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Email archiving is a requirement for many businesses. In this post we explore the different email archiving solutions that can be used for email retention to meet legal and compliance requirements.
In 2006, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures were amended calling for all emails, communications, and electronic files to be retained that may be relevant to current or future litigation. Many businesses are unaware that it is against the law to simply delete emails. In the event of legal action, the courts may request a copy of all electronically stored information (ESI) relative to the case. If the data has been deleted or cannot otherwise be produced, the consequences can be severe. Some companies have been fined millions of dollars for failing to archive emails or produce them when requested to do so by the courts.
If you are in a regulated industry such as healthcare or the financial services, you will also need to comply with industry-specific laws, which also have email archiving requirements. States also have email data retention laws that stipulate certain types of data must be retained. The email retention periods typically range from 1-7 years, although in some cases emails must be retained indefinitely.
The main purpose of an email archive is to keep a copy of each message that is sent or received to meet federal, state, and industry regulations. In the event of an audit or legal action, if is likely that you will have to produce copies of emails.
An email archive is a searchable repository for your email data that is kept separate from your email server. Every time an email is sent or received, a copy of the message will be sent to the archive for long-term storage. You can stipulate which emails need to be archived by adding an email archiving policy through your chosen solution, or you may wish to play it safe and save a copy of every email.
There are a number of different email archiving solutions to choose from, each of which have their merits. All options will allow you to meet your legal obligations, but the features, benefits, and costs can vary considerably between the different types.
There are four main types of archiving solutions. Hardware-based solutions, software solutions, cloud-based email archiving solutions, and hybrid solutions.
Email appliances are standalone hardware solutions that are supplied with the software already installed for storing your email. They are an easy option for email archiving but have some limitations. You will need to choose the appliance carefully as there is a limit to storage space. Once the space is used up on your appliance, you will need to upgrade. Email archiving appliances therefore lack flexibility. If your company expands in size, or email volume increases in the future, you will need to purchase a new appliance. You must also maintain the appliance and you will be responsible for security. You will also need to backup your archive. The appliances may be robust, but all hardware can fail so you will need a backup for disaster recovery.
Software solutions provide the email archiving software, but not the hardware. You will also need a server with an operating system such as Windows Server on which the software is installed. A separate server is recommended, unless you only have a handful of employees. You will also need database software to store your archive. Licenses for the software need to be purchased and you may have to pay extra for support services. You will be responsible for updating the software, which may have an additional cost. As with an appliance, it is your responsibility to secure your server.
Cloud email archiving solutions such as ArcTitan require no hardware purchases or software installations, other than an email client add-on. They are 100% cloud based with the software and archive located in the cloud. In the case of ArcTitan, the archiving software and your archive is housed on AWS – Archives are stored on Replicated Persistent Storage on AWS S3, with the archive automatically backed up for you for peace of mind. Even if your email service experiences an outage, you will never be without business-critical email data.
Cloud email archiving solutions are the easiest option for archiving emails. They are set and forget solutions with next to no ongoing maintenance required and security is managed for you. All emails are encrypted at rest and in transit to protect against unauthorized access and the solution supports policy-based access rights and role-based access.
With cloud email archiving solutions you pay for licenses to use the solution. With ArcTitan there is no limit on storage space and the solution is scalable up to 60,000 users. In contrast to many cloud-based email archiving solutions, you only pay for active users.
Many companies use legacy email archiving solutions on a dedicated on-premises server or email archiving appliance. These appliances and servers are located behind the corporate firewall for security purposes. While these solutions can be easily secured, the hardware on which they are stored must be maintained, upgraded, and patched. Systems must be put in place to ensure email data in the archive is backed up to protect against data loss.
Hardware-based solutions are located on-premises, which means that in the event of a natural disaster – flood, fire, hurricane for example – data will be at risk. In the event of a cyberattack, the archive may be accessible to the attackers. Data could be stolen or deleted, or encrypted in a ransomware attack. This is why many companies are now moving their archives to the cloud, or chose to use a hybrid solution, combining the cloud for backups with on-premises hardware for archiving.
Hybrid email archiving uses a combination of hardware, software, and the cloud. You could have an on-site appliance or software on an internal server for storing your archive and use the cloud to store a backup. With this option you get peace of mind that your archive can always be recovered in the event of hardware failure or a ransomware attack but will have the added cost of cloud storage for your archive and still have the maintenance costs associated with your on-premises hardware.
ArcTitan Cloud is a 100% cloud-based email archiving solution that eliminates issues related to security, compliance and improves efficiency. A “set and forget” solution, ArcTitan Cloud is easy to use and effective at what it does – deduplicating, compressing, indexing and archiving email messages for secure, long-term storage to meet legal, compliance, security, and disaster recovery objectives.
ArcTitan Cloud is lightning-fast, processing and archiving up to 200 emails per second in real time and allowing searches to be performed at a rate of 30 million messages in less than a second. Archived email data is encrypted at rest and in transit and stored in an IL5 certified data center on Replicated Persistent Storage on AWS S3 and the archive is automatically backed up to protect against data loss.
ArcTitan Cloud is a feature-rich, reliable, secure repository for email, but is also one of the lowest cost email archiving solutions on the market, making email archiving affordable for all businesses and service providers.
For further information on ArcTitan Cloud, call the TitanHQ sales team today.