As a continuation of its information risk management initiative, and to prevent future legal expenses relating to tape restoration, the client sought to remediate more than 50,000 backup tapes. With FTI’s guidance, the organization planned to destroy any tapes that contained legacy data no longer relevant to present legal hold or records retention obligations. Because the previous remediation and retention effort had solidified the email archive as the “golden source” for email data, any tapes containing email were also considered redundant and in need of disposal.

Our Role

FTI scanned the initial set of tapes, and first identified the ones that contained email and were created prior to the oldest legal hold. Those were all disposed of without further review, providing an immediate removal of approximately 20,000 unnecessary tapes from the client’s U.S., EMEA and APAC stores.

When the storage vendor’s mistakes threatened the project, FTI’s Digital Forensics & Investigations team stepped in to untangle the mess and create an itemized inventory of all of the data. Their quick response and work in recovering the storage provider’s forensic mistakes was integral to getting the remediation workstream back on track.

The team continues to analyze remaining tapes, to understand what information was stored within certain closed containers and tapes sent to storage after 2008. Any and all tapes that do not contain information under legal hold will be removed. They expect to identify several thousand more tapes that can be defensibly destroyed.

FTI also created a disaster recovery policy and procedures to prevent future over preservation. The client now has a format for ensuring backup tapes are not stored for longer than 180 days and enabling exceptions to the rule for any tapes that the business must retain beyond that period.

Our Impact

To date, 20,000 of the client’s legacy, duplicate backup tapes have been destroyed, with FTI targeting an additional 20,000 that may be eligible for disposal. In addition to backups, FTI has identified and remediated thousands of unnecessary non-tape media storage, closed container tapes and open media tapes.

The client’s key goal of reducing risk has been met, defensibly removing a significant volume of data that could have led to legal cost and exposure had it come into scope in a future matter.

An estimated more than $100,000 in annual storage costs savings will be realized upon completion of the full remediation.