Message Archiving Is A Must - InformationWeek
01:36 PM
Ron Anderson
Ron Anderson

Message Archiving Is A Must

Everyone from Uncle Sam to your company execs want your organization's E-mail stores to be secured yet easily accessible--and for any "smoking guns" to vanish. Is a coherent E-mail-archiving strategy in your future?


That's incredibly shortsighted. Federal laws and federal and industry regulations--including the Patriot Act, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), Basel II, Sarbanes-Oxley, SEC Rule 17a-4, NASD Rule 3010 and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 21, Part 11--dictate electronic records retention requirements for businesses based in the United States and abroad, and impose penalties that dwarf the price of the automated e-mail archiving products we evaluated in "Yeah, We've Got That E-Mail,". Last March, Banc of America Securities paid a $10 million civil penalty to settle an SEC enforcement action for failing to promptly produce e-mail records that were deemed important to an investigation.

We could go on with the horror stories, but the bottom line is that the 83 percent of readers without a well-planned e-mail retention policy are living on borrowed time. When (not if) you're hit with an e-mail discovery request, how many hours will it take to scour bloated e-mail storage systems? Backup tapes could be as old as your eldest senior staff member and contain data from e-mail systems that haven't been used for years. Individual Outlook files alone could involve hundreds or thousands of PCs and laptops. We don't know about your staffing levels, but around here, a lot of other critical stuff wouldn't get done.

And it's just as vital that you systematically delete records. Regulations that require e-mail retention contain time limits. Be it three, five or seven years, if you don't remove e-mail from the archive when it reaches the end of its regulated life, you're storing a liability time bomb just waiting for a plaintiff to set it off (see "The Trouble With E-Mail,", for more on the legal issues of records retention). Tape-backup systems don't provide the granularity necessary for this level of records management.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 6
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2018 State of the Cloud
2018 State of the Cloud
Cloud adoption is growing, but how are organizations taking advantage of it? Interop ITX and InformationWeek surveyed technology decision-makers to find out, read this report to discover what they had to say!
The Staying Power of Legacy Systems
Mary E. Shacklett, Mary E. Shacklett,  4/15/2019
Q&A: Red Hat's Robert Kratky Discusses Essentials of Docs
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/15/2019
How Cloud Shifts Security Balance of Power to the Good Guys
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  4/11/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll