5 Common Misconceptions About Email Archiving
Steady growth in email traffic has been a constant in the business world for many years, and it’s all the more surprising, therefore, that so many companies are still neglecting to protect the ever-expanding information resource that is email. Yet, securing the valuable information contained in emails can be done quickly, simply and at little cost with email archiving software. Due to a certain ignorance of the subject, companies still attach too little importance to email archiving even though, in many countries, they are obliged by law to retain certain types of email. So, in this article, we want to shed light on the five most common misconceptions about email archiving and explain the added value a professional email archiving solution can generate for a company beyond simply backing up email data.
Misconception 1: I Already Use Backups – I Don’t Need Additional Archiving Software.
The reality: Backups store copies of information and system data at regular intervals (e.g. every 24 hours), saving the data usually only for short to medium time periods. Data backups are primarily a means of Disaster Recovery that aims to quickly recover important systems and files after the loss event. However, any data lost between two storage points will not be salvageable, and data may have been modified between two storage cycles.
With a professional email archiving solution, copies of all emails including their file attachments can be stored safely for many years in a form that is faithful to the original, easily retrievable and permanently available. As it is impossible to lose or manipulate emails once they’re in the archive (when using journal archiving plus encryption in the archive), an email archiving solution can also help a company comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements governing the retention of business-relevant data held in emails.
Ideally, a backup system should be used in tandem with email archiving software in order to reap the benefits of both solutions. If you’d like to know more about how backups differ from email archiving and how to benefit from both concepts, please read our blog article on the subject.
Misconception 2: My Current Email Service Already Provides Adequate Options for Professionally Archiving Emails.
The reality: The integrated archiving options of most email providers cannot usually match the range of functions and features offered by professional email archiving software. For example, native archiving options rarely support the creation of a tamper-proof archive or allow an archive to be administered independently of the email platform being used – two elementary requirements of a secure email archive. Please read our free white papers on the best approach to implementing a professional email archiving environment for the popular email providers Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.
Misconception 3: Email Archiving Is Expensive and Just Causes More Work for My IT Team.
The reality: The cost of operating a professional email archiving solution is usually low as this is geared to the actual number of user licenses required. Also, a professional email archive provides a whole raft of benefits and the initial outlay is quickly amortized. For example, powerful “self-service” options mean that an email archiving solution can enable users to search for required emails by themselves without having to call for help from an IT administrator. Users and administrators alike save precious time that can be put to good use elsewhere. Read all about the benefits of an email archiving solution in our white paper “Email Archiving – An Overview for IT Decision-Makers”.
Misconception 4: Email Archiving Is Only Needed in Heavily Regulated Sectors of Industry.
The reality: In many countries, companies are required by law to retain business-critical data – including emails and their attachments – in accordance with defined requirements. Especially in regulated industries such as finance, healthcare or education, the requirements can be particularly stringent, making an email archiving solution essential.
But even if your company is not subject to statutory archiving regulations, an email archiving solution is still important because professional archiving offers benefits that go well beyond compliance. Emails contain large amounts of business-critical information that require protection even where this is not a strict legal requirement. Besides business correspondence, emails can contain quotations, contracts, invoice and sales data – and even classified corporate data such as information on internal workflows or financial data. As this information may still be relevant to a company years after the event, it should be archived as a matter of course. Swapping out emails to an archiving system can also ease the burden on the email server, while also reducing IT staff workload if users are able to access mail archives themselves. In addition, a seamless historical email archive may contain evidence that could be helpful in criminal proceedings or in-house compliance cases. The list of benefits is long. Read everything there is to know in our free white paper “Email Archiving – An Overview for IT Decision-Makers”.
Misconception 5: Email Archiving Is Not Compatible With Data Privacy.
The reality: As a professional email archive securely stores faithful copies of all emails for many years, it can provide critical support for in-house research teams when searching for older email content, compliance audits, business and tax audits, and even produce evidence for use in criminal proceedings.
That being said, for some time now, the focus has shifted toward protecting personal data in the digital world (data privacy). At the latest since the GDPR came into force in the EU, data privacy has been the focus of increasing attention in countries outside Europe, too. As a rule, privacy laws prohibit the long-term storage of personal data – often found in emails – unless these data are being used for a specific, pre-declared purpose.
However, email archiving and data privacy are certainly reconcilable. A professional email archiving solution can use pre-definable retention policies and deletion rules to delete emails from mailboxes and archives when the maximum legal retention period is reached. So, the benefits of an email archive can be exploited without fear of breaching applicable data privacy legislation.
In Summary – Email Archiving Is a Must.
Corporate misconceptions about email archiving mean that the subject is not receiving adequate attention. Yet, email archiving plays a crucial role when it comes to storing business-relevant information and documents, and complying with data privacy laws. Ultimately, email is and will remain the no. 1 communication channel, especially in the world of business.
Besides helping meet compliance requirements, companies stand to benefit in other ways when using a professional email archiving solution. Find out everything there is to know in our blog “Email Archiving –An Overview for IT Decision-Makers” or download our free white paper “Guide to Email Archiving”.
Or, if you’d like to put our email archiving solution to the test, download our free, 30-day trial version right now and convince yourself of the benefits to be had from professional email archiving.