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The Essentials Series: Operations Benefits of Email Archiving

by Jim McBee

SYNOPSIS

Almost every aspect of a typical user’s job revolves around incoming and outgoing email and referencing existing email. Consequently, when email administrators and IT management meet to discuss their future plans, the subjects of eDiscovery and email archiving are common topics.

The Essential Series: Operations Benefits of Email Archiving highlights the principal advantages of an email archive system implementation:

  • Email archiving is the best way to meet eDiscovery requirements as well as ensure that the organization remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations.
  • An archive system allows for the eradication of PST files; doing so will help ensure compliance, ease email access for users, and decrease storage requirements for local hard disk drives.
  • An email archiving system can aid disaster recovery by reducing the amount of data on the production mail server, reducing the time required to recover data, and improving the efficiency of data recovery

CHAPTER PREVIEWS

Article 1: The Benefits of Meeting eDiscovery Requirements

When email administrators and Information Technology (IT) management meet to discuss their future plans, the subjects of eDiscovery and email archiving are common topics. eDiscovery introduces new challenges that IT organizations may have never faced in the past. Providing current and historical email data may be time consuming or, depending on an organization’s retention policies, historical email data might not even be available.

Email archiving is the best way to meet eDiscovery requirements as well as ensure that the organization remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations. Although email archiving projects are frequently managed by the Exchange Server administrator, the choice of email archiving software must be carefully evaluated by management. Archiving software must provide the necessary functionality to not only archive email but also meet legal and organizational requirements. This article will explore some of the basics of eDiscovery, legal compliance, and how an email archiving system can help an organization to meet eDiscovery requirements.


Article 2: Managing Financial Compliance

Since its beginning, the financial sector has had deep-rooted government regulation. With the transition to Internet-based solutions and the demand for customer privacy, financial institutions have seen even stricter policies and requirements from both government agencies and industry bodies. Practically any and all financial-related information that is stored, processed, or otherwise handled falls within the scope of these regulations. Financial-based organisations both large and small are affected, and compliance with these regulations is not optional.

Just how do finance directors and managers in the UK approach the challenges of governance whilst maintaining a realistic balance of information risk against the associated costs? Simply put, it is necessary to think about compliance in a new way. It is not a one-time grade or status. Rather, compliance is about changing your perception of information risks and adjusting past ways of looking at policy and procedure management.

As experience has taught us, changes such as these in the business environment increase the likelihood of problems. Things are constantly evolving and shifting, especially in the financial sector. Employees working for financial institutions or dealing with financial transactions often lack the right knowledge and end up misunderstanding the rules. With this, errors and oversights tend to occur putting the very essence of compliance at risk. Minimising trouble and ensuring compliance long term can only be done by proactively managing these changes.


Article 3: Managing Compliance in Business Today

In today’s world, there is hardly anything that is not regulated in business. The governance and oversight of sensitive information stored, processed, or otherwise handled in a business setting is no exception. It used to be that best practices and best effort were thought to be enough. They really were not, but they were still the accepted norm. We now have compliance to deal with. Regulation after regulation from both government entities and industry bodies affect literally every organisation both large and small. And compliance with these regulations is not optional.

But how do business managers in the UK approach the challenges of compliance whilst maintaining a realistic balance of information risk against the associated costs? Simply put, we have to think about compliance in a new way. It is not a one-time grade or status. Rather, compliance is about changing the way we think about information risks and adjusting our past ways of looking at policy dissemination and enforcement. This, in turn, involves not only changing certain business processes—the procedures and steps required to implement policies— but also looking at ways to automate and enforce them. And it takes more than just the creation of policies and procedures. Cooperation is needed at all levels of the organisation. Senior management is responsible for strategy, line managers have to help with enforcement, and users are the ones who actually have to comply.

Business transformation such as this requires change and, as experience has taught us, change increases the likelihood of problems. With this change, the very essence of compliance is put at risk because employees often lack the right knowledge and end up misunderstanding new and evolving policies and procedures. We need a way to minimise errors and prevent oversights that are often avoidable. Proactively managing these changes is the only way to make it work long term. This means changing the way people work and establishing effective processes and control mechanisms such as automated electronic systems to help with monitoring and enforcement.