All businesses are required to retain certain types of data, with the retention period and extent of data retention laws dependent on the industry you work in, your business practices, and the countries where you do business. Complying with data retention requirements can be a headache, which is why many businesses use email archiving for compliance, although there are many other benefits that come from using an email archiving solution.
Large amounts of data are stored in email accounts and oftentimes there is no other record of data. Email accounts contain corporate knowledge, intellectual property, the personal data of employees and customers, and much more. The loss of emails through the corruption of email accounts, hardware failures, cyberattacks, or human error, risks permanently losing that information.
Loss of data could damage a company’s reputation or, worse, place the company at risk of a fine for non-compliance with their legal obligations. It is therefore important to ensure that email data is properly protected and preserved. Most companies backup their email accounts to ensure mailboxes can be recovered in the event of data corruption. Backups allow entire mailboxes to be easily restored, but they are a short-term disaster recovery solution and are rarely kept for more than a month or at most a year. Backups will not allow individual emails or groups of emails to be easily recovered and finding those emails can be almost impossible since backups cannot be searched.
Email archives are intended for long-term email storage and, in contrast to a backup, can be easily searched. If emails or any groups of emails need to be recovered, the archive can be searched and emails can be found and recovered in seconds or minutes, regardless of how long ago those emails were archived.
Email Archiving for Compliance with the GDPR
One of the most recently introduced laws with strict data retention requirements is the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR took effect on May 25, 2018, and requires businesses to protect any personal data they collect on their employees and customers. The GDPR also gave individuals new rights over their personal data.
While there is not a maximum data retention period for personal data, the GDPR does place restrictions on how long personal data can be retained, which is “no longer than is necessary” to achieve the purpose for which personal data are being processed. The GDPR allows individuals to request access to the personal data a company holds on them, a right to rectify errors, a right to restrict the processing of personal data, and the right to have their personal data erased.
When the legal basis for retaining personal data comes to an end, all personal data relating to individuals must be found and deleted, including emails in email accounts. If an EU citizen requests access to their data, all data must be provided, including email correspondence.
Without email archiving for compliance, complying with individuals’ data access and data deletion requests can be an incredibly time-consuming process, as can deleting data when the retention period ends. With email archiving, these requests can be quickly processed, and with data deletion, the process can be automated. Email archives also meet the GDPR requirements for data protection, ensuring email data cannot be accidentally deleted.
An Email Archiving Solution Helps with Compliance with Industry Regulations
There are universal data retention requirements for all businesses, such as tax data, but certain regulated industries have their own regulations for retaining data, and the retention periods can be several years. There are data retention requirements in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in healthcare, Sarbanes-Oxley for corporations, PCI DSS for the payment card industry, and many more.
There are different data retention periods for various data types and complying with those requirements, especially data in email accounts, can be a challenge. An email archiving solution automates data retention and deletion and allows businesses to stipulate how long data is retained, and then automate the deletion of the data when it is no longer required.
Complying with eDiscovery Orders
One of the areas of email archiving compliance that has the greatest benefits is eDiscovery orders. If a business receives an eDiscovery order, data must be produced in a short space of time. The requested email data may go back several years and finding that information in backups would likely be impossible, especially if the data spans several years and multiple employee accounts in multiple departments.
The failure to produce the requested records could result in severe financial penalties and even criminal charges. With an email archive, complying with eDiscovery orders is a quick and simple process since all emails are stored in a searchable format and emails can be exported in the data format requested.
Data Protection for Remote Workers
One of the challenges for businesses operating a largely remote workforce is ensuring the privacy and security of data on users’ devices. Cloud-based email archives solve this problem as they automatically send emails from remote workers’ accounts to a cloud-based archive. In the event of loss or theft of a device, a ransomware or wiper malware infection, or catastrophic IT failure, all emails will be protected and can easily be recovered on demand. Cloud-based archiving centralizes disparate email servers and consolidates all business emails in a single archive that is automatically backed up and replicated across data centers to ensure emails can always be accessed.
ArcTitan Email Archiving for Compliance
TitanHQ has developed a cloud-based email archiving compliance solution for businesses that ensures emails can always be recovered whenever they are needed. Once configured – a quick and easy process – policies can be set to automatically archive emails or classes of emails.
Users can search their own archives from Outlook or a web browser and recover them without troubling the IT helpdesk. Organizations can search archives rapidly, including headers, subject lines, senders, message bodies, and attachments, and almost instantly find emails, which can be exported in all common data formats.
The solution is suitable for use by all businesses, is competitively priced, and businesses only pay for active mailboxes. There are also no storage limits – storage space will never be an issue. If you are looking for an email archiving compliance solution, contact TitanHQ for further information on ArcTitan, details of pricing, or to book a product demonstration.