Microsoft is reducing recovery time periods for inactive mailboxes down to 30 days. This affects inactive mailboxes newly released from retention holds and policies, whose recovery window is being reduced from 183 days – the change coming into effect by the end of September. This may change how companies treat their inactive mailboxes and how they approach retrieving necessary or critical data.
Inactive mailboxes, as discussed by office365pros, are mailboxes that have their associated Azure AD account hard-deleted while falling under a retention policy or retention hold. They become hidden from user view – however, they are still online, indexed, and made available for eDiscovery. Inactive mailboxes do not require a license, and last as long as the longest-lasting hold retaining their data.
In this way, inactive mailboxes solve the question of releasing the license of an Exchange Online user without removing the content. Microsoft includes a step-by-step procedure in their documentation explaining how it is possible to set up a mailbox to be inactive. The process involves taking the mailbox and applying an active retention hold or retention policy. The mailbox contents are kept accessible for the purposes of eDiscovery or other legal requirements.
After the retention period or specific retention hold expires, the inactive mailbox enters a recovery period, the length of which Microsoft has now contracted to 30 days after the retention period expired. Within these thirty days, it is possible to recover the inactive mailbox (in other words, make it active once again). With this step, it will require a new license from Microsoft.
How can you keep your mailboxes secure and accessible?
This change does not need to have a major impact on your company; there are a number of steps that can be taken to mitigate the results of Microsoft’s decision. First among these is that, as touched on in Microsoft’s documentation, there is no upper limit on how long a mailbox can be retained in an inactive state. This allows companies to take their time in identifying any critical data stored on the mailbox that needs to be recovered, despite Microsoft reducing the recovery time itself. This documentation includes instructions on how one can search or restore their inactive mailboxes.
But the ideal option if you are concerned about your critical data is to look past inactive mailboxes and choose a more flexible long-term solution; archiving mailboxes makes keeping critical data safe in the long-term trivial, while also ensuring it is accessible for all users with the permissions to work with the data within. While Microsoft Exchange inactive mailboxes are specifically intended for the purpose of fulfilling eDiscovery and legal frameworks, they are not flexible enough to meet the needs of your users. Any requirements connected to identifying and retrieving data critical to your business are also inaccessible by individual users. If you need to search for an important information you have to take multiple steps, complicating the process and losing productivity.
contentACCESS provides complex archiving for your active and inactive mailboxes
The solution to all of your business’ needs is contentACCESS archive and backup. Don’t concern yourself with Microsoft’s new restrictions and limited features anymore. Keep your business data security as high as ever. Our contentACCESS archive gives your company access to features, possibilities and advantages that you will appreciate for your business. With contentACCESS e-mail archive, your employees can continue to work with inactive mailboxes without renewing the license.
If your former colleague had important business data in old e-mails and that have already been archived, you can designate permissions for this mailbox to his successor; while it still counts as inactive at Microsoft, it remains fully available in the contentACCESS e-mail archive. Thanks to our powerful full-text search option, you will be able to identify the relevant emails, retrieve their attachments and continue working with the data. This easy access requires no recovery – both inactive and active inboxes remain accessible while they continue to be stored and backed up in our archive. Your company can continue to work with this archived data while remaining secured from outside manipulation or damage.
Archive your emails with contentACCESS
TECH-ARROW’s contentACCESS is here to meet all your email retention or other archiving needs. As Microsoft continues to make changes to their existing services, including reductions in their recovery period and the phasing out of Basic Authentication, companies should consider how likely future changes are to impact their business.
With contentACCESS archive and backup you gain many advantages for your business security and disaster recovery: In the event of cybersecurity breaches or concerns, it is also possible to selectively reset data from the archive to replace compromised data. In short, we can offer easy access, reliable and fast search, regulatory compliance, and backup or restore options – all in our contentACCESS archive and backup for Microsoft 365.
If you are interested in ensuring your business continuity and would like to hear more about our archive and backup solution, contact our team for a free consultation. Our specialists will gladly schedule a consultation to show you our system live, and demonstrate how it can move your company forward to a better and more secure future.
Take the best steps to protect your data – with TECH-ARROW.