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Who Moved the Folder? Transforming Shared Drive Clean Up

By Kathleen Jimenez posted 03-03-2021 16:22


Please enjoy this blog post authored by Kathleen Jimenez, Information Governance Manager, White & Case LLP.

Please Note: This blog is part of the Taming Unstructured Data series which includes the introduction and additional blog which you will find below in the related content. 

Who keeps moving the copy center folder?  That was the question which transformed the way our Information Governance team supports and is cleaning up our Shared Drives spread throughout our firm.

Anyone who has tried to answer this question knows that the lack of robust activity logging on shared drives makes it almost impossible.  We long have said we wish there was a way to get the same sort of activity records we have in our Document and Records Management systems.  Technology tools that can do this are often expensive and since most firms are trying to move away from shares, the desire to invest in them can be hard to justify.

Working closely with our Infrastructure team, we developed a business case.  Our business case focused on the large risk the current unstructured/known data presented and the firm’s known desire to continue to use structured shared drives in the future.  We had already established share drives with a client/matter folder structure and tighter security two years prior.  The Infrastructure team sponsorship helped us to receive approval to purchase DataInsight.

Now 7 months after turning on the software, we continue to find benefits.  All our shared drives have been assigned a Risk score by the system.  This is a combination of how open the share/folder permissions are, the number of files classified as sensitive based on our established policies and how much activity there is on the share.  We are leveraging these scores to prioritize our cleanup to target those with higher scores.  We are also doing targeted outreach based on who is actually accessing shared drives, and we are providing teams with detailed lists of their inactive files to help encourage cleanup.

As someone who has lead several Shared Drive Cleanup projects, the access to more information which allows for more informed decisions has been a game changer.

The benefits our team leverages almost every day from the software are:

  • Regular updates of activity and size changes without needing to wait for a new Treesize report to run
  • Security and permissions info available instantly, even on locations we may not have assigned access to as individuals
  • Reporting of files classified as containing PII which we can then take further action on.

Besides the more traditionally expected benefits, we have seen some more unexpected ones as well – the biggest being the ability to produce an Excel spreadsheet of Active Directory group membership within 30 seconds.  This has eliminated the need to produce lists manually as we review content and security with groups as part of the cleanup.

We are just starting our journey with this new tool in the Information Governance toolbox and are happy to report, we now know who moved the copy center folder!


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