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How can Software Help You Archive Digital Communications?

Sean Stapleton

Just about every modern business must work with sensitive information, and many companies use archiving software to keep important records secure and protected from corruption.

Typically, archiving software is used to store information for a specific time frame, and it allows archived information to be accessed within a reasonable amount of time. Most companies use archiving software because regulations dictate that they need to store emails, texts, social media posts and other digital information for a specified period of time.

An archiving system is much different from a backup system. While a backup system is meant to store information for short periods and allow quick access, an archiving system is designed to store information for many years, with quick access not being a priority. Archiving systems are often encrypted and the data is stored in a way that prevents editing. While archiving systems are searchable, they don't tend to provide access to information as quickly as a backup system.

Regulations from the European Union and the SEC in the United States require companies to store business-related text messages, emails, and other communications in a way that prevents unauthorized access, alteration, or deletion. Rules from the EU pertain to the storage of personal data, while SEC regulations are designed to preserve a record of financial dealings. These regulations spell out the specifics on which information must be stored, how it must be stored and when it can be deleted.

Archiving Text Messages

In the past, most business was done over email. Increasingly, transactions are being done over text message, and as a result, there is an increasing need to archive this format of communication. Most importantly, texts must be archived in order to comply with various national and international regulations.

Using personal devices to archive text messages by default is not an option. Text messages are sent frequently and can quickly pile up on a smartphone, making important messages difficult to find. Also, when an employee upgrades to a new device, entire conversations can be lost. Furthermore, it's quite easy for someone to deliberately delete text messages with sinister intent.

Fortunately, there are a number of options for organizations looking to archive text messages. Specifically, there are a number of Android apps that can archive them so as to remain compliant with various regulations. Some of these apps archive the messages within the device, and the archive is periodically exported to a computer or to the cloud. Setup is as simple as downloading the apps and turning them on.

Primary Challenges to Be Addressed by Archiving Software

There’s no doubt about it: Handling and keeping sensitive information is a demanding process. One of the biggest challenges is complying with various regulations. For example, American financial services companies must preserve business communications for several years, and Health care organizations must archive information based on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Meanwhile, companies that do business in the European Union must adhere to guidelines laid out by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Because data retention requirements call for storage periods that last several years, an archiving software solution should evolve as technology develops over the course of the retention period. Ideally, a company should avoid having to use multiple solutions from different vendors, as this can lead to a complicated situation. Simple is best.

Information also needs to be accessible. While archived data is not being actively used, it still needs to be accessible for events like regulatory inspections and eDiscovery. A good archiving software solution should allow easy access for authorized purposes.

Business Benefits Provided by Archiving Software

While archiving software is important for compliance and eDiscovery situations, it can also provide a number of benefits for a business.

One extremely valuable benefit is the increased performance of a company's system that is no longer burdened by a data archive. If a company's servers are tasked with the job of archiving texts, emails, and other forms of communication, it places a major processing and storage burden on this hardware. A third-party, cloud-based archiving solution frees up significant processing power and space. A company that chooses an in-house solution could still free up significant server space through the use of sophisticated compression technology. However, there are hidden costs with going this route, including power and maintenance costs.

Archiving software also allows a company to recover emails, texts, and other messages in the event of a crisis. Most software solutions are easy to use and don’t require IT staff having to manually dig through email recovery requests.

How MirrorWeb Can Help

At MirrorWeb, we are dedicated to helping our clients remain compliant and minimize their liability by providing them with comprehensive archiving software and solutions. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do for your organization, please visit our homepage today to set up a consultation.

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