Your employees send and receive dozens if not hundreds of emails on a daily basis. Although some of them may be ‘spam’ or irrelevant and just chit-chat between employees, records of all email correspondence may be to be retained for future reference for legal or compliance reasons and specific business needs. Many organizations keep copies of email but are you doing so in the right manner?
The PST file syndrome
Your mail server can only retain so much of your email – if these volumes are not monitored, the server will slow down and over time run out of space. Systems admins usually solve this by setting email quotas. To follow these quotas, you are left with the option of either deleting emails or saving them in PST files. Both options are problematic.
Deleting emails completely means your organization is at risk because if it finds itself in a legal case it wouldn’t have the data required for eDiscovery and email compliance purposes – companies that fail to produce information in a timely or appropriate manner face the risk of paying millions of dollars in sanctions and fines, not to mention loss of corporate reputation, lost revenue and embarrassment.
For this reason, employees’ email clients are configured to save emails in PST files on their local machines or on a network share. What they don’t often realize is that saving their email in PST files does not eliminate the risk of accidental or intentional deletion of emails. PST files stored locally are not always backed up regularly, if at all. This means that if a PST file is damaged or accidentally deleted, whatever was stored within it is lost. When it comes to PST files stored on a network share, the issue with storage is only transferred from the server to the network share – meaning you would be adding the trouble of having to increase the number of backups and having to manage all those PST files, yet still having to deal with storage problems. Another problem for administrators having to deal with PST files is that emails are not indexed and easily searchable. Thus, if a particular email is required, it can take quite some time before it is retrieved from a PST, when that particular file is found.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel – Email archiving
Email archiving, however, is a reliable, efficient and simply solution to implement and address the above issues. Message contents and attachments are automatically extracted from both incoming and outgoing emails and, after being indexed, are stored in a read-only format – this ensures that your archived records are maintained in their original state.
The archives would be centralized and accessible to both the user and the administrator – reducing the possibility of email deletion and making the search more efficient as instead of having to go through a store of PST files on disk to find a particular email, users and administrators can browse and retrieve past email from the database with just a few clicks.
It goes without saying that, because all emails are archived, the need to store emails in PST files is greatly reduced.
If PST files are an issue for your organization, installing an email archiving solution is an easy and efficient way to address the problem.
This guest post was provided by Christina Goggi on behalf of GFI Software, a leading software developer that produces network and messaging security solutions for SMBs. More information: GFI Exchange archiving solution .