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Email Archiving - company faces $2.6 million fine for failing to keep emails.

Posted by Geraldine Hunt on Thu, Feb 9th, 2017

Being able to easily access your companys archived emails will ultimately protect your company from steep fines. Who wants to be faced with a $2.6 million regulatory fine for failing to keep emails?

Risk Mitigation

Every organization, be it a for profit, nonprofit or government entity exposes itself to risk, by its very existence. There is no escaping that a natural disaster, regulatory audit, lawsuit, cybercrime or other event, may strike a group. Responsible managers make every practicable effort to identify the threats, and to take all reasonable precautions to minimize the likelihood of these events, as well as to prepare for them, should they manifest themselves. This planning is risk mitigation strategy, and is a subset of the broader business continuity and disaster strategy, which every operation should have in place.

eDiscovery

One often overlooked component of risk mitigation strategy is the archiving of emails. Several laws and regulations specify how long an organization must maintain records, which include pertinent emails. Most of the rules covering retention stipulate storage of emails and other records for several years. Lawsuits are a practical example of how emails may be needed several years after having been sent or received, as a court may order production of all records associated with a case. The request for and production of these records is defined as eDiscovery.

Organisations required to present electronic information

During an investigation or lawsuit, an organization may be required to identify, collect and deliver all electronically stored information (ESI), relevant to the matter-at-hand, to authorities, courts or parties in litigation. This information includes, but is not limited to :

  • Emails
  • Databases
  • Voicemails
  • Social media
  • Websites
  • Presentations

How can you comply with an eDiscovery order without a managed system?

This can easily run into thousands of emails if the area of interest spans  several years and includes dispatches to and from 100s of employees in multiple departments. Lacking an automated and well-managed system, an organization would find it all but impossible to comply with the order to produce all relevant emails in a timely manner.

Potentially Severe Consequences

Most every regulation covering records retention stipulates a fine, or even criminal charges in some cases, if an organization is unable to produce emails/records that they are required to by the law or rule. These fines can be substantial. In 2015, The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority IFINRA) fined Scottrarde $2.6 million USD for failing to retain more than 168 million outgoing emails and record email communications in the proper format.  In 2005, a Florida jury awarded financier Ronald Perelman $1.45 billion USD in damages, after the trial judge issued a default judgment against Morgan Stanley as a sanction for eDiscovery missteps.

How to prepare for an eDiscovery request

An eDiscovery solution is critical for any business. Companies need to be addressing the storage demands of their burgeoning data —inefficient storage is expensive and makes data difficult to access. But every company also needs to be aware of what it needs to do to make sure its data is stored in a manner that’s going to make it legally compliant if it’s involved in a lawsuit.

Much of an organization’s corporate knowledge is found in its email. Email represents a lot of time and effort on the part of many employees, and it’s an investment that every business should protect. Archiving not only protects the intellectual property represented by email, it makes email management in general easier, improving productivity and performance.

TitanHQ’s archiving system, ArcTitan, provides cloud-based archiving and retrieval of emails, compliant with Sarbanes–Oxley, HIPPA, and other regulations for eDiscovery, retention and audit. Users may search, view and retrieve, in seconds, archived emails from Outlook or any web browser. With search options covering entire organization, departments or groups for content of headers, emails and attachments, any email pertinent to an eDiscovery request can be instantly produced. Archived emails include an audit trail, documenting any modifications to messages, ensuring compliance to regulations.

To learn more about these and other features of ArcTitan, drop us a line at  info@titanhq.com. One of our sales engineers will promptly reply, address any questions, and even arrange for a free trial of ArcTitan.  

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