Have you ever wondered where email really goes when it is stored in the “cloud” or better yet how you would retrieve specific messages or mailboxes if needed for email discovery purposes? Do you know if your company still technically owns the emails stored in the cloud and in either case, do you still have the same ability to access the data you need, if there is a mandate? If so, does it cost extra? If the cloud provider offers these services, how does the process work, and how do you know it is accurate? What search and export tools do they use to get you the information you are requesting? Are you able to search and export the data yourself, or do you need to just “trust” that you will get all the email requested?
I’m sure if your company is researching moving email to the cloud, or already has pulled the trigger on moving it, these questions have all been answered to your satisfaction and have been added into the contract with the cloud vendor. If they haven’t, then they should. If you are in the process of moving email data to the cloud, these questions should be top of mind, regardless of your company type. No company is exempt from litigation.
Based on an article from the Information Law group titled, “Legal Implications of Cloud Computing” , it is important that your company understand if they have the practical ability, contractual or other legal right to obtain the information stored in the Cloud. Just because the data stored in the Cloud is not in your physical possession, or in the United States, does not generally limit your duty to produce the information. For example: IN RE NTL, INC. SECURITIES LITIGATION
There are solutions on the market that can assist with discovery of email, allowing you to control your search criteria, format and timeframe to deliver messages. Quest Recovery Manager for Exchange makes discovering and exporting business-critical email data fast and easy – with no need for a dedicated recovery server. From a single console, you can find and retrieve message-level data in minutes from multiple sources including the Cloud. You can use intelligent search based on sender, recipient, date, attachment type, subject, message keyword or attachment keyword and compare the contents of an online mailbox with a backup mailbox to identify any differences. After the search, Recovery Manager can export the results in a variety of formats to facilitate email discovery requests.
These decisions affect your entire company so know your rights and make sure you understand your legal obligations beforehand.