These days, it’s often not a matter of whether a data breach will occur, but when.
In 2021, the digital world experienced a record 1,862 data breaches – more than 68 percent over 2020, and the number is expected to increase in 2023. In addition, according to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average total cost of a data breach is $4.35 million, an amount that will likely also grow in the coming years. As a result, many experts advise that preparation might be even more critical than prevention.
Responding to a Data Breach – Critical First Steps
In 2022, it took about nine months to recognize and contain a data breach. However, cutting down the time it takes to recognize and contain a breach to 200 days or less can be extremely cost effective. Organizations using artificial intelligence (AI) and automation had a 74-day shorter breach lifecycle and spent an average of $3 million less on remedying the issue than those that did not employ the technology, according to the IBM report.
After a data breach is discovered, notification becomes essential. In addition to key internal team leaders, other personnel may need to be informed, based on the facts of the case. External notification may also be legally required under the terms of a contract or pursuant to statutes and regulations that protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Personal Health Information (PHI). In addition, banks, insurance carriers, law enforcement, and the media may need to be kept abreast.
When cybersecurity has been compromised, experts fix the data breach, but businesses must meet notification obligations which exist in all 50 US states in addition to federal and international requirements. As a result, companies are under tremendous pressure to determine what data has been taken and who they must notify, sometimes in as little as 72 hours. That’s where eDiscovery expertise can make a key contribution.
Using eDiscovery Technology to Ease the Burden of Notification Requirements
Companies are increasingly using technology solutions initially designed for eDiscovery as part of their data breach response. AI-powered eDiscovery systems can provide better context for prioritization and response to data security alerts to facilitate a faster response to incidents and identify root causes to diminish vulnerabilities and avoid future issues. AI can also serve as a force multiplier, helping teams automate time-consuming activities and streamlining containment and response.
For example, CDS Vision – Analysis deploys powerful data visualizations to help locate Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in the data breach notification process. Once documents containing PII are identified, redaction workflows can be automated with Relativity Redact. Manual review can be further expedited with Vision AutoRank, which automatically displays the ‘score’ indicating the likelihood that any unreviewed documents within the breach population are relevant for notification purposes.
When machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, reinforcement learning, knowledge representation, and other AI approaches are combined with automated assessment and decision-making, AI can help organizations manage an ever-increasing number of complex data security threats, respond in real-time, and provide timely notifications.
Cyberattacks may be inevitable. But the ability to respond automatically with measures including eDiscovery software that utilizes AI and automation can help organizations shorten response times, comply with tight reporting deadlines, maintain an audit trail, and save money as well. Relativity’s suite of AI workflows helps companies quickly analyze affected documents, flag PII (Social Security numbers, names, addresses, and more) and generate a report of affected people who need to be notified and how they were impacted by the breach.
CDS provides a full range of advisory services related to data breaches. To discuss how we can streamline your organization’s response, contact us at for a consultation today.