Retention Policy and Litigation hold

Most of the times Security is unfamiliar terrain when it comes down to Litigation hold and Retention Policies. In this blog post i will explain when to use Litigation hold and when it is best to use the Retention policy in Office 365.

Litigation Hold

When you search on Technet or Google for litigation hold you will find millions of results. But Actually it is quit simple. Litigation Hold is actually another expression for Legal Hold. When you translate this into Office 365 you will use this function. For instance when a user is leaving the company and you need to preserve the Mailbox for 30 years or even longer.

If you activate or use litigation hold you can already check this from you GDPR Checklist because this is one of the requirement.  Office 365 offers a rich set of in-place eDiscovery capabilities to identify relevant data. in-place Discovery including  for instance, search, hold, analyze and export. These tools will help you quickly to meet the investigative, legal, and regulatory requirements regarding GDPR.

To activate Litigation hold you can simply run the following command from the Exchange online powershell module

Set-Mailbox user@domain.com -LitigationHoldEnabled $true -LitigationHoldDuration Unlimited

*note it can take up to 60 minutes before this function is completely activated.

Retention Policy

Since some time compliance is one of Microsoft’s main focuses in Office 365. You need to know how to use these Office 365 features, so that next time you encounter legal, industry regulations or internal policies, you know what to do.

A retention policy is mainly used to preserve content for a specific period of time or indefinitely. Due to regulatory, legal, or business requirement. You can enable Retention policies on most of the Office 365 services like Onedrive, Exchange and since a short period even Groups and possibly even Teams.

You can configure the retention policies quiet easy using the wizard. You can find this in the Security and Compliance menu of the Office 365 admin Center.

So when do you use Litigation hold and when to use a retention Policy

When use Litigation hold to Legally hold a complete mailbox (it will be stored between the soft deleted mailboxes). You use the Retention Policy when you want to preserve Content of one of the Office 365 services.

And yes the configuration of these compliance settings really depends on the situation of you company or client.

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