In the early days of email, excited computer users embraced the new technology because of the freedom it entailed. You could say anything you wanted about any topic, at any length, and fire away. But once the world realized that all those messages would live on in perpetuity, the need to protect the security and integrity of this most basic of all online communications became more prevalent.
Today, that need is even more critical. If your company is ever sued, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that electronic communication subpoenaed as evidence be produced within 99 days. And depending on what industry you work in, government regulations might mandate more specific protocols.
In the healthcare industry, any email containing Protected Health Information (PHI) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) must be protected; in the finance industry, compliance officers are required to scan emails for keywords like “guarantee,” “100%,” and “definitely.” In the real estate industry, the new Truth in Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (TILA-RESPA) rules went into effect in October regulating how non-public information (NPI) included on mortgage application disclosure forms can be shared. And in the legal industry, emails must be archived for years.
Managing the IT stresses of such rules and requirements can be onerous for small to medium-sized businesses, which are regularly pressed for time and precious resources. That’s why robust email services are so critical, especially if they cover all the bases like rapid access, discovery, archiving, and recovery.
In addition, since electronic communications are the lifeblood of most businesses, a comprehensive email solution should also include:
1) Necessary encryption to protect information from disclosure. This does more than just satisfy you and your clients’ need for privacy—it also keeps you in line with federal and state regulations while, if followed properly, also shielding you from potential penalties or legal action.
2) Automated administrative processes to pre-screen communications. Because basic content filters can’t catch everything—and even if they could, they’re probably not well versed in the languages of specific industries.
3) Evolving functionality to meet mobility needs. Employees of small to medium-sized businesses now average three devices per person. It takes a fresh approach to satisfy those needs so that your staff can stay connected, any time and anywhere, while still maintaining necessary security levels.
4) Robust archiving and search functionality to satisfy compliance audits. Some practices can be audited or subpoenaed on a regular basis, requiring that any email sent in a certain time period must be produced upon demand. That means your email must be protected, encrypted, archived, and searchable.
Worried that your email isn’t as safe as it should be, especially when it comes to state, federal, and industry regulations? Contact CMIT Solutions today—we understand how critical electronic communications are and we go above and beyond to keep them secure and accessible.