Why Email Archiving is a Key Component of Business Continuity

In today’s business world, every organisation holds a huge amount of business-critical data. And as email remains to be the most important form of communication and a widespread way to store information, it can hold significant numbers of business-critical documents. Data can be stored on-premises, in private or public clouds or a mixture of both. However, regardless of where it resides, the importance lies in its availability. Being able to access data is fundamental for business success and a core responsibility of IT strategy. After all, the unavailability of important data may lead to poor productivity, legal risk, and compliance violation penalties.

Hardware and software systems can fail for a variety of reasons, leading to data becoming unavailable or lost altogether. Whether from user error, malicious activity, or natural hazards, this can have a huge impact on business operations. While most companies hope to avoid these types of disasters, there are no guarantees. What every company can do, is work to ensure business continuity and data resilience.

What is Email Archiving?

A common misconception that many people have is that email archiving and email backups are one and the same. Backups store company data at a specific point in time and enable organisations to restore data subsets or entire systems in the event of data loss. However, they only reflect data that exists at a single point in time. While backups can replace lost data, the process doesn’t organise or index the information. This lack of searchability makes the process much less useful for protecting unstructured business data such as email. 

Email archiving differs from backups as it occurs on an item-by-item basis instead of a periodic system-wide basis. Archiving happens in real-time, capturing, indexing, and securing each record individually in a protected off-site storage space. As well as capturing all outbound and inbound email data, email archiving also saves all the components and attached media such as photos, videos, and documents. So, while a backup helps recovery from hardware failure or data corruption, archiving supports compliance, risk aversion and long-term retention. 

Of course, email archiving solutions come with their challenges too. As email volumes rise, on-premises archiving solutions need considerable storage space and become difficult to manage; compliance, storage management, and the ability to use the valuable data they hold. Fortunately, archiving solutions have evolved and the cloud has dramatically changed the way email is archived. With cloud email archiving, businesses benefit from a multi-tenant infrastructure with scalable shared resources. 

What is Business Continuity?

Business continuity refers to an organisation's ability to keep operations running in the event of a disaster. Ultimately, it involves a range of risk management processes and procedures that work to prevent interruptions to critical services and access to core business data while re-establishing full function as quickly as possible. Business continuity considers a range of unpredictable events such as cyberattacks, natural disasters, and internal errors. 

Business continuity is essential for organisations of all sizes. However, prioritisation is often required to decide what functions are essential to keep the business running at a minimal level during a crisis. By implementing strong business continuity, companies can save money and time and protect their reputation. 

The Importance of Email Archiving to Business Continuity

Ensuring the availability of data and reliable access to email forms a vital part of business continuity. Email Archiving enables employees to access critical data and continue to be productive during an emergency. What’s more, by taking advantage of email archiving in the cloud, organisations can safeguard business-critical information in archived emails without sacrificing server speeds. 

Email archiving is also vital for business continuity in the event of litigation or an eDiscovery request. If a business fails to produce the required information, it can be fined or even prosecuted. By incorporating email archiving as part of your company’s business continuity plan, you can meet compliance requirements and be prepared for an emergency or any type of business disruption.

Why Continuity is Important in a Work-From-Anywhere World

In a world where remote working is now, common practice and teams have become geographically displaced, it is more important than ever for businesses to know where all their corporate data is stored and that it is easily accessible. 

With the rise in remote working and the rise in the risk of cyberattacks, employees need to be able to access critical information and communications to maintain daily operations. Email archiving as part of a robust business continuity plan is fundamental to mitigate the risks of cyberattacks and other business emergencies and ensures compliance across a remote workforce. 

Email archiving forms an important part of business continuity, helping to secure the business-critical data contained in emails. If you’d like a consultation on email archiving, contact the cybersecurity experts at InfoTrust today. Or, watch our webinar with email security provider Mimecast, where we discussed strategies to improve data resilience and business continuity

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