April 14, 2017There’s an affliction infecting corporate counsels, compliance officers, and IT teams. It’s called Archivalgia or, more colloquially, “Pain in the Archive.” Left unchecked, Archivalgia can do a world of damage. As with most diseases, recognizing the symptoms is crucial to treating the problem. Unfortunately, these symptoms are often mistaken for signs of other ailments. Here’s what to watch for:
ROI Vertigo – the dizziness that occurs when costs overtake benefits – is both the hardest symptom to detect and the most damaging. Look for recurring costs that come with running archaic on-premises archiving platforms: frequent software upgrades, disruptive hardware refreshes, and painful storage expansions. Watch out for labor-intensive administration too. When the time spent maintaining your archiving solution eats into time you should be spending innovating or building competitive differentiation, seek professional help.
Mobility problems – usually caused by aging legacy platforms, but increasingly caused by poorly-designed cloud offerings – constrain workflows or reduce productivity. In today’s iPhone and Android-enabled business world, a mobile workforce is a healthy, productive workforce. Email is your organization’s lifeblood, the essence of insight, collaboration, and process efficiency. Anytime, anywhere access to email archives facilitates a healthy circulation of ideas and fewer tickets for your busy IT admins.
Where productivity is concerned, search speed goes hand-in-hand with mobility. If you’re search administrators or your end users experience search times in hours or even days, more serious problems could soon follow. These include weak responses to legal challenges, compliance audit fatigue, and a rash of trouble tickets.
Speaking of poor responses, it’s time we all got past the stigma of e-discovery dysfunction. While E-Discovery Dysfunction (EDD is nobody’s idea of a good time, neither is it a personal failing or evidence of a mid-career crisis. Aging archiving platforms often cause e-discovery searches to peter out under legal or compliance pressures. Thankfully, modern science can help. The right archiving platform – developed and optimized for the cloud – can restore youthful e-discovery vigor, and satisfy business partners both upstream and down.
Also known as IAS, Irritable Admin Syndrome is the number one complaint among organizations suffering from Archivalgia. The trouble is that IAS can be caused by several different underlying ailments (including Persistent Irascible Temperament Ailment, or PITA). Given the rampant spread of Archivalgia, however, business health experts recommend that all organizations experiencing IAS review their archiving operations as soon as possible, to avoid permanent damage.
Obsolete architectures, resource silos, and development dead-ends are all leading causes of pain in the archive. Don’t hesitate to seek true cloud archiving relief should any of these symptoms arise.
Download The Changing Shape of Enterprise Information Archiving video, featuring Alan Dayley, a Research Director covering information governance, archiving, and storage management software at Gartner, as well as yours truly, the video looks at Enterprise Information Archiving, its past, and the factors shaping its future.
February 22, 2017Crippling financial penalties and strict new privacy rules have grabbed most of the EU General Data Protection Act (GDPR) headlines so far. This is no surprise, given the sweeping nature of the act, but ahead of the May 2018 implementation date, it’s important to look at some of the more detailed compliance requirements, especially for email.
A key tenet of the GDPR – that organizations must respond in a timely manner to Subject Access Requests (SARs), inquiries from EU residents about the location and processing of their personal data, as well as to requests that it be erased – will likely force a sea-change in how organizations manage all data, personal or otherwise.
In the meantime, little’s been said about the challenges of overhauling privacy in the current era of phishing and ransomware. The two developments – growing regulatory burdens and the increasingly volatile threat landscape – put organizations in a double bind. The GDPR emerged in part as a response to the growing cybercrime threat, yet its directives to retool organizational policies, processes and structures stand to compound the burdens of well-intentioned organizations.
To manage the dual risks of GDPR compliance and cybercrime, you need to focus on email security and governance. Here are some guidelines for formulating such a strategy:
Review your email infrastructure
Over 90 percent of phishing cybercrime exploits begin with email, making it the single biggest threat vector to organizations and the data they manage. Furthermore, not only are emails a common vehicle to share and exchange personal data, email servers are prime repositories for such data as names, email addresses and associated contact information.
Managing GDPR risk starts with securing your data and infrastructure against the litany of email threats mentioned above.
Implement strong search and e-discovery
To suit GDPR mandates for reporting on and deleting personal data upon request, your email infrastructure needs to streamline search and e-discovery. A robust complement of case management tools – early case assessment, search and saved search, legal hold application, retention adjustments, and export, to name a few – will also expedite your ability to respond effectively to requests.
Educate and inform your mailbox holders
One careless click can undermine even the most capable security or governance infrastructure. This makes social engineering exploits such as phishing and impersonation attacks so devastatingly effective. A well-informed workforce is an essential component of an effective GDPR compliance strategy. Every user in your domain must be vigilant against the onslaught of email-based attacks, and play a vital role in notifying your Data Protection Officer (DPO) of any suspected privacy breaches.
Bear in mind that the guidance above addresses compliance issues related specifically to email. To manage GDPR, you’ll need to transform your privacy and governance operations wherever personal data is stored or processed: customer records, databases, CRM systems, and ERP platforms, etc. But chances are good you’ve already considered these repositories; it’s email that’s often overlooked in the compliance conversation. In reality, nearly all email servers and archives contain personal data.
No matter where your organization is based, if you manage or process personal data associated with EU residents, you will be impacted by the GDPR. Managing against GDPR penalties involves securing and tightly controlling your email servers and archives. The countdown to prepare has begun.
To help inform your journey to GDPR compliance, download the Osterman Research White Paper, GDPR Compliance and its Impact on Security and Data Protection Programs.
Is your archiving solution out of date?Can we be honest? Most email archiving platforms in use today are obsolete. The way we use email today has completely changed, and these platforms no longer do what you need them to do.
Archiving solutions need to preserve data and simplify search and e-discovery. Most archiving platforms use the familiar on-premises architecture based on software, server and storage. Like most on-premises architectures, there’s a disaster recovery layer, usually a backup-and-recovery platform.
This architecture was designed in the early 1990s. At the time, the World Wide Web was in its infancy. Payphones were everywhere. And email was a text-based store-and-forward messaging medium.
Today’s email is everything and everywhere
Fast-forward to 2017: what does the world look like now? First, email has far surpassed phone as the primary business communication medium. The average user sends and receives over 122 emails each day. Second: mobility. BYOD is our new normal. And third: 86% of workers recently surveyed say they use email to share files.
Email is a collaboration tool, a workflow tool, and a file management system.
You can probably see where I’m going with this, right? So many of us are vainly trying to force 2017 email into a 1990s archiving architecture. This makes archiving costly and labor-intensive. It requires constant software upgrades, hardware refreshes, and storage expansions.
What about search and e-discovery? These take forever, bogged down by the deluge of messages and attachments that this architecture never set out to address.
Mobility? Nope. Not in the original scope.
The remedy: true cloud archiving
Here’s what you need archive effectively in a today’s email-dominated business world: an independent, immutable cloud archive layer. One that leverages true cloud scale and cloud economy. With dedicated resources for threat scanning, applying retention policies, running search and e-discovery, and all the other specialized archiving functions.
Now what do you get? Excellent cost profile. Excellent search – average completion times under 2 seconds and a 7-second SLA. And mobility by design, with native apps for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows Phone.
A secure, cloud-based archive that’s separate and independent from production email.
What’s the bottom line? One of our customers, a large retailer, tells us they save $70K annually in TCO compared to their previous archiving platform, and 15% in the time they need for email maintenance. And – something you likely won’t hear about from other archiving solutions – a law firm reports a 66% improvement in end-user productivity. This firm requires all of its attorneys and support staff to run Mimecast on their desktops and their smartphones.
These are the reasons you need Mimecast archiving to properly manage email, the single most essential resource you rely upon.
The question remains: where are you in your archiving journey? Download your complimentr copy of the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving report.
December 7, 2016We’re honored and humbled by Gartner’s recognition of Mimecast Cloud Archiving in its 2016 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving. With this year’s recognition, Mimecast has been named as a Leader for the second year in a row.
Moreover, for the first time, we placed highest within the Leader Quadrant for both Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision. This momentous recognition offers an occasion for reflection on the nature of information archiving and our place in the market.
A Breakaway Moment
The range of archiving use cases we now help you address has multiplied as well, from regulatory compliance and legal risk mitigation to end-user enablement, mailbox management, and layered protection against the scourge of ransomware.Thanks in part to this transformation, we at Mimecast find ourselves in our own, corporate breakaway moment. We’ve grown rapidly on the heels of last year’s IPO. We continue to innovate aggressively on our platform and across the customer experience.Gartner’s EIA Magic Quadrant report sheds light on a breakaway moment. The state of archiving has clearly morphed. Freed from the confines of costly and labor-intensive premises-based infrastructures, today’s cloud-based solutions offer streamlined administration, fast search performance, and end-user value, in addition to affordability.
Finally, businesses and organizations now face their own breakaway opportunities, applying next-generation archiving technologies to master today’s myriad business challenges.
Documenting an Archiving Inflection Point
Like other recent analyst research reports, Gartner’s latest EIA MQ installment bravely captures a transition point in the fast-evolving archiving market. As I noted in an earlier post, the current roster of cloud archiving vendors have gotten here via a diversity of paths, including social media, search engine, backup-and-recovery, and enterprise content management (ECM), among others.
What brings us together? Three major business trends:
- Email’s primacy as a business resource
- More rigorous compliance requirements
- Increasing exposure to costly litigation
This lends the EIA market a “gene pool” that’s remarkably rich, which is both good and bad for businesses and organizations that seek the archiving solution best suited to their particular needs. Good in the sense that, no matter the set of use cases you seek to fulfill, the chance that the right solution is out there is quite high. Bad in the sense that finding that right solution can be challenging.
In this context, we applaud the work of Gartner. Gartner’s systematic assessments of vendors’ specific capabilities and strengths – and, by extension, these vendors’ long-term viability as solution partners – is invaluable for organizations who need to fully leverage technology while minimizing investment risk.
All Due Appreciation
On behalf of everyone on the global Mimecast team, I’d like to extend our deepest appreciation to the archiving analyst team at Gartner. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with you, into 2017 and beyond.
Special thanks to our customers, especially those who took the time to talk to Gartner analysts about your experiences before and after you began archiving with us. There’s nothing we appreciate more than your willingness to share your ideas with us and with the larger community.
Finally, thanks and kudos to my Mimecast teammates around the world! This recognition belongs to you. It’s a great mile marker in the wake of another big milestone, our one-year anniversary as a public company.