Email remains the primary means of communication amongst colleagues and clients despite endless other communication options available. Email archiving is an essential part of any institution to fulfill services of a business and store mission-critical information. However, the ramifications faced if not properly stored and protected can be dire if not kept up to date with evolving threats and various security concerns.
Email archiving should be a key concern for retrieving important data such as:
agreed to terms
service level agreements
service costs etc.
Email archiving will also help in protecting such information and adhering to industry-known and accepted security standards. Having a good understanding of possible problems of doing so and strategies and technologies available in order to carry out such goals is mandatory as well as the risks of not doing so.
Email archiving is essential for internal searches for anything business related and email archiving can even be for compliance audits. There are many regulations enacted worldwide that dictate compliance standards that must be followed. Depending on how strict those compliances are, depends on the particular institution’s industry.
Email archiving can show proof of simple but important matters. This can include contracts and proof of service or service agreements and even proof of purchase.
Email archiving should also involve backups as losing essential email data is cause for serious concern for almost any business. Having a central location for data retrieval should help significantly in search times for retrieving email data. If each employee can only search on local workstations many other internal emails within the company will be left out of any search. However, having a single dedicated server for email archives can pose a security concern. In this case, setup security to a rather stringent level. (Privacy can especially be of concern here especially if involving client communication.)
It may also be advisable to enable “read-only” permission when executing a remote email archive search for added security. A server admin higher up the security pyramid should be contacted to grant copy permission. Each individual institution should make the determination whether the security risks are acceptable and outweigh the alternative of having no archiving at all.
Early termination of services due to breach of acceptable usage or terms may require email copies stating such terms for example.
Remote archiving does not require hardware purchase and only requires monthly rental fees at a much lower cost. Many hosting providers provide managed services to assist in data storage and retrieval along with the required security measures needed. Drawbacks to such monthly rentals are eventual higher costs in the long run, however, as data storage demands increase new hardware won’t need to be purchased as the provider should have ample storage upgrades at minimal cost. Since pricing drops swiftly in the technology industry, storage upgrade costs are going to be negligible. Older hard drives actually can cost the same or even more than newer drives and SSD.
Before starting with remote email archiving, determine whether it is for archiving needs only or also for frequent search and retrieval and whether that involves more complicated security and compliance requirements for that institution’s specific industry. Are there some files that should not be archived and/or for how long? Once set up, configure the process with limited access. Administrators and users should have security such as passwords enabled to access their own emails.