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5 Email Archiving Best Practices Every IT Pro Should Know

Posted by Trevagh Stankard on Tue, Dec 6th, 2022

Anyone who uses email, and that’s around 4 billion people, will know that we all send and receive many emails. If these emails are work-related, they may contain sensitive data or information critical to the business. Some emails may also be called upon as evidence for regulatory compliance or use in a court case. For this reason, email archiving is a must-have business process.

But not all email archiving is done well. To ensure that you use email archiving to its maximum value, here are TitanHQ’s five best practices every IT pro should know when archiving emails.

What Email Archiving Is Not

Email archiving is about more than just backing up your emails; backing up emails and archiving emails are different. The primary purpose of email backups is, in the event of a disaster, to make emails accessible and prevent interruptions in the daily running of the business. However, email backup systems are in a continuous cycle of replacement, the old ones being replaced by the new backup image. This leaves gaps in the audit trail of emails, as any deleted or corrupted emails will be lost when the backup is updated.

Email archiving, on the other hand, is used for the long-term retention of emails. The purpose is to make emails readily available for compliance, audit, and legal use cases. An email archiving system will not overwrite old emails but instead adds to the archive. Emails, once archived, cannot be changed, or deleted; this is important for adherence to recordkeeping and retention regulations.

With these differences in mind, here is TitanHQ’s guide to the best practices when using an email archiving system.

Know Your Regulations

One of the practical uses of email archiving is ensuring that your organization complies with record retention regulations. For example, recent updates to the SEC recordkeeping rules in the financial sector require brokerage firms to “preserve electronic records exclusively in a non-rewritable, non-erasable format, known as the write once, read many format.” 

Email-related regulatory requirements cover many aspects of an email archive solution, including retention time, availability, and security. Therefore, when you choose an email archive solution, ensure that it can cover all of the requirements you need to adhere to any regulations affecting your industry sector.

Automate Your Email Archive

The retention, protection and management of an email archive that conforms with electronic communication retention regulations can cause a significant IT overload. All those incoming and outgoing emails would take up an enormous amount of time if they had to be manually archived. However, this is resolved by automating email archival. An automated email archive system will provide instant email archiving and retention, seamlessly archiving all incoming and outgoing emails. The automation of email archiving captures, preserves, and protects inbound, outbound, and internal emails, including attachments. Once the emails are archived, they will be automatically indexed based on content rules. These index labels provide the metadata for future searches.

Make Email Archive and Retrieval Simple

Email archiving must be simple; otherwise, errors in archiving policy adherence can creep in. Some advanced email archiving solutions integrate directly into email clients, including Microsoft 365 Outlook. By becoming an integral part of an email system, archiving emails become part of the regular working pattern of users. The integration lets users view and retrieves messages directly from their Outlook client instance. However, it is also essential that an email archive solution offers a centralized console that enables administrators, legal, and compliance teams to speedy archive, search, and access content across the enterprise. This must all be performed using secure, roles-based, enforceable access controls.

Robust Security Is Paramount

Emails may contain highly sensitive data; therefore, robust data protection measures must be applied. An email archiving solution must enforce multi-tiered, permissions-based access controls to protect access to archived emails. Also, archived emails should be encrypted both during storage and transfer by using standard-based encryption. Some advanced systems, such as ArcTitan, perform regular antivirus scans on email archives to check for malware.

eDiscovery Must Be Fast and Simple Search And Retrieve 

Best practice email archiving is only as effective as the processes used to discover emails. Even small organizations may have tens of thousands of emails to search through; larger enterprises could have millions archived and stored over several years. If an archive search needs to be carried out, the email archive tool must be fast and accurate: ArcTitan can interrogate up to 30 million emails in less than a second. 

Whichever email archiving solution you choose must be the perfect fit for your compliance needs and align with your business processes. It should also be easy to use and work seamlessly with existing email applications such as Microsoft 365 Outlook. By working with the five best practices when choosing and using an email archive system, your email archive will be optimized and ready to meet the demands of the modern enterprise.

ArcTitan is an award-winning email archiving solution. A seamless integration with Office 365, ArcTitan simplifies email archiving, an essential function for compliance


Book a Free Demo of ArcTitan, an email archive solution that meets all five best practices.

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