Many businesses fail to understand the importance of implementing an email archiving solution and believe that since they have a backup system for email that allows them to recover data in the event of a disaster – whether that is an accidentally deleted email or ransomware attack – email archiving is not so important.
Why You Need Email Backups and an Email Archive
There is an important case for implementing an email archiving solution in addition to a backup. Backups are vital but they are not effective long-term data storage solutions. If searches need to be performed and emails found and recovered quickly, backups are not particularly useful. Finding specific data in a collection of backup tapes can be a hugely time-consuming process and potentially an almost impossible task if businesses have a lot of employees and old emails need to be recovered.
The primary purpose of backups is disaster recovery. In the event of a ransomware attack, for instance, the last known backup before the attack can be used to recover email data. That is likely to be the backup take from the day before the attack occurred. Those backups are easy to find, and while restoring all email data will not be a very quick job, email data will be able to be recovered provided backups have not also been encrypted. It should be pointed out that ransomware gangs search for backups and will encrypt them too. Backups are also useful for storing email data from individuals when they leave the company. A backup of their email can be made, with the .pst file able to be loaded if ever there are any queries. If you need to find an accidentally deleted email, recovering it from a backup – provided it was only recently deleted – is fairly painless. All businesses need to back up their emails for these reasons, so why is an email archive necessary?
Email archives can also be used for disaster recovery processes, although email archives are not supposed to replace backups. Email archiving should occur in addition to making regular backups of email data. Email archives are important for compliance, audits, and when legal issues arise, and for finding emails when investigating customer complaints and security breaches. A great deal of valuable time can be wasted on these tasks if there is no email archive, or if email archiving has not been correctly implemented.
Rapid Search and Retrieval of all Emails
The reason why archives are so useful for long-term storage of email is they allow searches to be quickly performed on email data. Before being sent to an archive, emails are categorized and data in the emails are tagged. Emails are stored with the metadata associated with the emails intact, and that information can be rapidly searched. You can conduct searches quickly based on individual senders and receivers, groups or departments, dates, and other key information. Finding that information in multiple backups, especially searches that date back several years, is not practical.
Businesses need to comply with data retention laws, and the retention times can differ based on the types of data. Automating data retention is straightforward with email archives due to the tagging of data. It is possible to set data retention times and automate the process of archiving, retention, and deletion to meet compliance requirements, with very little user effort required.
Benefits of a Cloud Email Archive
Businesses may prefer to archive their emails locally, but there are potential problems with this approach. Storage space can easily run out given the volume of emails that need to be kept, and new hardware may need to be purchased to accommodate the archive. Archives will also need to be backed up and the backups stored securely. Many businesses choose to archive their emails in the cloud, as they will never run out of storage space, do not need to purchase and maintain the hardware, and their archives will be automatically backed up.
Cloud-based archives, such as those created with ArcTitan, are optimized to make searches fast. ArcTitan allows multiple searches to be performed simultaneously, unlike several other popular email archiving solutions. That means searching archives is a very quick process. ArcTitan also ensures that emails can be tagged and categorized, further speeding up message search and retrieval.
With ArcTitan, security is assured. Archives are automatically backed up, the archives are always due to replication across multiple data centers, and controls can be applied to restrict access to only the individuals who need to access the archives to prevent external cyberattacks and insider incidents. In the event of a ransomware attack, all emails stored in the cloud archive will be protected so that ransomware gangs will not be able to access and encrypt the archive.
Businesses need to back up their data, but they should also have an email archive. With ArcTitan, email archiving is made simple, and if ever emails need to be recovered, they can be quickly and easily found and recovered.