Email archiving is a stand-alone IT application that works with an email server to help manage an organization’s email messages. It captures and preserves all email traffic flowing into and out of the email server so it can be accessed quickly at a later date from a centrally managed location. When the need arises to search historical email for internal investigations or for a court-ordered legal discovery, organizations can search thousands of email records in seconds using search tools embedded in the email archiving system.
There are multiple reasons why organizations implement email archiving:• To enable email users who send and receive hundreds of email messages each day to have unlimited mailbox capacity and fingertip access to years’ worth of email
• To offload data from the production email server for increased performance and storage efficiency while preserving access to end users
• To meet litigation, regulatory, and/or business records retention requirements by enabling compliance and legal officers to easily search email stored in the archive
In the e-commerce arena, employees must have access to e-mail to close sales and to manage accounts. These types of employee, plus many other types, often want to keep their e-mails indefinitely, but some organizations mandate that e-mails more than 90-days-old be deleted. Deleting older e-mails is foolish because the one e-mail that might help a company win a law suit might be nonexistent. Also, any e-mail sent outside the company will probably still exist, even if the company has deleted it on their own side.
Email archiving solutions improve email server performance and storage efficiency by removing email and attachments from the messaging server based on administrator defined policies. Archived email and attachments remain accessible to end users via the existing email client applications.
For legal discovery, email archiving solutions will lower overall risk of spoliation and greatly speed up the discovery function because of their message indexing, audit capabilities, reduplication and protection of all email messages stored in the archive. For litigation support, email can be retrieved quickly and a history of the email exists to prove its authenticity for chain of custody. For compliance support, email records are stored in the archive according to administrator defined retention policies. When retention periods expire, email is automatically deleted by the archiving application.
Without email archiving, email likely exists on some combination of backup tapes and on end users’ local workstations. If a specific email needs to be found for an internal investigation or in response to litigation, it can take weeks to find and costs a great deal. With today’s legal discovery rules (see FRCP: http://www.uscourts.gov/rules/EDiscovery_w_Notes.pdf) and compliance legislations, it has become necessary for IT departments to centrally manage and archive their organization’s email, so email can be searched and found in minutes; not days or weeks.
In addition to the capture and archive of boundary SMTP email passing through the Managed Service, the solution is also able to capture internal mail traffic sent through mail servers such as Exchange, GroupWise, Notes, etc. Messages are routed from the internal systems of an organization to the managed archiving service using a site to site mandated TLS connection.
Message lifecycle is managed according to defined policy. Email and attachments are indexed, encrypted and stored on highly secure servers across Email Systems’ resilient storage infrastructure.
Archiving of inbound, outbound and internal email
Inbound and outbound messages are captured and archived as they pass through the managed service.
Internal email that is required to be archived is sent to the archiving Service using existing SMTP transport, thus negating the need for specialist on-site hardware/ software. Given the additional sensitivity of internal email, the communication between the organization and the archiving service is secured using TLS (Transport Layer Security), which creates a secure/ encrypted pipe through which email can be sent.
Secure, encrypted storage
The archive service is built on an active-active data centre model. When e-mails reach one of the data centers, they are immediately (within milliseconds) replicated in real-time to a secondary data centre before any archiving takes place. In the event that disaster strikes either data centre, the e-mails are safe as they are held at two locations. The archiving process takes place separately in both data centers; resulting in two copies of the message being stored and two indexes being created. The advantage of this separated dual storage approach is that the accidental modification or deletion of data in one data centre cannot affect the other data centre.
With dual indexes and dual storage, availability of the interface to end-users is also maximized, thus in the event of a data centre outage, the secondary data centre is available to provide service as if nothing has happened.
Tamper-proof read only access
All messages are encrypted after indexing has occurred and before they are committed to storage. Encryption protects the messages from prying eyes, data theft or modification.
Access to data is protected through user authentication to the service over HTTPS links to the Control Panel.
Audit trail of messages and access
Every time a search request is made, the system requires the person performing the search to read and accept the Terms and Conditions. The Terms and Conditions template is configurable for each domain, thus allowing organizations to configure this to meet their company policies. A reason for the search must also be quoted. If the search is activated, then this information, along with the user id, is recorded in the audit database as proof of access.
A further level of oversight is provided by configuring Data Custodians who will be pro-actively notified by e-mail whenever a search is performed on the archive data. The design of the system ensures that individuals cannot by-pass the safe guards, to gain un-audited access to the system.
Audit logs are also recorded every time a message is viewed or released, thus allowing a 360 degree view of all activity to be recorded. Audit logs can be viewed and searched through the user interface, enabling any violations to be quickly detected.
Search via headers, content and attachments
In order to comply with Subject Access Requests (SARs), and the need to enable both compliance officers and end-users to exploit the value of information held within the archive, the service has been enhanced to provide a number of comprehensive search tools.
All messages are fully indexed when they are stored. This includes decompression of zip files and full text indexing of both mail body and attachments. Common document formats such as Word, PDF, RTF, Excel, etc are full text indexed. Once indexed, the search tools may be used to apply searches to the archives.
Administrators can be created that have access rights over multiple accounts. The process of creating administrators is carefully monitored and controlled to avoid abuse.
Authorized end user access
To give maximum benefit of the archive store, end user access allows individuals to quickly find and retrieve any email or document that has ever been sent or received by them.
Import data to archive via pst
Much of an organization's data will be stored within local PST folders. This service provides the capability to import PST folders into the archive. Once uploaded the data is indexed, stored securely and instantly available.
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