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Evertrust Eases Expunging

Would-be Jack Grubmans, take heart: There's a way to ensure the demise of all those nasty emails and damning documents -- legally, no less.

Storage startup says its new Advanced Encryption Standard (AEstor) software, which it plans to officially unveil tomorrow, prompts administrators to destroy data at the end of a legal record-retention period, whether its stored on tape, disk, or optical media.

The business news is full of stories about companies being searched by lawyers for what calls "electronic smoking guns" (see Data Protection and IM Gets Regulated). Of course, it's important to comply with regulations that make data available for legal discovery, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. But insists getting rid of data once it's outside the legally accessible period is equally important. Who wants to add fuel to a legal fire?

“If you have a discovery motion brought against you, you have to show everything, even if it’s in deep storage,” says CEO Thomas Gosnell. “When the retention period has expired for digital files, it’s very important that they are disposed of.”

Getting rid of data isn't as easy as just hitting the delete button in Word. While physically removing documents stored accessibly online is no problem, claims it is often so difficult to locate files retained offline, that the only way to delete them is to destroy the entire disc or tape they reside on. This is not only costly, but also impractical, the startup says, since companies tend to have a number of different documents with different retention periods on a single tape or disk. Finding copies of expired documents backed up at numerous locations also poses a significant challenge.

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