6 January 2009

Redundant computers expose financial sector to litigation and compliance risks

Nearly a quarter of a million human hours (248,000) required to back up data on redundant computers in the coming year

As further redundancies are inflicted on the financial sector, Kroll Ontrack®, the leading provider of electronic and paper disclosure, computer forensics, and courtroom services, is warning companies of the risks of not backing up data on redundant computers and other hardware.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research predicted 62,000 job losses in the UK’s financial sector alone by the end of 2009, and computer forensics specialists are advising that companies may not have the necessary resources to adequately back up data from computers. With each device requiring anywhere between two and six hours of work to image contents, the financial sector alone could collectively require a quarter of a million human hours to complete the task (2). Though redundancies have been most rife in the financial sector, the issue of preserving data is one that could affect companies in other sectors that are highly regulated.

Whilst most companies are not legally required to back up all data on computers and other hardware devices that are no longer in use, these companies leave themselves open to data loss and theft of intellectual property by not doing so. They may also find themselves unable to meet obligations for data disclosure that could disadvantage them in future litigation.

Martin Carey, Managing Director, Kroll Ontrack, said: “We have already seen a large number of redundancies in several sectors and predictions claim those numbers will keep climbing throughout 2009. With fewer personnel and financial resources available, many companies are unlikely to have the means to perform the necessary tasks associated with creating forensic images prior to disposal. “

“In bypassing a process that at other times would be manageable, companies are leaving themselves open to risks, including theft of intellectual property and potential inability to supply necessary data under legal obligations, which could have considerable financial implications,” Carey added.

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.
Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers recover, search, analyze, produce and present data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, advanced search, paper and electronic disclosure, computer forensics, ESI consulting, and presentation services. Kroll Ontrack is a technology services division of Kroll Inc., the global risk consulting company. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit: www.krollontrack.co.uk

The Legal Technologies division of Kroll Ontrack provides corporations, law firms and government agencies with technology and services for large scale electronic and paper-based disclosure, computer forensics, trial graphics and presentations as well as electronically stored information ( ESI) and jury consulting. Helping customers quickly and cost-effectively find, review, manage, produce and present relevant evidence, Kroll Ontrack is recognised as the leading electronic discovery provider by Am Law Tech (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008).