Preserving official emails & documents with Office 365

To comply with industry regulations or internal policies, organizations want to preserve content for a certain period of time. With a preservation policy in Office 365, you can preserve content in sites, mailboxes, and public folders indefinitely or for a specific duration.

When content is subject to a preservation policy, people can continue to edit and work with the content as if nothing’s changed because the content’s preserved in place, in its original location. But if someone edits or deletes content that’s subject to the policy, a copy is saved to a secure location where it’s preserved while the policy is in effect.

Finally, some organizations may need to comply with rules defined by regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 17a-4, which requires that after a preservation policy is turned on, it cannot be turned off or made less restrictive. To meet this requirement, you can use Preservation Lock. After a policy’s been locked, no one—including the administrator—can turn off the policy or make it less restrictive.

If a person attempts to change or delete documents in a site that’s subject to a preservation policy, first the policy checks whether the content’s been changed since the policy was applied. If this is the first change since the preservation policy was applied, the policy copies the content to the Preservation Hold library, and then allows the person to change or delete the original content.

Preservation policy vs. eDiscovery holdWhile it’s true that both of these features hold documents, these features should not be confused because they serve different purposes:

  • If you need to preserve content as part of a retention requirement, use a preservation policy. For example, if you need to retain content for seven years as part of your retention plan, use a preservation policy.

 

  • If you need to hold content as part of a legal or eDiscovery requirement, use an eDiscovery hold. For example, if you need to hold content in specific locations as part of a legal request, use an eDiscovery hold. In eDiscovery, the content relevant to a case is typically sensitive or privileged, so different cases can be restricted to different members. Unlike a preservation policy, an eDiscovery hold cannot specify a time period – an eDiscovery hold is in effect until you turn it off or delete it. Also, an eDiscovery hold cannot be locked.

 

Locking a preservation policy

Some organizations may need to comply with rules defined by regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 17a-4, which requires that after a preservation policy is turned on, it cannot be turned off or made less restrictive.

With Preservation Lock, you can lock the policy so that no one—including the administrator—can turn off the policy or make it less restrictive.Therefore, before you lock a preservation policy, it’s critical that you understand your organization’s compliance requirements, and that you do not lock a policy until you are certain that it’s what you need.

Hooks Systems of Wilmington, NC has migrated hundreds of our clients to Office 365 and can assist you with all of your document retention needs.

Source-Microsoft Office 365