Email compliance is a very important part of modern business. Here we look at some of the ways in which proper email management can ensure that your organisation complies with regulations.
It is important that the user of the email is not the person who is responsible for archiving it. It is an almost impossible burden for employees to have to decide which emails are important and should be saved and which ones are not.
The best way of achieving this is by automating the system. Every email that is received or sent should be automatically captured and archived without any changes to the format. The archive needs to be separate from the user’s mailbox and even from the mail server.
They should also be encrypted in order to prevent any changes or modifications being made to them. Should the email be required for legal purposes in the future, then the email can be recreated in its original format. It is also important to maintain a record of email ownership and provenance in order to be able to demonstrate its authenticity. The same applies to all email attachments and metadata.
Not only must it be possible to search and retrieve emails, it is also important to be able to do this quickly and efficiently. The right search tools are essential and it must be possible to search using a broad range of criteria, for instance any remembered data, text phrases and words, date ranges, invoice numbers, email domain, in fact anything that is relevant to the organisation. To comply with regulations, speed is of the essence.
It is important that all compliance processes have an audit trail. Log files should be retained and they should show every operation relating to compliance. They must also demonstrate that it is impossible for the email capturing process to miss any emails.
All email users should be trained so that they understand the system, how it works, and so that they understand that every email that is sent or received, both internally and externally, will be captured and archived. They should know how to access the archive and search for all email to which they have rights of access.
Employees should also be aware that the email archived may be accessed by system administrators and those persons in the organisation who have access privileges, in other words that none of their emails are private. This is not only fair to employees; it is also a strong deterrent that will serve to prevent email abuse.