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November 20, 2009

Hosted E-Mail Archiving: Complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Part 5 of 10)

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor


Editor’s Note: In its 10-part series highlighting governmental rules and regulations associated with the management and storage of electronic communications, TMCnet recently published a story about the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a law that shifts the rules of discovery in legal proceeding to focus on procedures that will streamline evidence presentation. This week, TMCnet highlights the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, an act designed to protect stockholders and the public from accounting fraud and other inappropriate business practices. The story below describes how 123Together.com, a leading provider of hosted business services, can help clients deploy its GuardDoc Hosted E-mail Archiving Solution to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.
 
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act, was enacted in response to a growing number of high profile corporate and accounting scandals. It imposes stringent penalties on publicly traded companies and public accounting firms, as well as their accountants and attorneys. It regulates the integrity, storage and oversight of electronic communications, particularly e-mail, to prevent stockholders or the general public from being defrauded by the corporation. Corporate IT and financial departments are the two groups which come under the most scrutiny by this regulation. 
 
The act consists of 11 sections, which outline specific requirements for financial reporting. Specifically, the act contains four regulations associated with the management of electronic data. They include:
 
* Strict Fines: Employees can face up to a $1 million fine or up to 20 years in prison for those found destroying, altering, mutilating, or concealing electronic documents needed during an official investigation.
 
* Accountability: CEOs and Chief Financial Officers must certify and accept accountability for their company’s record retention policies and financial reports.
 
* Certification: The act mandates auditors to certify that the controls and processes used to assemble a company’s financial information are in place. E-mail, for example, plays a key role in achieving this certification.
 
* Maintenance: Companies are required to maintain documents, including e-mails, for potential review or audit for seven years.
 
Under Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, IT departments must store and maintain electronic records and, as e-mail is the most widely used means of communication, more and more IT departments are now adopting e-mail archiving solutions. 
 
123Together.com’s (News - Alert) hosted GuardDoc e-mail archiving service enables companies to quickly and painlessly comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The service securely captures, indexes and stores multiple copies of auditable e-mail, helping businesses quickly retrieve messages through the company’s Web-based search and discovery interface.
 
In addition, the GuardDoc service can be set up in minutes from any Internet-enabled computer. Users can store an unlimited amount of e-mail for a nominal, monthly fee and have access to around-the-clock technical support.
 
Customers that sign up for 123Together.com’s GuardDoc hosted e-mail archiving service before the end of November will pay only $3 per user per month. A no obligation, 30-day trial is available on the 123Together.com Web site. 


Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney




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