IICE 2017: Chairman's Report

30 June 2017 by Adrienn Toth

We recently had the privilege of chairing this year's IICE Summit. IICE brings together decision makers in Information Management, Investigations, Compliance, and eDiscovery to collaborate on the direction of disruptive regulation, technology, and organisational excellence.

At this year’s Summit we addressed a particularly challenging set of circumstances, driven by the complex landscape created when data, business and the law interact and at times collide.

There have been rapid regulatory developments in the past year in relation to privacy and data protection in Europe.  We have now entered the final year before implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and this predicated a great deal of discussion at the Summit.

The future of privacy law is uncertain as regulations continue to evolve globally and conflicts arise due to differences in policy. As we heard from delegates, the biggest challenge for companies is to stay compliant with local, regional, and national regulations while putting their new data privacy frameworks in place.

One of the biggest concerns raised at the Summit was how to ensure new channels and platforms can be included in ediscovery exercises. Apps can be found just about anywhere on phones, tablets and even on appliances. All of them when downloaded are accessing data.  How do you keep your data safe in the mobile world?

Another big theme for this year’s Summit was cybercrime, a very real and present threat. In Q3 of last year (2016), 18 million new malware samples were captured by one company alone. That’s an average of about 200,000 per day. More than 4,000 ransomware attacks have occurred every day since the beginning of 2016. That's a 300% increase over 2015, where 1,000 ransomware attacks were seen per day.

We also know new ways in which old offences can be committed. For example, we have companies sharing data, they are creating data lakes today but these will be oceans tomorrow.  The sharing of information is not a problem but if AI systems can bargain and talk to each other, then we may have a digital cartel on our hands.

We are seeing ediscovery used more and more in an anticipatory manner by organisations to identify, isolate and address concerns about compliance that could expose them to the risk of some kind of intervention or sanction.

Overall, the 12th IICE Summit represented a unique opportunity to benchmark implementation programmes against competitors, to ask some hard questions and to assess innovative solutions that are available to help with compliance.

Since last year’s conference we have witnessed significant changes in the ediscovery industry itself. The major changes in data protection law in Europe and the uncertainty around legitimate data transfers have sparked a series of mergers in the industry geared towards expanding global footprints and providing local risk free ediscovery solutions.

Ediscovery solutions that allow clients to process data in country and onsite are therefore essential and we heard delegates expressing their need for flexible and mobile solutions in the year ahead and beyond.

We would like to thank the delegates, speakers and event organisers who put so much time and enthusiasm into making this year’s Summit such a success.