Email archiving, the cloud and disaster recovery

Cloud based email archiving solutions can offer many benefits, including scalable storage options, lower costs and secure data. In addition to these obvious benefits of hosted solutions, hosted archiving solutions can also have a positive impact on an organization's disaster recovery planning.

Section 802 of the Sarbanes -Oxley act requires organization such as financial institutions, government organizations, hospitals and many other types of organizations to archive all records relevant to audits and reviews, including emails, for a period of at least seven years. In fact, not complying with this regulation can result in up to 10 years in prison. As a result, most of organizations have found ways to comply with this regulation even when the information turns out to be embarrassing, as it recently was for Goldman Sachs. Unfortunately, even organizations that intend to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations are sometimes unable to do so. Employees not accustomed to archiving their email messages may fail to do so, and natural disasters can create a situation where archived emails are no longer accessible.

To combat the forgetfulness of employees, organizations elect to deploy solutions that provide automatic archiving, but what can these organizations do to combat a natural disaster? Natural disasters are often referred to as “acts of God” as there is literally nothing any human can do to prevent the disaster. However, there are ways organizations can minimize the impact an event such as a hurricane, tornado, flood, etc. can have on the organization. In the case of complying with email archiving regulations, the answer is hosted or cloud-based archiving services.

Hosted services archive emails “in the cloud” so that the information is accessible even if the datacenter in the office is destroyed. Archiving email in the cloud will not only allow the organization to remain complaint with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, it will also help the organization begin operating normally sooner. Recovering lost data, including important emails can take time but it is critical to the operation of an organization. When email archiving solutions do not automatically archive emails, messages that employees did not have a chance to archive would then be lost forever. This is why solutions that offer cloud storage and automatic archiving are the best options for organizations. Nothing, in terms of information and messages, will be lost no matter how dramatic the physical damage to the office is.

Email archiving isn't an option so organizations must find ways to comply. By using the same technology intended to facilitate compliance to solve disaster recovery planning, organizations can turn regulatory compliance challenges into an opportunity for increased efficiency.

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About the Author: Shannon Lewis

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