How the GDPR affects Email Governance

AnubisNetworks By AnubisNetworks • September 29, 2021

If you’re worried about how the GDPR will affect your email retention, consider how email
archiving solutions can help you stay compliant while also mitigating the risk of losing
important personal data due to human error and malicious attacks.

GDPR is a regulation created to protect the data and privacy of European Union citizens. If you do not
comply with GDPR for email governance, you may face hefty fines for non-compliance.
GDPR requires businesses to be transparent about how they collect and store personal
information from customers or clients. 

You can look at GDPR from two angles:

  1. Customers and citizens interacting with organizations (you and me, who don't want their data lying around for decades),
  2. Corporate businesses, which are legally responsible for storing their own information - some cases up to 10 years - but need to secure it in a way they will not have data leakage issues nor data stored beyond what's regulated (GDPR can severely hit companies that did not do everything in their power to secure their data!)

The GDPR and Corporate Email Retention

If it is true that the corporate emails belong to businesses (including employees' business emails).  In some cases, these businesses are responsible for creating the emails (authoring). In other cases, they were given emails by other entities (when they accept the emails). In either case, law determines mandatory retention of certain types of these emails.

The GDPR states that personal data can be kept in a form that allows an individual to be identified
for no longer than is necessary to accomplish the purpose for which personal data were
collected or processed.


The problem with 3rd party relationships

There's more than just regulation. A breach is a system of a third party entity working with a business may reveal the emails that that business has exchanged. With obvious effects on Brand damage, Private information exposure, and so on.


Email Archiving to Achieve Compliance

Because the legislation was created to protect private data, the best practice would be to
archive email data securely and prevent unauthorized access and data loss. Your email
archiving solution should have role-based controls allowing only authorized individuals to
access the data; it should be easy for them to find, recover, and delete emails quickly.
An email archiving solution offers other benefits beyond maintaining compliance with GDPR
legislation with your EU union clients and customers. An email archiving solution also helps
mitigate the risk of losing important data due to human error or malicious attacks. Other
advantages of email archiving include increased server performance, simplified data backup
and restoration, and reduced storage requirements. Most archiving solutions provide essential
functions to search and retrieve data; advanced solutions will allow you to search by email,
name, and other criteria, accelerating your search capabilities. 


In Summary

An organization must ensure it is properly storing emails, and that these are accessible under special circumstances. As important, and organization must establish policies that prevent or mitigate the impact caused by a breach in either own system or a third party system.


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