, WebEx), social media sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) and messaging apps – both those designed for business (e.g., Slack, Microsoft Teams), and those for personal interactions (e.g., WhatsApp, Snapchat).
Data Volumes Growing Exponentially
Any of these communications platforms could contain information relevant to an investigation. But the amount of data, and where it is stored, is growing quicker than many IT and systems administrators can keep up with as employees turn to cloud applications on computers and phones to collaborate with each other. This increase in communications platforms is making compliance and corporate investigations into employee misconduct more complex than ever.
The difficulties that the private sector is facing are confirmed by the Cellebrite Enterprise Solutions Industry Trends Survey for the Private Sector. More than two-thirds of respondents (69%) noted that the number of business applications they use at work increased during the pandemic. Similarly, 69% of corporations reported the collecting of data from mobile devices at remote locations as being among the biggest challenges faced when collecting from endpoints.
Confidence in the ability to collect data from endpoints is a critical factor for organizations, but with the amount of data and variety of sources to collect from, not all investigators are fully confident in their ability to do so, according to the survey. Among corporations, 71% of investigators feel confident in their ability to collect relevant data from endpoints, while at consulting firms or service providers, this figure increases to 73%.
Increasing Number Of Endpoints
Corporate investigators, legal technologists, and eDiscovery professionals must collect data from the admin portals of every workplace app in the company. In addition, IT teams need to collect data from a perplexing range of endpoints when employees leave. Not only is this a time-consuming and tedious manual process, but the data stored is also growing by the day.
Adding to the burden is the growing number of employees working outside of a company’s four walls as a result of the pandemic. Joining those staff members that have traditionally been based outside the office – such as sales reps, support staff, consultants and technicians – are a growing number of formerly office-based employees. And with resources tight, companies are often reluctant to hire more investigators and eDiscovery employees to help relieve backlogs, meaning those staff often face a constant uphill battle in searching for data.
Complete Picture Of Employee Communications And Activity
It is paramount that enterprises use endpoint intelligence solutions to streamline the collection and processing of computer and mobile data to support eDiscovery, internal investigations, and civil litigation. This allows insights to be gathered across data sources to provide a 360-degree view of employee communications and activity. It also helps build a comprehensive picture to support or refute claims, aids in carrying out deep-dives into activity, and in recovering history from a device to uncover the truth.
Remote collection of data from computers, mobile devices, and workplace apps, such as Office 365, Slack, and Teams, lessens the workload substantially by providing one tool with a single UI for all endpoints, rather than having to log in to the admin credentials of each endpoint individually. Cellebrite’s Endpoint Inspector solution can assist corporations and consultants by enabling them to generate critical insights, while accelerating the efficiency and accuracy of the investigative process and maintaining compliance.
Collect Data From Anywhere And Everywhere
The ability to carry out this task remotely – and all in one familiar workflow – makes the task dramatically easier and far less time consuming. Using a smart collection platform allows investigative teams to collect data from anywhere, regardless of geographic background. Litigation costs can also be lowered because the amount of irrelevant data requiring collection, processing and review can be reduced substantially. And the convenience of having a one-stop-shop for collection simplifies the investigative process and accelerates time to evidence while ensuring privacy.
Endpoint Inspector’s remote computer, mobile, and cloud workplace app collection capabilities gives corporate investigators and eDiscovery professionals a single unified collection workflow for all endpoints without the need to purchase multiple tools for different types of collections – saving investigators valuable time and money.
This comprehensive endpoint intelligence solution not only tackles the latest workplace collection challenges, it expedites the collection and review of data from any device or source, so it’s preserved and securely available. Endpoint Inspector allows corporate investigators and eDiscovery professionals to analyze data quickly and find the most relevant data that resolves investigations faster. As a result, corporations of all sizes are empowered to manage data digitally, making evidence instantly available across teams to facilitate easy collaboration while keeping data private, clean, and ready for litigation.