Under its 10-year plan, Delivering for America , the U.S. Postal Service continues to invest in technology to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence. Compliance and data-driven tech are also being invested in to support USPS as it faces contemporary challenges like increasing regulatory changes, compliance risks and growing cyberattacks.
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Veritas Technologies — with its history of supporting many U.S. federal agencies — will provide the U.S. Postal Service and its legal department with tools to streamline and expedite its e-discovery workflow while reducing risk in an increasingly multicloud world.
To gain insight into the new USPS-Veritas partnership and the technologies that will be deployed, TechRepublic spoke to Kevin Youngquist, vice president for the U.S. public sector at Veritas Technology.
- Veritas products that will support USPS
- U.S. Postal Service: Challenges and targets
- Data compliance in the public sector
Veritas products that will support USPS
The USPS awarded a three-year contract to Veritas Technology, with options to extend to seven years and a maximum potential value of up to $70 million. More specifically, USPS has chosen Veritas to modernize its data compliance and discovery capabilities with Veritas Enterprise Vault, Merge1 and eDiscovery Platform.
“These three products will provide the Postal Service with robust automated data archiving and retention across all its on-premises and cloud-based data sources — including cloud collaboration tools — combined with a powerful engine for conducting large-scale, dataset-driven searches,” Youngquist explained.
Youngquist went on to describe in more detail the primary technology that Veritas will use to support USPS. The Veritas Enterprise Vault automates three crucial tasks within data management strategies: capturing, archiving and locating data.
“Enterprise Vault can capture information across an organization’s communication channels, moving data from on-premises to the cloud while simultaneously identifying information to ensure compliance standards are met,” Youngquist said. “The data is then automatically classified based on company policies and is easily locatable for discovery, supervision, privacy and legal challenges.”
The Veritas Enterprise Vault is especially useful for customers in highly regulated industries like the U.S. Postal Service. It can automatically capture communication across email and messaging platforms and archive that data in compliance with strict regulatory requirements.
USPS will also use Merge1 , which finds all high-risk data, wherever it lives, and archives it in a full-threaded conversational context. The solution integrates with a large number of communication platforms, captures all business-related data, identifies high-risk content and effectively addresses non-compliant data.
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“Organizations can use Merge1 to streamline the identification of high-risk data, such as personally identifiable information or financial data, so they can then store it in accordance with data privacy regulations, such as GDPR or CPRA ,” Youngquist added.
The third Veritas product USPS will benefit from is the eDiscovery Platform . The technology is designed to simplify investigations and accelerate speed to resolution. Through an accessible interface, it enables compliance officers and legal staff to make data-driven decisions and better manage risks while improving performance.
“eDiscovery Platform can execute investigations and respond to regulatory requests to help organizations,” Youngquist said. “Using eDiscovery Platform, the general counsel of a company can reduce document-review time and streamline the process for responding to regulatory inquiries, so they can focus more time and energy on the everyday responsibilities of the legal department.”
U.S. Postal Service: Challenges and targets
The United States Postal Service, in operation for more than 240 years, faces numerous challenges linked to a lack of modernization. The government agency admits to $87 billion in financial losses over the last 14 years, but the problems go beyond economic viability and decision-making; USPS also faces growing issues when it comes to digital modernization, cybersecurity and managing risk in an ever-evolving compliance landscape.
In response to the organization’s losses and challenges, the U.S. government passed the Postal Service Reform Act , signed into law in April 2022 by President Joe Biden. But the law, which received rare bipartisan support, may fall short due to the significant tasks at hand. Paul Steidler, a postal service expert at the Lexington Institute, told CNN that the bill would help the government agency understand and reduce its costs, but it is “woefully insufficient.”
Data, compliance and e-discovery solutions are critical to optimizing expenses and resources as well as for mitigating risk, meeting evolving regulatory requirements and increasing production.
Veritas explains that more than 50% of an organization’s data is dark data , which means PII or other sensitive data that is not compliant could be lurking in the cloud or on company servers. Veritas added that dark data costs an average of $26 million in storage expenses yearly and poses a significant risk to compliance efforts.
USPS 10-year plan
Despite challenges and potential insufficiencies, the U.S. Postal Service continues to focus on its 10-year plan, which includes over $40 billion in capital investments. Under the plan, $2 billion will be allocated to technology, including upgrades to major IT systems.
“These investments will enable us to modernize the Postal Service, ensure we can adapt to the changing needs of our customers, provide excellent services for both our mail and package products, and achieve our universal service mission,” a representative from USPS said.
Data compliance in the public sector
As the American Data Privacy and Protection Act gains momentum and regulations like CPRA are refined, public and private organizations are shoring up their data compliance and management efforts. Working data management into government agency operations also presents a unique set of specific conditions and use cases that do not arise in the private sector.
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“Though federal agencies share many of the same data management challenges and opportunities as enterprises, working with federal agencies differs because of the government’s strict processes, procedures and regulations,” Youngquist explained.
Veritas brings extensive experience to the table after supporting several “complex, heterogeneous government data environments.”
“This includes 100% of federal cabinet-level agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Transportation and many other public sector organizations, including the U.S. Navy,” Youngquist explained.
The company’s dedicated Public Sector Product Compliance Program enables agencies to work seamlessly.
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“While we can’t speak on behalf of the USPS, in our experience, our country’s public sector organizations are laser-focused on fulfilling their missions, which results in a lot of data to manage,” Youngquist said. “Along with meeting other critical data security requirements, Veritas’ tools automate and streamline the capture, retention and discovery processes for this deluge of data.”
U.S. government agencies continue to invest in digital transformation to meet sector-specific demands and problems. Turning to data-driven solutions and automation in an effort to modernize and leverage data compliance and e-discovery platforms, the United States Postal Service is posturing itself for a major phase of digital transformation and modernization.
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