With all the compliance regulations that have come down on all our heads, having safe, effective and reliable email archiving solutions is not only wise, but a “compliance investment” that ensures you don’t end up with a whopper of a compliance violation fine.
Protecting vital and sensitive data in emails affects multiple industries, with almost every incorporated business and even sole proprietors having to face the fact that without, for instance, Exchange email archiving (for Office 365 users), you’re opening yourself up to hackers who are out there in droves phishing for your sensitive proprietary and client information.
And, we’re all painfully aware of what the consequences potentially are for even a single successful infiltration/exfiltration of a PC, Mac, or smartphone, it’s exploitable data carried off to be sold on the dark web:
Perhaps you’ve taken precautions on some level, be it password resets, multi-factor authentication, etc. But, what about where you archive email? A public cloud like Google archive is likely not going to be enough to protect you.
Benefits of Email Archiving
There are many motivations for companies or end-users to invest in an email archiving solution, including:
Regulatory Compliance and Archiving Email
As enterprises of all sizes grow more reliant on email, the business value of that content is also growing. To protect this increasingly valuable information (intellectual property), numerous standards and regulations have been enacted to require records protection and retention as well as timely response to legal (discovery) and information (FOIA) requests.
Modern email archiving solutions allow companies to meet regulatory requirements or corporate policies by securing and preserving data and providing flexible data management policies to enable authorized users to enact ‘legal holds’, set retention and purge policies, or conduct searches across multiple mailboxes to complete various inquiries.
Some of the primary compliance requirements in the US driving the need for secure email archiving are:
Email Archiving for Law Firms
For litigation and legal discovery, email archiving solutions will lower the overall risk of spoliation and greatly speed up electronic discovery. This is because messages are indexed, audit trails are provided, messages are de-duplicated, and legal hold/preservation can be applied. For litigation support, email can be retrieved quickly and a history of the email exists to prove its authenticity for chain of custody. For compliance support, email records are stored in the archive according to administrator defined retention policies.
When retention periods expire, email is automatically deleted by the archiving application. In order to be compliant, an organization can intentionally destroy email messages, so long as (1) the destruction is done pursuant to a stated company policy and (2) the destruction stops immediately if an incident occurs which could give rise to a lawsuit.
If an organization has multiple separate applications, for example for e-discovery, records information management, and email archiving, each application may have a separate database and it becomes difficult to de-duplicate messages and ensure that a single retention policy is being applied. From a legal point of view, this is important because once retention periods have expired the message should be purged from the archive.
Messages that are not purged are still discoverable, should litigation arise at a later date. As such, without a unified archive it is difficult to ensure one single retention policy.
If a specific email needs to be found for an internal investigation or in response to litigation, it can take weeks to find and costs a great deal. With today’s legal discovery rules (see FRCP) and compliance legislations, it has become necessary for IT departments to centrally manage and archive their organization’s email, so email can be searched and found in minutes; not days or weeks.
Email Backup and Disaster Recovery
Virtually all enterprises today have a messaging infrastructure to connect workers and enable business processes. In the e-commerce arena, employees may require access to email to close sales and manage accounts. These employees, plus many others, may choose to keep their emails indefinitely, but some organizations may mandate that emails more than 90 days old be deleted. Setting these kinds of retention policies deserves careful consideration, as a single email could help a company win a lawsuit or avoid litigation altogether.
As part of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, an email archive can be instrumental in an organization’s effort to “get back to business”. An offsite, online archive means that secondary facilities can spin up messaging servers and quickly get access to the last mails sent/received as well as all historical messaging data.
Offsite archives can take the form of disk farms (SANs) in distant DR facilities or email archives stored in public/private cloud environments. It should be noted that while email archiving products do capture and copy all messages, they are not mirrored copies of the messaging server itself, and therefore cannot help recreate user accounts/groups in the event of a disaster.
Get Better Email Archiving and Security Solutions Now!
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