Legal vs. IT on Retention Policies

What is the cause of conflict between IT and Legal when it comes to data retention policies?

Data must be kept on company servers by law. As a result it is in both departments interest to ensure that information is correctly retained and easy to find in the event of a lawsuit.

The top reasons for keeping data:

  • Legal – eDiscovery is part and parcel of most lawsuits now and emails are considered discoverable information.
  • Compliance – existing and forthcoming regulation requires information to be kept for longer.
  • Audit – when the auditors arrive, you need to quickly show them information.
  • Time – often IT and Legal staff have no time to see what data resides on the company server.

Why this Causes a Problem

Ways-to-bring-legal-and-IT-together

Lawyers need the data to be kept for a certain amount of time whilst IT  are constantly trying to keep space free and reduce the amount of backed up data.

  • Data Volume. The push and pull from both sides will only get worse as the volume of data continues to grow.
  • Legal holds may require that copies of current mailboxes and messages on backups need to be recovered and placed in a separate, protected location.
  • While the policy debate goes on, the mass of messages in the email server continue to grow and cause long backup times, potential for longer recovery times, and reduce reliability.
  • Office 365 and Cloud – End users have the power to delete emails with what could be critical information for the company.

The solution

  • Adopt clear internal retention policies dictated by Legal.
  • Enforce retention policies by using an easy to use and powerful Retention Management solution.
  • IT will then make deletions when requested. Legal will tell them the best time to do so.
  • Policies need to be communicated between departments as clearly as possible so the company becomes compliant.
  • Educate end users to not destroy email records and tracking responses to the notices (litigation hold).

MailMeter Retention Manager Benefits

  • Have your key business divisions “singing from the same hymn sheet”
  • Enforce email retention policies
  • Protect against accidental deletion
  • Prevent wilful destruction of email
  • Remove the Office 365 and Cloud problem of end user deletion
  • Meet regulatory requirements
  • Pass Audits with confidence