E-mail audits can sound alarm

It doesn’t take a corporate collapse to expose a non-compliant, poorly managed e-mail system – a simple audit will do it.

However, e-mail management solutions provider Zantaz Inc. is using disasters such as the massive trading losses at National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) as an example of what not to do, after a PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP report revealed e-mail exchanges exposed fraudulent trades and the deletion of 1,400 e-mails by a single trader.

Craig Olsen, Zantaz’s marketing vice president, believes NAB could have moved more quickly to stem losses by managing e-mail more effectively.

“By being pro-active with e-mail, often businesses can catch something early in the game and respond much more quickly,” Olsen said. “It also allows companies to understand where problems may have arisen by going back over communication channels.”

The rapid ascendance of e-mail as a means of negotiation and trading means traditional checks and balances are bypassed each minute in some organizations. As a result robust e-mail systems can be critical in some organizations, but their management is becoming more complex.

SecureData Group managing director Evan Penn believes that directors and senior managers in large organizations are often unaware of the extent to which their business viability rests on the integrity of e-mail and other forms of electronic document exchange.

“It is no longer enough just to store e-mails for possible future use. The speed of business equates to the speed of e-mail,” Penn said. “If you do not have an adequate e-mail management system in place, it is likely that you do not know what is going on in your company.”

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