by Chas Arnold
Cleaning in IT shouldn't happen once a year. Backups and archives for e-mail should be happening at least everyday. Implementing the right systems will help you maintain a clean inbox and prevent bloating. Besides cleanliness, there are three other very important reasons to have an e-mail archive system in place. E-mail archiving systems provide unmodifiable backups of e-mails for future reference, they provide a backup to e-mails in case you ever lose your e-mail data, and they can be used for litigation support.
Your e-mail system shouldn’t be like the junk closet in your house. An e-mail archive system will make sure you never have to sift through a pile of unorganized e-mails from years ago. Instead of opening the closet door and having junk fall out, you will be able to pinpoint e-mails without worry of it being lost in the abyss. You never know when you’ll need to reference an employee’s e-mail. But if anything ever happens that would call into question your employee’s communications, you’ll have a perfectly organized closet that stored their e-mails.
Unfortunately, data loss can happen when systems crash. Fortunately, there are IT solutions that help to minimize or eliminate the possibility of permanent data loss. Real-time e-mail archiving systems prevent your communications from disappearing when your systems crash. Beyond not losing data for your own sake, an archive of your e-mail communications needs to be in tact for regulatory reasons:
“As industry and government alike grow continually more reliant on information systems, particularly email, these information become more valuable. To protect this valuable information, standards and government regulations have been enacted that require certain retention and timely response to legal and information queries. A proper email archiving system allows companies to meet regulatory, and/or business records retention requirements by enabling compliance officers to easily search email stored in the archive and perform periodic reviews.”
Losing data is a miserable experience, but businesses also have to worry about the speed at which data is retrievable. If your data can be tampered with or is unorganized, you are less protected in court. Anything that could slow down or hinder the legal process, that you could have prevented with a proper e-mail archive setup, decreases your overall security:
“For legal discovery, e-mail archiving solutions will lower overall risk of spoliation and greatly speed up the discovery function because of their message indexing, audit capabilities, deduplication and protection of all e-mail messages stored in the archive. 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.”
Waiting until spring to clean up your e-mails isn’t just a matter of dust collecting, it can have serious consequences. Don’t procrastinate in setting up your digital archives. Instead, implement a proactive e-mail archiving system to help protect you and your business from potential problems down the line.