What to look for in an email archiving provider

By Sonian
In Channel
July 31, 2012
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Article By Sonian

As with any cloud-based transition, there are certain guidelines a company should follow when abandoning their outdated hardware in exchange for hosted archiving. When evaluating providers, security, accessibility and an audit trail are the three main factors your business should assess.

Tamper-proof data

One of the most important factors in saving emails and correspondence is proving that the information has not been tampered with. Companies save emails for compliance issues, and if the organizations are required to provide electronic documents at a later date, it is important they can provide concrete creation dates.

Cloud archiving should include a system that autologs data and prevents original information from being edited after the fact. This is different from saying that all stored information cannot be edited, but any changes should be tracked and re-uploaded to the server as a different file.

Accessing your information

One of the major benefits behind utilizing a cloud service for archiving as opposed to traditional means of storing information is that it can be accessed anywhere. In older systems, information had to be stored on local servers and carried over when a business moved or expanded. In a cloud environment, companies know that their information is in a single place that can be accessed anywhere by registered employees.

Information should also be easily searchable. A transition to the cloud should not be undertaken simply because it is cost-effective, but because it simplifies the eDiscovery process. A company's information should always be accessible to the company. This may sound like common sense, but it is a clear diversion from legacy systems. Older backup systems would archive information and assure executives that all the information was at least being saved, but then finding specific data was a nightmare. Employees would have to sift through terabytes of information to find the needed documents.

An archiving system should be properly categorized and searchable to avoid future headaches.

Security

Cloud security is improving every year and consumers are becoming more aware of this fact, according to a study by CompTIA. Having said that, it is always a good idea to examine the credentials of the providers you are considering. Make sure that login information is adequately protected, data is properly encrypted and data is transmitted using secure protocols.

Storing your documents online should not be the equivalent of throwing them in filing cabinets in the basement of the office building. Email archiving should be secure, convenient and cost effective.

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Author: Kayla Krause