Alternate Uses for Discovery Attender

Discovery Attender is primarily used by legal and IT professionals who find the application helpful in responding to requests to perform electronic discovery or investigative functions.   Over the years, however, the Sherpa support team has noticed that our end-users (especially at smaller companies) deploy Discovery Attender to perform a variety of tasks outside the legal realm.  These include:

• Eliminating PCI data:  This use is so popular it should be considered a standard task.  A variety of regulations in a number of industries forbid the storage of ‘Payment Card Industry’ data in clear text (i.e. unmasked).  Discovery Attender is deployed to find email and files which contain the rouge information such as social security and credit card numbers. It does so by recognizing PCI identification patters using the Regular Expression feature. Once found, these items are moved out of the general data stores into secure repositories using the Advanced Actions.

• Identifying inappropriate data:  Mailboxes or file stores often contain data which is inconsistent with company policy. This can range from dirty words to media files. Once items are found using keyword, size or file type criteria, the Advanced Actions clean up the data repositories and bring them back into policy compliance.

• Removing confidential documents:  Occasionally proprietary or confidential information escapes into general, non-classified data stores.  Discovery Attender comes to the rescue by finding the offending documents via file names or keywords.  These files are then deleted with extreme prejudice thus ensuring no valuable data is able to break away from secure networks.

• Collecting product history:  Some manufacturing companies use Discovery Attender to track correspondence referencing specific products or parts (via. patent numbers or part numbers) so they can keep a complete record for reference and backup purposes.

• Finding lost items: Some IT administrators are called upon to locate files or email messages that have gone astray.  A surprising number of techs have reported turning to Discovery Attender to help them find and restore lost digital items to their proper owners.

• Locating viruses:  One of the more unexpected uses reported to our support team is using Discovery Attender to supplement anti-virus software.  Definitely an off brand exercise, but several admins have found the tool very helpful to track specific infected files in static email stores and network shares that conventional virus scans may have missed.

• Collecting data after separation: Often company policy dictates that all data from employees leaving a company must be collected and stored for a defined period of time. Because Discovery Attender can scan many data stores at once (Exchange, files shares, desktops, etc.) it is the ideal tool for performing this type of collection.  As an added bonus, the deduplication features helps reduce the amount of data which needs to be kept.

• Deleting clutter:  Many organizations find themselves faced with hordes of unneeded files which pollute mail servers and file shares alike.  Spring cleaning comes around when admins break out Discovery Attender to find and remove items that muddle the data stores.  Old newsletters, cross-company emails, viral media files and all those inspirational, but large power points are eradicated.

If you have any unconventional uses for Discovery Attender, we would love to hear from you.  Please don’t hesitate to comment below, or contact us at information@sherpasoftware.com

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