GFI Email Archiving Survey

12/04/2011 14:25

30% of American SMEs Use Backup and Email Archiving Software; What about the Other 60%?

GFI Software recently announced the results of a survey on email ar chiving that reveal a shockingly low level of email archiving take up among SMEs. Of the 202 US-based SMEs polled by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI, only 3 in 10 use both backup and email archiving software. What do the results indicate and what are the repercussions for those companies that do not use email archiving or backups?

Shocking Results

The responses are surprising to say the least. A staggering 62.4% of respondents said they had no email archiving solution in place at all. More surprisingly, 66.8% of companies who completed the survey said they had no idea about compliance regulations.

That’s despite the US government’s efforts to educate organizations and businesses about HIPAA, SOX, SEC, FINRA, and a host of other regulations concerning business information and email. Ever since the Enron collapse, the US government has sought to build confidence in Wall Street and how it does business. Email compliance and the creation of solid audit trails were seen as a way of achieving that.

Despite the fact that more than half of the respondents said they had been subject to an e-discovery request, or had to provide copies of emails for some reason or other, they still failed to acknowledge (and implement) the importance of email archiving software and the difference in having or not having such essential tools.

Another troubling statistic is that only 30% of businesses surveyed could tell the difference between backup and email archiving software. Eight percent of participants said they only used email archiving software, 23.3% only used a backup solution to capture email. And, as if this isn’t shocking enough 38.6% are currently using neither of the two!

The need for clarification

The lack of understanding of the differences between an email backup and email archiving is troubling. Confusion seems rife, even years after legislation came into force.

A backup is a copy of hard disks that should be routinely taken and stored elsewhere. It is useful when hard disks fail, buildings have to be evacuated, or in the case of a virus or malware infestation. It is not sufficient for email compliance and is more suited to disaster recovery than e-discovery.

An email archive is a process. It is designed to copy, store and manage email data for the longer term. It is permanent, separate, secure and accessible.

Email archiving software siphons off the corporate email platform, indexes, compresses and stores email data in a tamper-proof way. These copies are then securely stored, protected from harm, and are kept ready for any e-discovery request that may arise.

Many of the laws regarding business information require a comprehensive email archiving solution. A backup simply won’t do. It isn’t tamper-proof, it isn’t secure, it isn’t indexed, it doesn’t store email data in an organized way. All things required by law.

The fact that the GFI survey reveals so many businesses are unaware of the basics of backup and email archiving software, calls for the need to increase awareness on the two and on their individual importance.

This guest post was provided by Jamie Kavanagh on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs..

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