Litigation Hold, In-Place Hold and eDiscovery in Office 365

It is often the case that companies will want to protect their email data from being deleted accidentally, or intentionally. Often there are legal requirements for all correspondence to be kept for a number of years.

Office 365 provides a couple of options to do this and also has a good search function to be used when looking for more specific items. The features below are available to all E3 licensed users.

  • Litigation Hold is used to preserve all items within a mailbox and can be configured with a time-based hold. It holds all data that is hard deleted in a hidden folder from the user.
  • eDiscovery is new in Exchange 2013 and Exchange Online and provides a far more flexible way to preserve data. You can configure query parameters that are time-based, on message type, keywords, senders or recipients. This can be configured on a per mailbox policy.
  • In-Place Hold is used in conjunction with eDiscovery. Once a search is complete you can choose to put all data matching the requirements on hold.

To view the data from eDiscovery you can copy the search results to a discovery mailbox and view them in the Outlook client. This provides a familiar way to access email data, contacts, tasks and calendar information and also allows you to use the Outlook search function if needed.

You can read more detailed information on these compliance features for Office 365 on TechNet.

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