A simple oversight in email storage has the capacity to adversely affect your organization. Below, we present five of the most prevalent pitfalls we have encountered.
1. Compliance and legal issues
Many companies are required by law to retain emails for a certain period of time. This is even more important in regulated industries like finance, healthcare, and legal. If an email storage mistake occurs during the storage process, that results in the loss or deletion of critical emails, the organization may face non-compliance penalties or legal consequences. These penalties can be substantial and result in expensive lawsuits, fines, or settlements.
2. Data breach and security
Mishandling email storage can lead to a costly data breach. If sensitive or confidential information contained in emails is compromised, it can result in significant financial losses. Organizations may face legal actions, experience reputational damage, and potentially lose customers or business opportunities. There is also a cost associated with downtime and data recovery.
3. Litigation and e-discovery
In legal proceedings, emails are often used as evidence. If emails are not properly stored, indexed, and readily accessible for e-discovery (the process of searching and producing electronic information for legal cases), there may be adverse consequences. The inability to produce relevant emails or delays in the e-discovery process can lead to legal setbacks, increased litigation costs, and potential judgments against the organization.
4. Operational inefficiencies
Inadequate email storage practices can result in operational inefficiencies, wasting valuable time and resources. If employees cannot easily search and retrieve emails when needed, productivity can be hindered and/or the decision-making process can be slowed. This can have a cascading effect on various departments, impacting customer service, project timelines, and overall business operations, ultimately resulting in financial losses.
5. Business continuity and disaster recovery
Email storage mistakes can also affect business continuity and disaster recovery efforts. If email archives are not appropriately backed up or stored in redundant systems, a hardware failure, natural disaster, or cyberattack could result in the loss of critical business communication. The downtime and disruption caused by such incidents can be costly, impacting revenue, customer trust, and overall business resilience.
To mitigate the risks associated with email storage, organizations should invest in robust email management systems, implement appropriate backup and archiving solutions, regularly test data restoration processes, adhere to industry best practices, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. Bespoke software such as MailMeter, SISCIN and DiscoveryControl can help minimize human errors that may lead to costly mistakes.
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