Cloud Based Email Archiving: Why it's Important?

The email has become a very vital aspect of modern businesses. It is the main channel through which correspondence is carried out with clients; orders are placed and progressed, contracts agreed and many thousands of other items that make business work today. Emails are now important and have the same legal standing as formal letters were a decade ago, and as such there are regulations that govern how it should be made available for legal scrutiny purposes. Any business that fails to practice proper data retention policies is opening itself up to a number of legal tussles which can result in punitive fines and or even worse.

Nonetheless, solution to this is offered by a number of cloud email service providers such as Mimecast, which undertake cloud email archiving on behalf of their clients. However, many organizations are concerned that cloud email archiving has the potential to compromise the security of their email and other sensitive data. For instance, the service provider could potentially access sensitive information, or it could be accessed by a hacker while it is in transit between the client and the server.

There is no evidence, however, to suggest that these concerns are valid. In fact evidence suggests that cloud based archiving services are at least, if not more, secure than on-premises archiving. For instance Mimecast uses state of the art security methods for encrypting and moving data; no clear text data is stored, which is rarely the case with in-house archiving, and it is tamper-proof.

There are various reasons why organizations move to cloud based archiving. The main one is regulatory compliance, and the second most important is electronic discovery; email records are cited in a large majority of discovery orders. Litigation support is also important, and the ability to access email early on in case of any legal action can be of huge benefit.

Apart from regulatory and other legal requirements, an important advantage of cloud based archiving is memory management. As the volume of email increases, the infrastructure burden for storing it grows correspondingly. Cloud based archiving does not require bottomless infrastructure investment and is generally priced based on the number of user mailboxes.

Furthermore, as so much important corporate knowledge is stored in email, safely preserving it is essential. Any organization that fails to preserve historic data in an easily accessible archive is discarding a potentially highly valuable asset.

It is surprisingly quick to set up a cloud based archive. There are no major investment decisions to be made, no hardware to procure, and no software to install or get running. Although there are some work practice changes, these are mainly very minor, and for the most part the process is transparent.
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