featured image: what is email archiving, why you need it + email archiving tools

What is Email Archiving, why you need it + email archiving tools

Although it’s been around for over 50 years, email is still one of the most popular business communication channels. Companies use it to communicate with their clients and employees alike. Estimates say that by 2025, daily emails will reach 376.4 billion. 

So, asking what happens to all those email messages is logical. Especially since we’re talking about business email communications containing sensitive and important data. Enter email archiving.

What Is Email Archiving? 

Email archiving is a system of archiving, indexing, and storing your email messages in a format that allows you to easily search, access, and retrieve them. These email archives capture the original email content and prevent users from altering it subsequently. 

Is email archiving the same as creating an email backup? 

Email archiving is similar to email backup but only to an untrained eye. In reality, email archiving does the same thing as an  backup, but it has many additional features and benefits. Similarly, a backup falls short in comparison with email archiving. 

For example, the end-to-end searchability of your regular email backups is nowhere near that of an email archive. Plus, backups don’t come with indexed storage functionality.

5 Reasons You Need Email Archiving   

Your organization likely relies heavily on sending out sales emails for prospecting purposes. And, there are marketing emails for keeping your audience engaged and in the loop. 

Add internal email communications to the equation, and there you are with critical data you have to keep. You can’t leave them in your inbox, and you can’t simply decide to delete and get rid of these old emails. 

So, let’s discuss why that’s so and why implementing a cloud-based email archiving service is a wise choice. 

1. Declutter Your Inbox 

inbox filled with email messages

Having an out-of-control inbox is frustrating, and it can impair your email productivity. It’s annoying when you find yourself buried under the avalanche of email messages when you open your inbox. Finding that important email message from the other day or the offer from a vendor you got a few months before can be a nightmare. Email archiving resolves all this by archiving selected emails and moving them from your mailbox to a dedicated email archive folder. 

By implementing archiving software, you’ll be able to distinguish between completed and ongoing projects and still access archived data. 

2. Prevent Data Loss 

Businesses send and receive a lot of sensitive data through email. That’s why you need to have a disaster recovery plan in place. 

Saving all that correspondence in your mailbox is pointless because you can easily delete it accidentally. Even worse, your email account can be hacked, resulting in limited access to your messages. Regular backups won’t be of much help as it will take time until you retrieve emails. 

Email archiving will safely store your vital messages in an easily accessible on-site or cloud repository and ensure business continuity. No data will disappear or get corrupted even when the network is down. 

3. Access Your Historical Messaging Data Quickly

Email archiving will do wonders for your data management. It eliminates time-consuming processes such as looking for an essential piece of information. 

Users can easily search archived messages and quickly identify the ones they need. This can be a lifesaver when you have a deadline to produce documents as evidence in litigation.  

4. Ensure Regulatory Compliance 

Data security is a top priority in many different industries. So, understanding retention policies will save you a lot of trouble and legal issues. Regulatory compliance isn’t the same for all industries, and you need to be familiar with specific rules that apply in your line of business. This refers to different practices of archiving emails and storing data while ensuring industry-specific safety measures. Knowing how to use a VPN is crucial for safeguarding your electronic correspondence and ensuring compliance with data security regulations.

As for email retention, compliance laws require companies to keep and make available electronically stored enterprise data typically for seven years. This means that you should protect your archived emails, instant messages, and other types of electronic correspondence from unauthorized access and preserve them in their original, unaltered form while adhering to retention periods.  

5. Protect Your Business from Litigation 

There’s always a risk of the worst-case scenario. Like getting entangled in legal proceedings. If you have implemented an email archiving tool, you don’t have to worry about producing the necessary evidence. Archiving software has a litigation support feature that enables the electronic discovery process (ediscovery).

In some cases, retrieving data from saved messages can be difficult, for example, if you accidentally deleted an important attachment or file. Such a situation would require an expensive and complicated retrieval process. Since email archiving tools save not only email messages but also attachments, you can rest assured that the archive where you stored the information is complete. And the entire process is quick and cost-effective. 

3 Best Email Archiving Software 

Now you understand why implementing an email archiving service isn’t an option but a necessity. It’s time to discuss the best software to archive your data, ensure compliance, and reduce costs.

1. ArcTitan  

ArcTitan email archiving software

ArcTitan is a powerful email archiving tool to archive and search emails. The platform ensures compliance by storing all messages in an encrypted archive that prevents tampering with data. It features quick searching, ediscovery, automatic backups, effective data retrieval, and cloud-based storage. 

There’s a free trial, and the starting price is $120/month for 25 users. 

2. Mimecast

Mimecast cloud-based archiving service

Mimecast is a cloud-based archiving service offering email security services. Organizations can securely archive, store, search, retrieve, and manage email content while preventing data loss and ensuring compliance with email retention policies. Besides storing email archives in a secure vault in the cloud, Mimecast also shows who accessed them and when. This feature is highly useful for potential litigation. Users get access to their archives so they can easily manage them and search through old resources. 

Mimecast offers a free trial, and pricing is available on request. 

3. Jatheon 

Jatheon email archiving platform with cloud and on-premise storage

Jatheon is an email archiving platform with cloud and on-premise storage. This tool can archive WhatsApp chats, multimedia, deleted messages, mobile calls, texts, and voicemail in a WORM-compliant format. WORM stands for write once, read many. Your digital assets are tamper-proof in Jatheon. You’ll be able to protect these messages from destruction, use them as evidence, and prove their integrity. The quick, precise search feature can speed up and simplify discovery.   

The vendor doesn’t offer a free trial. Pricing is available on request. 

Wrapping Up Email Archiving 

Email archiving allows organizations to keep their emails, instant messaging, social media content, intellectual property, and other digital resources stored in a secure email archive in the cloud. Such an archive can be searched quickly and easily. This makes storage management and discovery easier.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

The best way to archive emails is using cloud-based archiving platforms with proper compliance and effective data management. 

All organizations benefit from using a cloud archiving service since the risk of data loss is minimal. Plus, it’s much easier to manage a single email archive and find a specific email than wade through regular email backups. 

The simplest answer would be for as long as it’s useful. But, different industries and laws have different policies regarding data retention periods. 

For example, according to GDPR, organizations should keep the data on the subject for no longer than required for the purposes for which the personal data is processed. 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act outlines that documents should be retained “for 6 years from the date of its creation or the date when it last was in effect, whichever is later.”

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act states that accountants should “maintain all audit or review work papers for a period of five years from the end of the fiscal period in which the audit or review was concluded.” 

Email archiving isn’t necessary, but it’s highly recommended. Archived emails and other data formats are securely stored and easily accessible anytime. 

Additionally, if you don’t archive your emails, your mailbox will be overflown with messages to the point where you won’t be able to send or receive new ones. You’ll speed up your email server by freeing up your storage space. You’ll also prevent various data loss and litigation implications, which is much more cost-effective than taking a reactive approach and mitigating the consequences. 

Alex Morgan

Alex is a passionate tech blogger, internet nerd, and data enthusiast. He is interested in data regulation, compliance, eDiscovery, information governance, and business communication.