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Five Bad Archiving Habits to Kick Before GDPR

Networking & security Data centre and private cloud

Mimecast fix archiving habits to fix before gdpr 01

The security and accessibility of email data has never been under more scrutiny. Almost all corporate email systems – including ever-growing archives - harbour personal and 'sensitive personal data' as defined by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

This translates to data breaches that may result in major fines and organisations will need to be able to quickly identify data pertaining to individuals.


But according to new global data from Mimecast and Vanson Bourne*, 88 percent of organisations reported that they have experienced problems with their existing archiving. Nearly 60 percent cite administrative complexity as a top challenge, while 48 percent experience a lack of scalability. Another 56 percent are plagued by slow search performance.

Here are five bad habits that need addressing when preparing your email archives for GDPR compliance:

1. Underestimating the importance of e-discovery

 Inefficient search is more than just frustrating. It can impact your ability to quickly respond to legal enquiries, and prevent you from meeting regulatory compliance obligations and external requests, like Subject Access Requests (SARs) and Right to be Forgotten (RTFB) requests. This is a concern for 84 percent of organisations surveyed. Perhaps because of the legal, regulatory and financial consequences, 44 percent of organisations are not totally confident in their current e-discovery capabilities.

2. Ignoring upgrades.

Haven’t upgraded your archiving solution lately? You’re not alone. On average, most organisations last updated their email archive two years ago. And only 38 percent have upgraded it in the last year. Ignoring updates means missing out on critical patches and bug fixes, which can constrain performance,  reduce efficiency and make you vulnerable to cyber attacks.

3. Settling for “Good Enough” search.

When you perform a search, you likely expect fast results – and you probably expect to find what you’re looking for in one attempt. Unfortunately, the magic number when it comes to archive search is “five”: on average, users have to run five searches per query, and only five percent actually find what they need. It gets worse. 50 percent say these search queries take longer than five minutes each, with 20 percent reporting search completion times up to ten minutes. 

4. Not planning for downtime.

Uninterrupted access to email and archives during server downtime is a win-win for everyone: lines of communication stay open, productivity remains high, and disruption after a cyberattack remains low. That is why 91 percent of organizations say that in the event of system downtime or failure, they would want uninterrupted access to their email. Unfortunately, one-third say this isn’t currently possible. 

5. Storing your data in one place.

Incidents like technical failure, human error and cyberattacks happen – and without sufficient backup and recovery in place, they can destroy your data. One corrupt email, one mistaken “delete,” or one phishing attack is all it takes to wipe out your entire corporate memory. Yet only 50 percent of organizations can recover all their data after one of these incidents occur, and a further 47 percent say they can recover only some of their data.

Get your email archiving in order

If you would like to explore email backup and archiving solutions, speak with your Softcat account manager or contact us using the button below.

We're also hosting a webinar, Understanding GDPR, if you'd like to sign up or find out more, please click  here.