Best Practices for Managing Email Archiving

Email archiving and management is an essential component in every IT environment. Archiving used to be a nice to have. But being able to save,and retrieve email for FOIA requests, review, or for litigation is now a must have in today’s environment. It is definitely one of the top five concerns companies have today.

The Top 5 Email Archiving and Management Concerns include:

  • Email Storage Management
  • Lack of resources
  • Difficulty in retrieval
  • Email security
  • Regulation compliance

Download a FREE Email Management PDF—CLICK HERE

EMAIL STORAGE MANAGEMENT CONCERNS

Email message traffic can place a tremendous burden on servers. If an organization allows each user to have a one-gigabyte mailbox and each email server supports 1,000 users, this means that each email server will potentially need to store one terabyte of mailbox data.

Additionally, backing up such a large amount of data can take a substantial amount of time, not to mention the performance degradation which results from managing massive amounts of content. Moreover, if a server crashes because of a failed hard drive, a patch that does not work as it should or some other fault, restoring up to one terabyte of data onto the server will take a substantial length of time and can result in unnecessarily long system downtime.

Email volume continues to grow exponentially. Increased volume means increased costs for storage and decreased system performance. This growth can also create costly downtime and reduced productivity. In fact, if you recently changed over from Exchange 2003 or 2007 to Exchange 2010, you have probably noticed a huge change in mailbox sizes and rate of increase in your storage needs. Why is this? Microsoft removed single instance storage from Exchange 2010. Some customers have seen mailbox sizes grow 20% to 50% just by making the switch.

The solution to these challenges is to implement an archiving system which will automatically migrate data to archival storage once a mailbox reaches a certain size. This allows for:

  1. Provides single instance storage – Archive just one copy of each email message and/or attachment, thereby reducing storage space.
  2. Implementing smaller mailbox limits, saving on “live” server space needs; and,
  3. It can give users access to their archived content directly in the mailbox or through a web-based interface. This will not only improve email server performance, but will also dramatically shorten backup and restore downtimes, with important and positive implications for disaster recovery and business continuity.

Email archiving is an essential component in every IT environment. The value of selecting and implementing a system-wide archiving solution cannot be overstated. With email archiving your organization is poised to reap the benefits of wisely managed IT, human and financial resources.

LACK OF RESOURCES

Your IT team is being pressured like never before to address requirements from departments across your business, despite your lack of resources and rising costs. For example, compliance requirements force you to evaluate PST consolidation and data lifecycle management concerns. Legal requires you to provide eDiscovery of electronic communication, and requests the ability to audit, export, and manage the data. Employee requests are increasing as your team spends hours trying to find lost and deleted email. Human Resources requires that you provide employee policy provisions, communication oversight, and that you help prevent potential employee misconduct on your network.
This means that your top priorities include reducing the strain on your IT department by consolidating PSTs and establish data lifecycle policies, educating employees on how to avoid risk, and empowering them with tools to rely less on IT. It also includes providing each department with the ability to quickly access, search, perform eDiscovery, and export your archived communication data without the need for IT, as well as establishing automated employee policy provisions and immediate violation alerts to mitigate risk.

DIFFICULTY IN RETRIEVING EMAIL

Email messages are difficult to access when spread across the organization. Companies need a consolidated database to search, with easy access to archived email, plus eDiscovery of your email and electronic communication may be one of the most important benefits of an archiving system.

Michael Osterman of Osterman Research, a leading authority in email systems and data preservation has stated, “E-discovery is becoming much more important in the context of civil litigation – for example, roughly three out of four discovery orders today require e-mail to be produced as part of the discovery process. E-discovery today represents 35% of the total cost of litigation, and companies that fail to produce e-mails in a timely or appropriate manner face the risk of paying millions of dollars in sanctions and fines, not to mention loss of corporate reputation, lost revenue and embarrassment.”

In fact, eDiscovery is so important that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) actually require all organizations, “…to manage their data in such a way that this data can be produced in a timely and complete manner when necessary, such as during legal discovery proceedings.” If you have an archive with limited or inadequate eDiscovery tools, it will certainly will not allow you to produce emails in a, “timely and complete manner.”

EMAIL SECURITY

Email and attachments can contain sensitive and confidential information, this data needs to stay secure and encrypted. Your organization is being threatened like never before. Email, social media, instant messaging, and mobile communication data provide easy avenues for security risks and compliance violations. They also facilitate data leakage of sensitive or proprietary organizational information, and can allow employees to post inappropriate or malicious content. This is where a proactive solution can help you mitigate risk by educating your employees on
what to avoid when using email, social media and mobile devices. A proactive solution can also help preserve and protect your business data, while providing users with easy access to their archived data. By implementing this type of solution, you and your organization are protected, and maintain compliance.

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

An important driver for archiving email is regulatory compliance. All industries face some level of regulatory requirements which demand retention and production of business records; moreover, some industries face strict and sometimes onerous regulations. These industries include the financial services industry, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and energy for example.

In the United States, electronic communications within the financial securities industry must comply with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) requirements. The regulations include retention of emails, instant messages and social media posts.

With the recent influx of additional SEC scrutiny, fines, and enforcement targeting the Chief Risk/Compliance Officer (CRCO), it is now more critical than ever before to ensure that your organization is compliant and prepared.
At the heart of a compliance officer’s concern is the pursuit of enforcement actions under what is called the “Compliance Rule,” or Rule 206(4)-7 of the Investment Advisers Act. This rule requires that registered investment advisers adopt and implement written policies and procedures designed to prevent violations. This means you need to not only create and enforce policies, but you must also be prepared with a response if an enforcement audit arises, thereby mitigating your risk of violations and fines.

The healthcare industry is heavily regulated and organizations must comply with various US government rules focused on retaining patient records. Energy companies must comply with retention obligations imposed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

It is important to note that even ostensibly “non-regulated” industries such as retail and manufacturing face some level of regulatory obligation to protect business records. Consequently, decision makers in all industries must consider regulatory compliance as a reason to implement a solid archiving solution.

Download a FREE Email Management PDF—CLICK HERE

Retain allows for easy email archiving and management

GWAVA can help! Retain is a unified archiving software that stores all email, mobile, and social media communication in one central archive, with built in search tools that make eDiscovery simple and easy. Policies can be set to determine what information will be stored. Once information is stored, Retain also has the ability to publish and redact information. It can then be published in different formats, such as PDF and PST files, or exported to the StandAlone Archive viewer. There, the information can be redacted so that only the desired information is available and confidential information is not. Features such as these make Retain your ultimate tool in protecting your company against data/information loss, and will be extremely valuable to you when you need to produce critical information.

For more information about this topic, download the Osterman Whitepaper “Best Practices for Managing Email Archiving”.

Start archiving email today! Download a FREE 30 day evaluation of Retain.

Que Mangus

Director of Product Marketing

Micro Focus

follow me on twitter or connect on LinkedIn

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