Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Forensics Consulting Solutions (FCS) Announces Departing Employee Data Management Services

The departure of an employee - whether through termination, layoff, reduction in force, or other event -is a stressful situation for all involved. It is also fraught with legal and compliance risks. To address these risks, organizations must properly manage the data that was created or controlled by the departing employee.

This liability is derived primarily from three sources (1) Employment-related litigation (2) Preservation of ESI and (3) Recordkeeping obligations.

According to a recent article in ComputerWorld Magazine “Layoff backlash: Five steps to protect your business from angry ex-employees” by Julia King “…companies should take forensic images of departing employees' laptops, so they're available if an investigation is launched. (A forensic image is a copy of a computer's hard disk.) "Usually, when something bad happens, it doesn't happen right away," … In fact, it can take 6, 12 or even 24 months before it comes to light. Yes, there is the added expense of taking the image, but you have to offset that with the potential cost of litigation.”

The article goes on to point out that “Arguing that a key piece of evidence is lost because an employee was let go will garner little sympathy from the bench.”

Law Technology News recently cited that “Even if a layoff goes smoothly with no apparent disgruntlement on the part of the employee, a company should still collect evidence of its own due diligence in case there's some sort of investigation in the future.”

The Forensics Practice at FCS specializes in managing our client’s most sensitive data, during their most sensitive business events. Our specialized expertise, tools, and processes are designed to ensure that critical data is cost-effectively handled in a forensically sound and legally-defensible manner. Our Departing Employee Data Management Service enables clients to address the problem of departing employee data quickly, cost-effectively, and defensibly - with little or no burden on internal legal, IT, HR, or other resources. For a simple fixed fee, clients ship hard drives, laptop computers, and other devices and data to FCS.

FCS Forensics offers the following services:
- Creates a forensically-sound, bit-level copy of the data using state-of-the-art tools and industry best practices
- Creates a comprehensive documentation detailing the chain-of-custody and forensics procedures used. Clients can use this data to explain and defend their actions.
- Returns of the device for re-provisioning and reuse by the client.
- Stores the data in their secure data center (optional service).
- Processes and hosts the data for litigation-related review and production (optional service).
- Processes the data using the client’s records retention schedule to identify and capture business records (optional service).

Benefits for IT
- No need to bring expensive, specialized expertise and tools in-house
- Quickly re-provision valuable IT assets while minimizing legal risk
- Reduce the time and effort associated with managing departing employee data
Benefits for Legal
- Reduce the risk associated with employment-related claims
- Protect the organization from ESI spoliation claims
- Documented and consistent approach based on best practices is more easily explained and defended
Benefits for HR
- Easily address departing employee data issues without requiring extensive legal and IT support
- One less detail to worry about during a difficult business event
- Peace of mind that legal and compliance obligations are being met

About Forensics Consulting Solutions, LLC

Founded in 2001, Forensics Consulting Solutions LLC is a boutique consulting firm with a global reach that includes North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Working with a select group of clients, FCS has been an integral contributor to a number of high-profile litigation and M&A activities in recent years. Projects have included the Michelson v. Medtronic’s litigation, the P&G/Gillette and Sprint/Nextel mergers, and the ongoing AMD v. Intel litigation. For more information on FCS’s full service E-Discovery service offering, visit www.forensicsconsulting.com.

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