Magazine article Risk Management

Follow That E-Mail Trail

Magazine article Risk Management

Follow That E-Mail Trail

Article excerpt

The love-hate relationship between technology and risk management may have a new mediator. E-mail is a business necessity; if you do not have it yet, you will, soon. But it is lauded as both a communication boon and a risk management nightmare.

Consider for a moment that the average Wall Street brokerage e-mail in-boxes and out-boxes carry between 1.5 million and 5 million messages each week. Now consider that each message is discoverable in a court of law. Your company goes to court and now you have to figure out which ones you actually need.

Of course, the same dilemma exists with paper documents, only with digital, the solution is part of the product. Remember the powers of the electronic world: space-efficient storage, search capabilities and, most important, speed.

Boulder, Colorado-based iWitness, Inc., for example, offers e-mail management through what it refers to as the five stages of the document's life cycle--capture, record, preserve, present and destroy.

Simplified, it works like this: e-mail received by or sent to an employee is read for specific tag words. (That way what kind of sandwich accounting clerk Andy wants for lunch is not tagged for storage. …

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