Email Archiving, Compliance, eDiscovery and the Dangers of Delete

February 12, 2015 by Jatheon

Delete is a scary option. There aren’t many times you’ll swallow hard before clicking ‘ok’, but delete tends to draw that reaction. It may be a generational thing, but most of us are very suspicious of deleting. We’ll create copy upon copy of a document, just to make sure we don’t lose data. Because we know the potential consequences of clicking delete, or even just accidentally clicking ‘Do not save’.

This fear usually comes from the lazier part of out minds, we’re not really afraid of the delete. We’re afraid of repeating the work. The real fear comes in when you think about deleting and compliance.

Deleting Email and SOX

One of the first things that comes to mind whenever we talk about email archiving and compliance is the SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) act. The act outlines the punishment for misuse of business documents, including email. It includes ‘destroying documents’ as a misuse and suggests punishments including 20 years imprisonment. With consequences like that for a simple delete, it makes sense to double check your answer to ‘Are you sure?’

Along with these compliance concerns, a simple delete can have huge consequences for lawsuits and eDiscovery. If your company is involved in a lawsuit, email may well form a part of any eDiscovery request. If that happens and the email in question has been deleted, that could create a real problem.

Email Archiving Saves You From Deleting Excuses

Imagine how difficult it would be to explain the destruction of a paper document. My dog ate it didn’t cut it for your homework and it won’t work for a legal enquiry. Email and other digital documents need to be treated with the same level of care and respect as paper documents receive. Which is where solutions like email archiving come in. A good system will archive and backup your email immediately, before you get the chance to accidentally delete it. It’s the equivalent of someone photocopying your homework, before the dog gets to eat it.

Email archiving solutions don’t just save you from an accidental delete. They also make sure someone else can’t alter the archive. In order to ensure you remain compliant, an email archiving solution will prevent you from deleting from the archive. This guarantees the integrity of your archive and could save you from a big financial loss.

Deleting can be a very scary thought and the consequences are even scarier. Email archiving can’t prevent you from making the mistake, but it can help you avoid the consequences.

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