Mitigating the Impact of a Data Investigation | FTI Consulting

Mitigating the Impact of a Data Investigation

Forensic & Litigation Consulting | Law360, November 27, 2019 (Reprint)

January 3, 2020

The staggering quantity of data collected and stored by large corporations represents a two-edged sword of opportunity and risk. While big data can unlock tremendous value for companies that know how to collect and use it properly, mishandling customer data can lead to expensive investigations, hefty fines and public backlash.

With both the cost of compliance and potential regulatory fines rising sharply, companies need to strategically mitigate the impact of investigations involving complex or disparate datasets. In this article originally published by, three experts from FTI Consulting’s Forensic & Litigation Consulting segment offer five tips to maximize the benefit and mitigate the impact of an investigation:

  • Appoint a qualified data consultant to find, manage, secure and dispose of data
  • Assign system access to consolidate data from different sources across the organization
  • Establish and maintain open communication channels
  • Leverage existing relationships with stakeholders and regulators to present results
  • Establish processes to become less reactive and more proactive in the future

Companies should also explore the various ways that some regulators offer credit for cooperation in investigations to partially offset any fines or penalties. Often these cooperative measures align with these five tips, enhancing their benefit to the company.

This is an extract from Law360, first published November 27, 2019. The whole publication is available at

“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently awarded $1.8 million to a single whistleblower through the whistleblower program created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Since its first award in 2012, the SEC has awarded $387 million under the program, including nearly $60 million in 2019.[1][2]

It’s a situation all companies want to avoid: A brewing scandal about the mishandling of data that begins first as rumors before exploding into public view, whether from a whistleblower who comes forward with damning evidence, or a regulator that obtains a misleading partial picture of the situation. More often than not the scandal will escalate, creating a public relations nightmare, and putting corporate executives and their boards on the back foot as they determine the best way to respond.



Posted with permission from Law360 ©2019 Portfolio Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

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