Email Archiving vs. Email Backup
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Email Archiving vs. Email Backup

We can agree that emails are an inconsequential part of business operations today. Most if not all organizations heavily depend on email communication to achieve goals such as customer retention, customer loyalty, sales revenue goals, etc.

Users today categorize their emails using different factors. For example, their importance, the content of the email, source, among others. Usually, users will have a spam folder where all junk mail is directed. The bulk of their mailbox however is normal emails that entail basic communication essential to the day to day running of the company and what they consider as important or critical emails.

What do you consider as critical emails?

An email is considered critical if losing such emails directly affects business continuity. Critical emails can include email communication with suppliers, clients, banks, etc. that have important documents attached to them. A smart organization would want to preserve these critical emails using a backup strategy for various reasons.

Why backup critical emails?

  • Comply with statutory regulations on data retention and data security
  • Guarantees litigation support when your business is involved in a legal proceeding
  • Improve business productivity by leveraging insights provided from preserved email communication
  • Achieve organization memory retention that can be use\ful when hiring new employees. Retrieved emails can help new employees familiarize with customer history
  • Enhance business continuity and disaster recovery planning when email archiving becomes part of the organization’s disaster recovery plan

Backing up emails prevents loss of data

Businesses back up emails to prevent loss of data that can be caused by;

  • Unintentional and intentional deletion of emails
  • System or application failure for example crashing of a mail server
  • Malware infections that can be facilitated through malicious emails such as phishing scams

When choosing how to back up critical emails, organizations are faced with a rather simple decision, to manually back up emails using email backup or to back up emails offsite using cloud-based email archiving.

Email backup

This is a copy of your email data that can be restored in case the original data is deleted or corrupted. It is more suited for short-term retention. It takes place outside of working hours to minimize user and server impact. In addition, the data usually requires to be retrieved in a timely manner should the need arise which is best for normal day to day business email communication.

You can also use your email client e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird to create a local copy or by using add-ons such as Dropmysite, which is a continuous offsite backup system.

Finally, you can use email forwarders, which send a copy of every e-mail received to another email address to create a continuous backup of all emails received.

The pitfalls of email backup

Backing up your email server does not replace a proper email archiving system in any way. A backup can only back up your emails over a limited period of time and allow you to restore it if necessary.

  • Emails can be deleted from your backup media thereby negating the purpose of backing up.
  • It does not prevent data loss because it is not automatic. This means that emails deleted or lost prior to initiating backup will not be backed up.
  • Being manual and subject to human intervention, those charged with backing up critical emails at the end of a business day are prone to forgetfulness and errors

Cloud Email Archiving

Storage on the cloud

Email archiving is moving important (but rarely used) data to a separate storage device. An email archive system keeps all messages and attachments in an unmodified format with the capability to easily search for specific messages, which is necessary for regulatory and legal examination.

Cloud-based email archiving is an offsite automatic service. This means that all original inbound and outbound emails and all metadata are automatically pushed to the cloud before reaching your mailbox. This protects your email data from intentional/unintentional deletion or loss. Once in the archive, archived emails can be stored for a minimum of 7 years. Archived emails cannot be deleted as the email archive only allows users to search through and retrieve stored emails.

So, to sum up, archiving is for important documents, has search functions to quickly find specific emails, data cannot be modified once archived (hence security and data integrity), and can run automatically and concurrently with other backups.

Benefits of email archiving

  1. Free up your mailbox space by archiving important but rarely accessed emails
  2. It is an automatic archival process that requires no human intervention
  3. It is an easy to use web interface
  4. You can backup old emails that were present prior deployment of your email archival system
  5. Virus checking and spam filtering to prevent archiving of spam emails
  6. Default retention period of 7 and a half years
  7. Reduced consumption of on-premise email data storage size
  8. All emails are archived and stored in an encrypted state on a secure cloud platform
  9. Seamless integration with your current system such as mail servers
  10. Contributes to business continuity and disaster recovery planning


Email Backup vs. Cloud Email Archiving

Email archiving is the disaster recovery of email. Backing up emails, whether to a laptop, server or any other infrastructure can become a complicated and expensive process as email data continues to grow.

Just like data backup, email backup does not guarantee email continuity in that it is not an automated process. This means that emails deleted or lost prior to initiating backup will not be backed up. Employees or users can also easily access your email backups and tamper with stored emails intentionally or unintentionally.

Pepea Email Archiving

Pepea Email Archiving simplifies email retention by providing you with an affordable and easy to use email storage solution that ensures the preservation of important email for future references, and record-keeping in case of email loss. Our email archival process ensures that all incoming and outgoing emails are automatically archived hence eliminating the cost of data theft, loss, intentional or unintentional deletion.

Your administrators can restore lost emails, take advantage of search tools, and protect vital emails — without extra software or expensive hardware.

Secure email archiving is part of our all in one cloud-based subscription service that is specially designed for businesses to;

  • reduce costs
  • simplify email and data management
  • protect your organization from email-borne threats and consequently data loss.

If data permanence is a priority for your organization, get in touch with us at or visit our website for more information on Pepea Email Archiving.

More resources from Pepea

  1. The Full Package for Business Email and Collaboration
  2. The Full Armor of Business Email Security
  3. Pepea Email vs. G Suite vs. Microsoft Office 365
  4. The Threat of Email Spoofing and Phishing Emails
  5. Types of Spam Emails and Common Types of Malware Spread via Spam
  6. Setting up, managing and securing your remote workforce