With more transactions taking place electronically, businesses need a way to keep track of their communications to help in the event of a dispute. In the past, you could simply grab the necessary paperwork from your filing cabinet, and the case could be resolved.
But now that we rely on email for buyer-seller discussions, there are a couple of problems. Not least the ease with which emails and documents can be deleted. With the relevant message gone, how can you prove which party is correct?
Some industries – legal and finance for instance – require businesses to keep highly accurate records of all their dealings. Losing and deleting creates a compliance problem, with serious legal and financial ramifications. For example, HMRC recommends keeping business records for at least 6 years. If you lose this data and HMRC needs it, you will be forced to recreate it.
Keeping email and document archives indefinitely is costly, both in terms of the physical storage required and the administrative overheads of running those systems. But for G Suite by Kimbley IT clients, there is a simple solution – Google Vault.
What does Google Vault do?
At the most basic level, Google Vault allows you to retain email messages and documents securely and for a period of your choosing. These messages are easily searchable and accessible, so you can refer to them whenever you need.
This is ideal for those situations where a member of staff leaves. Rather than keeping their mailbox open (a major security risk), you can refer to the copies stored in Google Vault whenever you want.
And just like Gmail, all of your messages are easily searchable, making it quick and easy to work through your archives. You can even save your Hangouts chats, ensuring every communications channel is protected.
How does Google Vault assist with compliance?
That’s all fairly straightforward, but Google Vault has been designed specifically to assist with strict compliance frameworks. Every email your employees send or receive and every file your employees create or save is automatically indexed and audited in Vault
This audit trail is then updated every time the data is accessed. You have a complete record of who did what with the data. Which is exactly the information your auditors will be looking for.
Making things easier for you
Google Vault uses intelligent rules to simplify the archiving process. From copying the data in your users’ mailboxes and Google Drive to defining how long the archived data is kept, Vault uses automation to make your job easier.
By applying retention rules, you can also automatically delete information that no longer needs to be held – for compliance reasons, or when it ceases to be of any value. Or keep it until a time and day of your choosing. If you decide to move away from Google Vault, all of your messages and files can be exported.
Not just for finance and legal firms
The ability to archive data and to record how it is used should be of interest to any business, not just those bound by complex compliance rules. Data is your most valuable asset (before your employees), so it should be protected as such.
The good news is that any existing Google Apps by Kimbley IT client on G Suite Business already has access to Google Vault. And if you are on G Suite Basic email you account manager for a simple upgrade.
If your business currently has zero or limited data archiving it is time you take a look at G Suite. Google's office alternative; which includes Google Vault at no extra cost.