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A Big-Four accounting firm adopts Sherpa’s Altitude IG® to remove potentially damaging content from 100,000 workstations

How a global professional services firm will quickly find – and delete – the ‘smoking gun’ files from 100,000 workstations

When the Office of General Counsel (OGC) at a big-four professional services firm suspected that a lawsuit might be imminent – and that content in voicemail recordings saved as MP4 files on their employees’ hard drives could potentially be used against them -- the firm implemented a 30-day deletion policy on all phone recordings. To assure compliance with the new policy, an ongoing, automated system to find and delete these files from all the firm’s endpoints would be required. So the OGC tasked their Unified Communication Systems Department (with additional stakeholders in Messaging and Legal) to find the answer. Security would then be asked to bless the proposed solution.

The Challenge

The firm’s Senior Manager of Unified Communications glumly observed that the task of finding and remediating these files would be “ultra challenging”. Although eDiscovery solutions are readily available for accessing emails stored in the cloud or on company servers, the potentially-damaging content was in MP4 files hiding on hard drives. The Senior Manager was unaware of a solution that had the reach to scale at their required enterprise level of 100,000 desktops and laptops.

Furthermore, to institute a proper and defensible discipline of data management and governance — including audit reports to ensure compliance — the solution would need to be centrally set and automatically run to assure the company’s retention and deletion policies were being observed.

The Solution: Altitude IG®

The firm was already using Sherpa’s software to automate deletion of .WAV files within PST files from employee workstations, so the Senior Manager asked: did Sherpa have a solution with the reach they needed to institute this new retention/deletion policy?

Yes, Sherpa did.

Since 2000, Sherpa has been a leading supplier of eDiscovery and data management software, with over 4,000 customers including 30% of the Fortune 500. Introduced in 2015, Sherpa’s Altitude IG® is the next generation of software for data governance, compliance, and eDiscovery. Altitude allows Risk, Compliance, Security, and IT professionals to automate data management policies, achieve compliance, and mitigate potential liabilities and risks by proactively locating, analyzing and deleting any type of unstructured data (email, Office documents, MP4 files, .WAV files, and much more).

What sets Altitude apart is its reach: users can see into a wide range of sources where the undesirable content may be hiding: Office 365, Exchange, network file shares, PST files, SharePoint – plus the source that was so critical to this firm: each individual employee workstation and hard drive.

After a demo of the Altitude software confirmed it could indeed find and delete the unwanted MP4 files, the project stakeholders got the okay to adopt it. The Sherpa customer success team worked with the client stakeholders every step of the way to assure a smooth and timely implementation, leading the key stakeholder to observe, “It’s a pleasure to work with the Sherpa team. When we need a software feature, it gets done.”

What’s Next

As Altitude’s use grows throughout the organization, the firm is considering additional possible applications. For example, their Data Protection & Cyber Security department can use Altitude to minimize the risk of data leakage and breach by searching user hard drives for personal information (PII/PCI), key words or phrases, or any alphanumeric pattern. This can be very useful for professional service firms who need to manage risk in their audit reports and, to comply with company regulations, require their auditors to file them in a folder on their hard drive named “Audit Reports”.

For more information on Altitude IG®, click here to request a personalized demo, call 800-255-5155, or email [email protected].

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