So, you’ve decided to move your on premise email system to Office 365/Exchange Online for cost savings, higher security, and scalability. However, before you begin the migration, a question you should ask is; does my organization journal email for compliance, legal, or business requirements? If your company does, then read on.
The Journaling function in “on premise” Microsoft Exchange email systems was originally developed back in the late 1990s for financial services organizations to meet SEC requirements. The main requirement consisted of capturing broker/dealer communications (emails) immediately, ensuring those emails could not have been altered or deleted before they were stored on immutable storage (WORM) per SEC 17 a-3 and a- 4 requirements. The SEC wanted to ensure that broker/dealer communications were available to review in an unaltered state if complaints were later filed against the financial services organization or individual broker/dealers. In fact, other companies adopted journaling for various reasons, mostly when under litigation hold to ensure target custodian email was captured and held thereby avoiding spoliation charges. However, the financial services industry was the only industry to really require it via government regulation.
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Are you familiar with the concept of Exchange Journal Data? Many are not so let me give you a quick refresher. Journaling has been a mainstay of the Exchange Server for many years. In fact, it was introduced in a Service Pack for Exchange 2000 and has been a feature ever since. Journaling is enabled per mailbox and sends a copy of every message sent or received to a designated storage location, in many cases an email archive.