Email remains the most common business communication and collaboration tool, far outpacing phone, text and video usage. The average office worker now sends and receives approximately 140 business emails each day, and analysts say usage continues to grow by about 7 percent annually.
Very often, those emails contain a wealth of sensitive business information such as invoices, contracts, customer data and financial statements. In fact, it’s estimated that as much as 75 percent of a typical company’s intellectual property is contained within its email system. As such, companies must implement policy-based archiving solutions that allow them to securely store, retain, index, search and retrieve that essential content.
For many organizations, email archiving is a business necessity. Numerous government and industry regulations require email to be archived as part of comprehensive data retention practices. These regulations often require organizations to find and produce email correspondence and other records on demand.
Even if your company is not subject to such regulations, there are other good reasons to implement an archiving solution:
- Business continuity: Because businesses are so reliant upon email communications with employees, customers, suppliers and partners, a network outage or interruption can create havoc. An archiving solution ensures that you can still access critical emails even if your primary system is out of action. In most cases, you can access emails from any device or location with the proper authorization.
- Data security: Email is a leading source of security problems in most companies. According to the 2021 Egress Data Loss Prevention Report, 95 percent of IT leaders believe their data is at risk on email, and 83 percent say they have suffered an email data breach within the last year. Many archive solutions store emails in an encrypted and tamper-proof archive to minimize the risk of a breach.
- Litigation and e-discovery: Businesses involved in litigation are required to produce and share information related to the case, including emails. Without an archiving solution, finding stored emails can be costly and time-consuming, requiring organizations to search email servers, application folders, cloud platforms and end-user devices. An archive limits such searching and preserves important metadata that demonstrates messages haven’t been changed or manipulated.
- Storage efficiency: Archival systems also have the ability to compress data and strip off attachments that are duplicates of other emails. Keeping 100 copies of the same JPEG picture just wastes storage space. These can be reconstructed during retrieval.
Archival solutions are driven by policies that define, from a legal and regulatory perspective, which emails must be retained. Policies should cover all emails sent or received, and they should describe how long emails should be kept and how they should be removed from the email archiving solution.
Conventional solutions stored email archives on inexpensive magnetic tape or disk arrays. However, the cloud has become a better option for today’s decentralized companies that are dependent on remote workforces and cloud-based applications and services. Solutions such as ZixArchive allow companies to shrink their on-premises data and infrastructure footprint and take advantage of economies of scale in the cloud.
ZixArchive is particularly effective for organizations that already have their email and collaboration infrastructure in the cloud. For example, it integrates easily with Microsoft 365 with no hardware or software to install or manage. Preconfigured indexing and search functions make it simple to get started, with the ability to update or modify policies later on.
Email is an indispensable business tool, but it can also create legal, regulatory and operational risks. Email archiving solutions mitigate those risks by preserving business-critical communications with the ability to search and retrieve them on demand. Give us a call to learn more about email archiving and the ZixArchive solution.