• United States

Attachment mgmt., compliance are compatible, vendor says

Mar 16, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Accellion weighs in on question of attachment management and compliance

A vendor of attachment management products took exception with a recent newsletter. While noting the growing interest in attachment management, I also gave several reasons it might be incompatible with archiving for compliance.

The vendor, Accellion (and, in the interest of full disclosure, a client of Osterman Research) disagreed, saying its attachment management and compliance-based archiving are not mutually exclusive.

Accellion’s system includes a digital signature for every attachment, a signature that gets imprinted in the e-mail that contained the attachment. Generated using open standards-based algorithms, the signature can be used at a later date to verify that an archived attachment contains the same content as the original attachment that was included in an e-mail message. Further, because some compliance procedures require that e-mail and its attachments be written to a CD-ROM, Accellion’s system allows a compliance officer to recover all e-mail that matches certain search criteria and extract their corresponding attachments from an archive, and then produce a CD-ROM that contains both the e-mail and the attachments.

It is important to note that most industries do not face as intense a regulatory environment as, for example, broker-dealers that must satisfy Securities and Exchange Commission and National Association of Securities Dealers requirements for e-mail retention and examination. However, in the wake of Sarbanes-Oxley and greater government scrutiny of business practices in general, compliance will become a more important issue for businesses that operate outside of financial services. Therefore, understanding storage management and related issues – including their impact on compliance requirements – will become much more important than it is today.