The Bitter Truth: Why your legacy data archiving solution is bound to let you down

You’ve put a lot of trust in your legacy file archiving solution. And back in the day, it was worthy of it. But your old system isn’t trustworthy in a changing landscape that includes new regulations about data protection and privacy, sneaky cyberthugs, and additional legal requirements for digital data.

Let’s review the ways archive data solutions can let us down.

1. Security Gaps. Everyone has to protect data archives from cybercriminals, especially healthcare organizations and law firms. “Law firms have become increasing targets of hackers. It is important for a law firm regardless of size to look at its data archiving solution,” notes Butler Rubin attorney Dan Cotter. “One major challenge of legacy systems is that they present opportunities for potential hackers to gain access for a number of reasons, including the solution – if off the shelf – likely is no longer supported by the vendor and so vulnerabilities are not patched.” This can be true even if the file archiving solution was custom-built for the firm, he adds.

Pro Tip: “Make sure archived files are not part of the law firm’s live network, and segregate these systems,” Cotter suggests. 

2. Compliance Violations. Anyone gathering and storing financial data, PHI or PII must be able to show proper handling to meet regulatory requirements. For example, healthcare organizations must be able to show that this data was scrubbed from mobile, Exchange and other emails by the archive software. And don’t forget the fact that GDPR puts strict new requirements on organizations that handle EU residents’ personal data, regardless of where in the world the organization is based.

3. Bottlenecks. Most legacy file archiving software is used only by a handful of staffers, which creates pinch points and competing priorities. Newer options democratize archiving and accessing to streamline collaboration and requests. Tagging and saved search capabilities make it easier for team members to do their own work instead of sending a support ticket and crossing their fingers while the clock ticks away. This is particularly valuable when documents are requested for compliance reports or e-discovery.“Delayed responses to client requests are not preferred ever, but delayed responses to court requests are licenses for sanctions and even worse problems,” warns Robert Hanna, a partner at Tucker Ellis LLP.

4. Visibility. Being able to prove chain of custody and log every operation performed on a bit of data is crucial, especially for e-discovery. But many legacy email archives can’t deliver this robust a level of information.

5. Data Assurance. Older on-premises email archiving may be – at worst – vulnerable to a single point of failure – or simply not provide enough data assurance to minimize downtime and maximize resilience. “If you expect an archive to fail, you build in a redundancy to duplicate it elsewhere – typically offsite,” says Robert Douglas, president of PlanetMagpie IT Consulting. “This doubles your archiving routine’s effectiveness.”

Pro Tip: Create redundancy with cloud archiving. This is an affordable way to provide a geographically dispersed, always accessible archive that supports fast data recovery and reduces business impacts.

 

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