Information Archiving – How to Approach a Long-Term Archiving Strategy

March 12, 2018 by Jatheon

Why Every Email Matters: Learn from Politicians

The former president Bush’s office reportedly amassed 200 million emails during his term. Those emails needed to be stored for historical records and security reasons. The issue with this many emails is that they can’t be put away without being checked for sensitive information. They first needed to be combed for sensitive political communication and information that could be considered an issue of national security. But how was the Bush administration storing their online communication? Everybody thought they were archiving all of it.

However, it was revealed that the Bush White House “lost” 22 million emails between 2003 and 2009. Almost 10% of the White House correspondence was nowhere to be found. It turned out that President’s chief advisors used a private email server that was owned by the Republican National Committee and failed to archive their emails although it was required by law. They even refused to comply with a congressional subpoena seeking some of those emails.

But your business is not the White House and you can’t refuse to comply with regulations. Big or small, your company can’t afford to lose a single email, as the average cost of an eDiscovery case typically amounts to $1.8 million, and non-compliance with regulations such as SOX, GLBA, HIPAA, FINRA and others can cost your organization millions of dollars and a tarnished reputation.

Your company can’t afford to lose a single #email, as the average cost of an #eDiscovery case is $1.8 million. #archiving #compliance Click To Tweet

Archiving Technology and Policies

The technical aspect of archiving the number of emails that Bush’s administration had is not a problem. For IT specialists, 200 million emails is a standard for a medium-sized enterprise. However, retention policies are an important non-technical aspect of the proper preservation of online communication. Who can access which information, what enterprise information is visible to the end users, when a part of the archive can be purged and how long companies need to preserve their online records ‒ all these questions come down to your company policy.

Information archiving solutions can facilitate policy implementation and streamline the eDiscovery process by making all emails, social media and mobile content searchable. However, when it comes to who can perform archive searches and the type of emails that are restricted, this is where a solid email and social media policy is needed. Archives work best when they are a part of a clearly defined retention and management policy. In this way, there’s no confusion about which emails are kept and for how long.

Information #archiving solutions can facilitate policy implementation and streamline the #eDiscovery process by making all emails, social media and mobile content searchable. #compliance #emailarchiving Click To Tweet

Where to Begin

Adopting an email retention policy and purchasing your first archiving solution are important first steps that will improve your business operations immensely. If you choose an on-premise archiving solution, the physical piece of hardware is straightforward to get up and running. The biggest change you’ll have to make is to seriously consider the new approach you’ll have to take towards email communication and the adoption of a new-long term archiving strategy.

The next thing you need to do is adjust your information policy to include the archival of email (with attachments and metadata), social media content and mobile in order to reflect the newly-revised compliance laws. Remember that all major regulations, including FINRA, HIPAA and EU’s GDPR or MIFID II now require the retention of not only email, but also all other electronic communications including text messaging apps or chat services. You can remove deletion and backup policies since your archiving solution will take care of this automatically.

Inform your employees of changes made to the policy and the information archiving process. Make sure they all understand the reasons for this measure, including compliance and security reasons, and discuss the impact this could have on their email activities. Restore any previous backups of emails you may have for inclusion in your archive for a truly comprehensive catalogue.

Information Archiving: From Ingestion to Retrieval

For the most part, the migration process is very straightforward and your email archive will be up and running immediately. You can use the time necessary for ingestion to get your staff acquainted with the new interface and the archiving process.

It might be necessary for some members of staff to take additional training, especially members of the IT personnel, legal teams and compliance or data protection officers. They are typically given the status of “admin” or “compliance officers” and have a deeper access to the archive, with the possibility to use certain features such as audit trail or legal hold.

Once your archive is up and running, relax. It is a state-of-the art piece of equipment that will be working away diligently in the background. The maintenance effort on your side is non-existent to minimal. The only thing you’ll need to do is revise your data retention policy as new regulations come in or old ones get updated.

To learn about the many benefits of archiving your enterprise information, read this eBook or take a look at this infographic.

To test Jatheon’s award-winning archiving solution, contact us or schedule your personal tour.

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