When “What If” Becomes “What Now” – Why Email Archiving Saves the Day
Email archiving refers to the practice of preserving emails and making them searchable. Tools that aid email archiving capture email content – directly or indirectly – and also, store them. These stored emails are then indexed to make them detectable during a search.
The storing up of mails is just one of the purposes or archival. The captured mails are indexed and made searchable as well. This is done using a range of methods.
The key goals of email archiving include protecting mission-critical data, complying with the requirements of various regulations, and making data retrievable for e-discovery.
Better Than a Backup
Email archiving is inherently different from the practice of “backing up.” A backup is a copy of the data can come in handy when you need to restore a deleted email folder or message. In other words, a backups are idea for replacing lost data or damaged data. It protects the data that is in use.
As far as characteristics go, backups are like snapshots. They capture only what was present at the moment the backup was made. Secondly, backups are always stored in an on-site or off-site location. In fact, many businesses and organizations use both. On-site backups may be easier to access and are faster to restore from. Off-site backups are safer because they are “off-site,” i.e., they are still available even if the that contains both your main data and the “on site” backups is having issues.
The biggest problem with backups is that they only capture data that was present in your email folders at a particular point in time – data that was deleted before the backup snapshot was made will not be saved. In particular, this means that data that arrives and is deleted between snapshots will never be saved in a backup.
This is where archiving stands out. Archiving involves maintaining a record of every email ever sent and received within an organization. Think of it as a ledger that’s continuously updated with new transactions and exchanges.
More importantly, an archive cannot be tampered with. The only time information can be deleted or edited is when the archive reaches its set expiration date. Archived mail is also easily searchable, making it very valuable in terms of e-discovery. However, its most important characteristic is that it complies with various regulations, such as GLBA and of course, HIPAA.
HIPAA and Email Archiving
Email archival is a mandatory requirement under HIPAA for all healthcare entities and their business associates that use email for the sending and receiving of ePHI (Electronic Protected Health Information). Email archiving addresses a range of requirements set forth by HIPAA.
These includes the storage of mails in a separate location other than the healthcare entity’s own servers, the inability to edit/delete the mails, the searchability of the archived mails, backups, and the maintenance of the archived mail records for an extended period of time.
Another instance where email archiving addresses HIPAA requirements is when there is a need to obtain ePHI in an emergency. So, if the information exists in the form of an email and if the email system fails to function as intended, the separate and independent archive can be accessed to retrieve said email.
HIPAA also states that healthcare entities need to establish retrievable unchanged copies of the ePHI before equipment is shifted. Email archiving makes this more than possible since the service itself is provided by 3rd party providers.
These are just a handful of the requirements under HIPAA that email archiving helps you to satisfy.
An Inexpensive Affair
Email archiving is a very cost-effective option. It isn’t very complicated in terms of setting up and all your email records are saved in a format that cannot be altered or deleted. There is no question that it is necessary for adhering to HIPAA regulations.
Most archival services provide a wide range of features and benefits. For example, LuxSci’s Email Archival saves a copy of all emails in two external locations. The data is also stored in read-only mode, which makes editing and deletion impossible.
The archived mails can be stored forever and there is no limit on the storage amount.
More importantly, LuxSci’s solution is a third-party archival system, which brings added advantages to the table. To begin with, the burden on your IT staff is reduced significantly. In-house IT teams do not have to spend their resources to establish and maintain an archival system, which can prove to be very complex. IT teams can be tasked with other important processes.
Third-party archival systems also eliminate the possibility of conflicts of interest, which do arise frequently in organizations.
These systems are also much more effective at capturing emails. In-house system can and do miss out the occasional mail due to a nightly backup approach. However, solutions such as the Email Archival from LuxSci work in real time. They capture data as it is created and transmitted. As a result, no email is missed, which creates a true record.
Finally, the third-party archival system also boasts a much higher storage capacity.
Want to discuss how LuxSci’s HIPAA-Compliant Email Solutions can help your organization? Interested in more information about “smart hosting” your email from Microsoft to LuxSci for HIPAA compliance? Contact Us