The Importance of Email Archiving for Compliance

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Compliance rules go through numerous changes to ensure that they match the times. In 2006, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures was amended to include email and instant messages best practices. This change was deemed necessary since 90% of today’s business communication handled through these electronic messaging methods.

The Amendments

The new additions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures are divided into six areas:

  1. The Definition of Discoverable Material – Electronic media wasn’t included in the previous set of rules. However, now that most companies depend on emails and instant messages, their inclusion will save companies and their clients from numerous lawsuits.
  2. Attention to Electronic Discovery Issues – Whereas auditors hardly gave emails and instant messages the attention they required, the law now binds them to check these along with a company’s records.
  3. Designating a Format for Emails – In case electronic media are retrieved, a certain format should be ensured. This is easily possible thanks to customizable email archiving systems.
  4. Categorizing Electronically Stored Information – Information stored electronically is now divided into two types – information that is reasonably accessible and information that is not reasonably accessible. If information requires a lot of costs and efforts to be produced, it is known as information that isn’t reasonably accessible.
  5. Asserting Protective Claim – Companies which extract electronic information as evidence in a trial are given the right to assert a protective claim on the material.
  6. Safe Harbor – The law now provides companies which lost information as a result of routine or good faith operation with safe harbor. This means that these companies will not be penalized for not providing the lost information.

Email Archiving as a Solution

Email archiving is important for companies to comply with the amendments in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures.  These systems will save copies of emails sent and received, therefore making sure that copies of electronic data are stored in case companies face lawsuits or data theft. More on the best practice of email archiving here.

Because companies should comply with the best practices of the industry, investing in such systems is a must.

Further reading: Corporate Governance | Audit | Performance Improvement

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