Email Retention and eDiscovery

Any organization that uses email as the official mode of communication should retain their incoming and outgoing emails to comply with legal requirements. Below are some of the common reasons why an organization my retain their emails:

  • Prevents the accidental loss of sensitive data
  • Abide by the organization's internal policies mandated by compliance/industry regulations
  • Reduce risk in case of a security breach or litigation caused by the deletion of content by employees
  • Prevent users from deleting an email permanently before the retention period

Zoho Mail's eDiscovery and email backup features allow an organization's administrator to manage email retention efficiently.

What is email retention?

Email retention is the process of retaining emails in an organization for a specific period in an organized manner based on the policies of the organization. This is done for compliance or other such purposes, based on the organizational policies.

Why is email retention required?

If your company falls under Sarbanes-Oxley, SEC 17a-3/4, NASD 3010, HIPAA or other such regulations, then you will need to have an email retention policy. Moreover, email is the standard, universal and reliable communication mode for businesses - crucial and sometimes confidential too. They are often needed as substantial evidence. So a copy of the communication must be retained to ensure that the organization follows the compliance standards and can respond to any legal issues that arise related to such communications. This ensures that there is no data loss due to the deletion of data by the employees.

What is eDiscovery?

eDiscovery (electronic discovery) refers to the legal process of “discovering” electronic data by identifying, processing, reviewing and producing retained emails which is potentially relevant to litigation. The advanced eDiscovery portal in Zoho Mail provides a complete solution to retain, review, export the emails related to your organization's internal, external or legal investigations. It empowers the legal teams to manage the holds and investigations.

Overall, it assures that the legal team can gather and access the required information in a simple interface, without technical dependency or complexity.

What is email backup?

Zoho Mail provides a robust email backup solution to secure emails from accidental deletion by employees. Email backup processes and stores the deleted emails in a safe, central repository that can be retrieved at any point in time. It is important that organizations enable email backup to prevent inadvertent data losses.

Why is email backup important?

Email often contains highly valuable business information and so it is important to make sure your business has the right secure email solutions to recover its critical data.

Having proactive data backup in place can add additional security for your business and allow you to handle any unforeseen data loss situations, keeping your users productive and your organization's data and reputation safe. And as backup emails are stored in a central location, it mitigates the risk of email loss and saves time, money, and manpower that can be required when your IT team is forced to search for an important email.

Difference between email retention and email backup

The terms email retention and email backup could be confusing. The table given below provides the basic differences between the two:

Email RetentionEmail Backup
Retention is used to store emails for legal and compliance requirements.Email backup is used to restore emails in case of accidental loss of data.
Archives all emails for the duration mentioned in the retention policy.Saves only the deleted emails as defined in the backup policy.
When an email is recovered, a copy of the email will still be retained in eDiscovery storage.When you recover a deleted email, the email will be removed from the backup storage. However, a copy of the email will be available in eDiscovery storage.
Custom policies can be defined to save deleted emails alone for specific users.Once enabled, all the deleted emails will be saved in the backup storage. Hence, there is no requirement for custom policies.

Related Pages

To explore more about eDiscovery and email backup navigate to the corresponding help pages given below:

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