Monday, April 11, 2011

Email Archiving - The Achilles Heel of Document and Records Management

Email has developed into a major communication channel within every company with thousands of them being exchanged every day. As most business critical information is sent over email, it is imperative for companies to archive all records, whether in paper or electronic form for compliance purposes. The need for compliance has been mandatory due to demands made by government and regulatory bodies like the SEC, Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II, which were primarily driven by instances of email mismanagement. Over the last couple of years more than 90% of disputes have included email as part of the evidence.

According to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, public companies must keep all documents and communications for seven years following an audit. The penalties for destroying or altering a document can include fines of up to $5 million and imprisonment for up to 20 years. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure state that businesses that have the potential to be involved in lawsuits must prepare themselves to turn over email communications, if requested in a court case. Companies who don't have access to this information may lose lawsuits or incur extra expenses to recover necessary emails. Hence, email is becoming the Achilles heel of document and records management. The best way to protect yourself is through an effective email archiving solution that has become a major challenge for companies.

What is Email Archiving?
Email archiving is an organized way of capturing, saving and protecting every email that moves through your organizations server so that users can access it later, all the while conserving storage space. Email archiving makes it easy to store and manage large volumes of email at a single time and with search and retrieve tools to locate specific emails within minutes, saving companies precious time.

Email archiving not only ensures that the organization remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations; it is the best way to meet eDiscovery requirements. Although email archiving projects are frequently managed by the exchange server administrator, the choice of email archiving software must be carefully evaluated before implementing.

Benefits of Email Archiving
More and more businesses are now using archiving for storage management, to monitor employee communications and for disaster recovery.

    Monitoring Employee Communication – This is usually used in legal proceedings where e-mail evidence is requested in association with an employee’s violation of corporate e-mail policies or misuse of business e-mail.
      Storage Management – Archiving data helps eliminate past messages and helps free up space on the email server.
        Disaster Recovery - Disaster can halt the normal operation of day-to-day business activities. Archiving helps recover the information to the same or to a new server at disk-transfer and LAN speeds. You can recover accidentally deleted or destroyed records that have been archived.

        Working without an email archiving solution could be dangerous. Email archiving is perfect for companies who are looking for a solution to protect their mission critical data, reduce server load from emails and preserve data for legal and regulatory compliance requirements.

        You may also take a look at -   email archiving solutions  and  email compliance 

        Wednesday, April 6, 2011

        Features to Consider While Deploying Archiving Solution

        All these requirements lead to a long list of features that have to be supported by a real archiving solution tailored to the SMB. Requirements such as:

        •  User ID management
        •  User Transparency
        •  Capture capability
        •  Extraction capability
        •  Deduplication
        •  Compression/encryption
        •  Retention capabilities
        •  Storage capabilities
        •  Meta data capabilities
        •  Search capabilities (search in search)
        •  Litigation hold/Case management
        •  Examination (compliance, questionable use)
        •  Record destruction procedure
        •  Platform support (HW, SW, OS, Mail, Client)
        •  Index/Data Base Architecture
        •  Data protection solution capabilities.

        An SMB must carefully choose which email archiving solution to deploy. If the wrong solution is chosen, the SMB’s email troubles will double instead of disappear.

        The ubiquity of email within an SMB continues to pose a number of challenges in the areas of storage, mail box size and secure information retrieval. Sonasoft offers a comprehensive portfolio of products for data recovery, exchange backup and recovery, email archiving and data protection.

        Sonasoft ensures that data and applications are protected at all times so that the SMB business continues to run smoothly without any disruption. Sonasoft provides simplified storage and quick, easy access to critical data all at cost effective price points targeted for the SMB budget.

        Sonasoft’s Email Archival solutions, SonaVault, is designed to meet regulatory compliance needs of organizations. SonaVault Email Archive systems will capture all incoming, outgoing and internal emails and store them in archive databases as a Single Instance Store (SIS). Also, by use of optional stubbing feature, message contents including attachments will be saved in the archive database and leave behind an empty shell of the message, namely stub in the body of the email. Alternatively messages can be completely deleted from users mailbox and users can access archived emails through SonaVault Web Console. This approach will reduce the size of the Exchange server by up to 90%. SonaVault  Email Archiving Software solution supports Exchange Server 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2010. SonaVault solution employs reliable safeguards, including encryption to ensure that the email is tamper-proof and cannot be altered. The solution gives the ability to migrate all existing PST file data into the archive repository. This enables organizations to eliminate PST files proliferation across the enterprise, thus resulting in better email management.

        Monday, March 28, 2011

        eDiscovery Solution for Email Archiving

        Sonasoft provides a comprehensive email archiving solution coupled with features to enable and enhance ediscovery. Sonasoft’s archive solution provides simplified storage and quick, easy access to historical data. Data is stored efficiently on servers and can be accessed at any time. Sonasoft’s email archiving software product has the ability to archive, search and retrieve emails quickly and accurately.

        With Sonasoft, enterprises have the ability to search historical emails based on a number of criteria including sender, recipient, date, key words or strings and attachments. With Sonasoft’s query builder tool, users can define a query in any desired way including the use of Boolean operators to narrow their search and to quickly get search results.

        Sonasoft provides several security mechanisms to ensure the integrity of stored electronic data with tamper proof mechanisms. The archived information is compressed and encrypted and assigned digital signatures. There are rules defined for roles based access so that specific users have permissions to access the data that they are authorized for. In the event of multiple litigation cases, searched emails can be assigned to different legal case files in parallel. People can put notes in the case files with no limitations on the number of case files supported. The emails continue to be stored in case specific folders until the case is closed.

        Multiple case tracking means that the people involved with the case and the emails associated with the case are easily identifiable.

        Ediscovery can also be used to monitor emails to determine compliance to company policies. As a security measure and compliance with legal and statutory requirements, generally, an organization imposes certain restrictions on internal and external email communication to control the information shared. The Sonasoft email archiving solution provides options for efficient checking of archived emails for compliance with the rules specified by the company.

        An alert is sent out when emails contain inappropriate keywords or text. These emails are then flagged and the Sonasoft solution provides a screen to review those emails to check for compliancy. Reviewers can enter comments, accept, change status or even escalate for further review. For example, in the case of internal communications, you can set a policy to flag all the emails sent by the human resources group which has sensitive data such as salary or other remuneration to people who are not supposed to receive the information. In case of external communications, you can set a policy to flag the emails sent by software designers or architects to personal email IDs on other email servers such as Google and Yahoo or others in competing companies. 

        Sonasoft provides detailed audit reports that track a variety of metrics such as:
        - Search requests
        - Email statistics reports (inbound and outbound)
        - Tampered message reports
        - Reports for attachment types
        - Data leakage
        - Configuration management audit trails
        - Reports for archived emails
        These reports assist enterprises in tracking any activity surrounding access to stored data.

        Wednesday, March 9, 2011

        Tips to Handle a Cash Flow Crisis

        You never know when a financial shortfall can happen. So it’s better to be prepared. Debt management program helps you tackle the economic crunch.

        Debt management solutions
        There are no guarantees in this current economic situation. With the recession and unstable stock market, things are getting worse day by day. In such a situation, financial shortfall can happen even to the most economically secure person. One wrong move can saddle you with debt problems. But debt management programs teach how to handle cash flow so as to avoid any shortfall situation. Here are some debt management solutions helpful for managing crunch cash flow situations

        Readjust your budget
        The first thing you learn with a debt management program is to adjust your budget. Normally you maintain a budget, but that’s not enough, especially when you are on the threshold of financial crisis. Experts of debt management teach you to cut out unrestricted expenses – anything that’s not absolutely necessary to survive. Stop eating out, partying, buying designer clothes and everything that you can do without. Instead, use this money to pay off your credit bills.
        Maintain a finance calculator
        It’s very important to keep track of your expenditures. For that, debt management solutions experts suggest a finance calculator. Keep details about every expenditure you make specifying the date and amount. It’s just like any financial ledger and will help you know how much you owe.
        Build an emergency fund
        Counselors of debt management programs strongly recommend building an emergency fund which will take care of unexpected emergencies like an accident or job loss. This is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your financial security. It’s ideal to have a minimum of 3-6 months of living expenses in the emergency fund so if any cash related crisis arises, you can cover it.
        Approach creditors
        If your debt amount is very high and you are unable to make even the minimum payment at the end of month, then debt management solutions experts recommend approaching your creditors. Explain to them your financial predicament and request to lower your monthly APR. Although there is no guarantee that creditors will agree, most often this trick works as creditors just want to have their investment returned, even if slowly.
        To know more about visit - Debt Management

        Tuesday, March 1, 2011

        Top Five Myths of Debt Management

        There are a wide variety of myths associated with what to do and what not to do about improving your debt structure. Debt management solutions agencies clear the myths associated with debt management.

        Debt management myths
        Rumors related to credit scores and debt management strategies can be confusing. It is a catch-22 situation where you have no idea whether to act based on myths or stick to your debt payoff tactics. Experts of debt management solutions have outlined the top five myths and the ways to tackle them.

        Closing old accounts improves credit score
        If you are dealing with debt problems, you must have encountered this suggestion from friends and family. So if the same suggestion from various sources makes you contemplate whether to close accounts or not, here is the fact. According to debt management experts, closing old accounts will not improve your credit score; rather it will have the opposite effect. If you cancel your old credit account, your credit history will appear shorter. As a result, your credit score will be lowered. You can opt to close a new account if you are set on reducing your credit levels.

        Paying off debt adds 50 points to your credit score
        There is no such magical formula to add up your credit score. There are several factors which are taken into account to derive the credit score. If you have a high credit score, even one non-payment or late payment of debt can cause the score to drop significantly. However, the case is not the same for low credit score holders. Debt management experts suggest paying bills on time and taking care not to have a bad credit report will automatically bring positive points for your credit score.

        Negative payoff record gets removed from credit report
        It’s a common misconception that once you pay off your collection accounts or declare bankruptcy, the charges will be removed from your credit report. Even if you have paid everything off, they remain in the credit report for a period of 7-10 years. The only change you notice is they will be marked as “paid.”

        Soft inquiry can harm your credit
        This is considered a false debt management myth. Checking your credit report doesn’t affect your credit score in any way. Rather it is your right to know your credit status. Just take care not to make multiple hard inquiries within a short time interval as it might irritate your creditors.

        Co-signer is not accountable
        As a co-signer of any loan, you have certain legal responsibilities towards the credit amount.  Any good or bad credit interest for this loan will show up on yours as well as the account holders’ credit reports.

        Wednesday, February 23, 2011

        Why Debt Settlement is a Bad Option

        Debt settlement is considered a good alternative to bankruptcy, but is it really that good? Find out the answer from debt management services.

        How Debt Settlement Works
        Debt settlement companies act as savings account for debtors. They offer to save up a lump sum of your money, and, once it attains maturity, they negotiate with creditors to pay off your unsecured debt. It is one of the debt management services agencies offer to get you out of debt.

        Debt Settlement – More Misleading Than Relief
        Until now, this debt management option was regarded as a substitute for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy declaration can have a negative effect on your credit report and your future prospects for bank loans, insurance and even jobs. That’s why the debt settlement scheme was devised. But some thing things are too good to be true.

        There are several debt management services agencies who charge exorbitant fees in the name of the negotiation and debt settlement process. They also don’t offer you any legal protection against the lawsuits of collection agents. This can make one question the true objective of these agencies. In fact, due to their steep fee structure, these debt settlement companies are being outlawed in many states.

        Success Rate of the Debt Settlement Process
        You might find this surprising, but debt management experts report that the success rate for debt settlement is very low. Of all the people approaching these self-proclaimed debt settling companies, only 2% manage to settle their debt successfully. Most debtors are forced to leave the settlement process mid way through because they become involved in lawsuits or debt garnishments from creditors. 

        Impact on Taxes
        Debt management experts also bring attention to another important issue – the consequences of tax on forgiven debt. The government considers this forgiven debt to be income and hence deducts tax from it. So if your debt settlement company gives you the idea that you can make a good profit, then you are being misguided. The profit you will make from forgiven debt will ultimately be taxed according to government income policy. 

        Debt settlement is a good option only when handled by an efficient and genuine agency. Check with a licensed attorney who can guide you with good advice.

        To know more about visit - Debt Management and debt management counseling

        Wednesday, February 16, 2011

        Get Debt Relief for Your Small Business

        Are you contemplating the idea of declaring your small business bankrupt? Well, there are other debt management solutions available to handle your debt situation.
        Impact of Recession on Small Businesses
        The recent economical recession has had a tough impact on small businesses. As most businesses take unsecured loans, when they aren’t able to pay the accumulating debt and the high interest rates, they opt for bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy can have its own share of repercussions and hence should be the last resort to be debt-free. Just because you are unable to pay off your debt, you can’t lose all the goodwill you have worked so hard to earn with your business. In such a scenario, debt management solutions offer many strategies to handle your small business’s debt issues.
        Debt Management Plan
        Under a debt management plan, debt experts usually bargain with your creditors to reduce the debt amount in a certain clause so that the payable amount will be lower than the current debt amount. It’s a legal procedure in which your creditors enter into a new agreement with you. Thanks to debt negotiation, you can eliminate up to 60% of your unsecured debt.
        Debt Settlement
        Debt settlement is a very good debt management plan for small business owners who have more than $10K in unsecured debt. Unsecured debt creditors are apprehensive about collecting their delinquent accounts, so debt analysts take advantage of this through negotiation and settlement.
        Relief Network
        Debt management analysts often suggest a liability relief network for small business debt settlement. In fact, it’s considered a better choice than settlement companies. This network only enlists effective debt management companies with a successful track record. Hence, small business owners can expect some significant developments in their quest toward being debt-free.
        Here are some dos and don’ts for small business owners:
        • Debt management planners strongly suggest not opting to borrow to repay your current debt. If you already feel the heat of debt, further borrowing will only add to your unsecured debt.
        • Be punctual in your tax payment. Debt management planners prepare charts to help you maintain your tax details. Remember, even one tax non-payment can earn you an asset penalty from the Revenue Department.
        • Maintain a separate bank account. In this way, you can save a compensatory amount from your creditors in case of a drastic situation like bankruptcy.
        To know more about visit - debt management counseling and  credit card relief programs