Impact of COVID-19 on Remote Document Review

The enduring impacts of COVID-19 on eDiscovery and document review services are not yet completely on the upfront, document review service providers are experiencing new challenges. Remote document review is growing to be increasingly prevalent as more attorneys work from home. The remote work environment presents innumerable challenges to review quality and information security. Document review service providers need to work together with clients and carefully consider their requirement and risk forbearances when adapting to new and evolving circumstances.

As eDiscovery providers begin to update their security policies for potential long run remote work, they should consult their clients, counsel, and partners. Such a partnership shall help create a comprehensive plan that addresses the necessary provisions involving multiple parties, which include: training, remote staffing, oversight, information security, and confidential information handling. Collaboration will also help create consistency.

Document review teams generally work under direct supervision in an office setting on authorized equipment, which helps management ensure maintenance of established protocols. Remote document review has shifted this scenario, mandating teams to rapidly outline and adopt new security protocols. Most certainly, there are ways that eDiscovery providers can retain office-level security and continue to work efficiently. When developing a plan to address policy changes due to remote work, various safety bound protocols need to be maintained.

When utilizing remote document reviewing services, there should be controls in place that work alongside physical restrictions to protect confidentiality and keep data secure. An access program or VPN and multi-factor authentication are brilliant places to commence. Ensuring programs are uptodate and patches are completed when necessary, shall increase security and help create peace of mind for clients. It is also a great move to implement additional access point restrictions, such as limited registered IP addresses in each reviewer’s home office.

While making decision on remote document reviews, consideration needs to be towards who is in this space and the equipment needed. Clients and partners need to be given the priority about requirements surrounding the work area, including whether third parties are allowed in the remote workspace, what types of workspaces are acceptable, and how they conduct security compliance. It’s also helpful to determine client expectations regarding reviewer cell phones in the workspace.

Remote reviewing of documents requires device which provides advanced security and performance. Else, there is a risk of exposures that could breach and hamper associated sensitive data. Remote document review increases the chances of employees using personal devices for work-related tasks. Reviewers should check whether personal computers are permitted and what hardware and software securities should be used and installed. Clients generally also prefer a locked-down device devoted to remote viewing duties. Communication and oversight software will likely be necessary when conducting remote viewing.

As the coronavirus changes traditional work front scenario, various organizations have altered their remote reviewing policies. In this scenario, remote-work policy updates are a substantial rise for eDiscovery professionals upfront, there are benefits for transitioning to an online review process, making it possible to increase in count of projects and decrease in client response time. Carefully considering each aspect of remote review and adjusting security policies will allow document reviewers the opportunity to continue to complete projects successfully and provide exceptional service to their clients outside the office while maintaining the security protocols simultaneously.

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