An email archiving service is a cloud-based service that can have multiple advantages for organizations of all sizes. Most often considered to be an appropriate solution for compliance with industry regulations relating to retention and security, a cloud-based service for archiving emails can also help increase productivity and prevent data theft.
The concept of a cloud-based email archiving service is very simple. Copies are made of emails being received and sent by an organization´s mail server. The copies are encrypted, deduplicated, compressed and indexed before being stored on a dedicated server in a secure data center. Authorized users can access archived emails at any time via browser-based software or a mail client plug-in.
Industry-Compliant Email Archiving Service
Most major industries have regulations stipulating retention periods for sensitive or personal data. Studies suggest that organizations in non-regulated industries also retain data for a number of years to help resolve HR issues or for litigation support. Some studies have reported as much as 75% of an organization´s intellectual property is maintained in email format.
The length of statutory retention periods can cause problems for mail servers and storage systems – particularly in industries such as healthcare, where a large percentage of emails have high-resolution attachments. An industry-compliant email archiving service eliminates these problems by providing secure, remote access to emails so they can be safely removed from the mail server.
A cloud-based service for archiving emails is also an appropriate solution for organizations required to have disaster recovery procedures in place. In the event of a disaster, an organization can restore an entire database of emails with the click of a mouse. This option is more efficient than restoring data from removable media such as discs and tapes – which can also be subject to theft, loss or damage.
Email Archiving Services and GDPR Compliance
As well as being more efficient at restoring data, an email archiving service is more efficient at searching and retrieving data when an access request is made by an EU citizen under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This Regulation applies to all businesses that collect, process or retain the personal data of EU citizens regardless of where the business is located.
GDPR also stipulates organizations must protect the personal data of EU citizens against loss, theft, unauthorized disclosure or unauthorized alteration. In many ways, GDPR has the security requirements of HIPAA and the broad reach of the Federal Rules for Civil Procedure. Email archiving services have the mechanisms necessary to comply with GDPR in this respect.
One other GDPR stipulation that can be resolved with email archiving services is “proof of compliance”. When email archiving services are implemented to comply with GDPR, they provide the audit trails necessary to show “proof of compliance” – a factor that will mitigate any action taken by a regulatory authority if a data breach occurs, a complaint is received or a GDPR audit conducted.
How a Cloud-Based Service for Archiving Emails Increases Productivity
In 2016, Adobe-sponsored research claimed that 57% of employees spend at least one hour each day searching for lost or missing documents and emails. Many of the lost or missing emails have been misfiled or deleted by mistake and, in order to recover them, employees usually call in IT support – thus decreasing the productivity of two employees rather than one.
Although each instance of a misfiled or deleted email may only take a few minutes to resolve, the impact on productivity can be substantial. Skilled IT technicians not only spend time recovering emails, but are taken away from potentially business-critical processes. This can have a knock-on effect for other IT team members, who are kept waiting before being able to recommence work on a project.
This dual loss of productivity can be eliminated with a cloud-based service for archiving emails. With an easy-to-use search function, authorized employees can quickly search and retrieve the documents and emails they are searching for. Missing emails can be located and printed, exported to file or restored to the mail server within minutes – without the assistance of an IT professional.
Preventing Email Data Theft with an Email Archiving Service
The scale of email data theft has been largely overshadowed by the high profile given to phishing attacks. However it is concerning. In 2016, a study by Osterman Research reported that 69% of organizations had suffered “significant data or knowledge loss” due to departing employees either taking data with them when they left or maliciously deleting and altering email data.
Outside forces can also contribute to email data theft. Most organizations will be aware of the threat from ransomware, but another trend in cybercrime appears to be emerging in which hackers gain access to the mail server, remove all the data and replace it with a ransom demand. The hackers threaten to delete the email data if the ransom is not paid within a specific period.
For organizations using an email archiving service, employee email data theft can be mitigated by reducing access levels to the minimum possible. Deleted emails can be restored with the click of a mouse and, as will be discussed in the next section, administrators can use a tamper-evident feature to identify altered emails and restore them to their previous versions.
Key Features of a Cloud-Based Service for Archiving Emails
A cloud-based service for archiving emails can deliver many benefits to an organization. Mailbox quotas can be eliminated, the workload of mail servers is reduced, and email distributed across multiple servers is centralized. However, in order to be truly effective, an email archiving service should have several key features:
Deduplication and Stubbing
Deduplication was mention briefly above. It is a process that removes duplicate emails and attachments from MS Outlook PST files to enable faster searching and return more accurate results. Stubbing has the same objective and works by leaving a stub behind when an email is removed from the mail server and archived. Initially frowned upon by Microsoft, stubbing is now a feature in Microsoft Exchange 2013.
What Microsoft lacks in its archiving solution is the option to set permission levels in order to allow delegated access. Most organizations will be reluctant to allow every employee access to every archived email as this will increase the risk of email data theft. A cloud-based service for archiving emails should therefore have delegated access to enhance security.
Tamper-Evident Audit Trails
In order to be fully compliant with legislative acts such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA, organizations have to assess risks to the integrity of data and produce audits to demonstrate that measures to address the risks are working. Tamper-evident audit trails ensure the integrity of data is maintained by identifying alterations made to emails and providing the opportunity for administrators to reverse the alterations if necessary.
ArcTitan – A Compliant and Effective Email Archiving Solution from SpamTitan
ArcTitan is SpamTitan´s email archiving solution – a cloud-based email archiving service that is easy to use and manage, and that guarantees your organization will never lose a business-critical email again. Compliant with all industry standards for retention, security and auditing, ArcTitan allows organizations to define their own retention policies to ensure archived emails are never deleted in error.
In addition to including all the key features of a cloud-based service for archiving emails mentioned above, ArcTitan maintains a high security standard. All data transfers to and from our IL5 certified data center are conducted via mandatory TLS, with passwords also hashed to eliminate the risk from “Man-in-the-Middle” attacks and other interceptions.
Being a browsed-based solution, ArcTitan is compatible with every operating system and works with all major email service providers. Our email archiving service is capable of processing 200 emails per second and searching 30 million emails per second, while scaling up to 60,000 users without any loss of performance.
Try ArcTitan Free for Thirty Days
If your organization would like to improve its compliance with industry regulations, increase productivity and mitigate the threat of email data theft, speak with us about a free trial of ArcTitan´s email archiving service. Our team of experienced Sales Technicians will be happy to answer any questions you have about implementing a cloud-based service for archiving emails and walk you through the registration process to start your free trial.
We will also be happy to liaise with your IT team to manage deployment so that, once the free trial period is finished, you will be able to upgrade to a full account with no configuration changes required. Contact us today, and you could be archiving emails securely and compliantly within just a few minutes with ArcTitan´s email archiving service.