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Messaging policy and compliance in Exchange 2016


Applies to: Exchange Server 2016

Topic Last Modified: 2015-10-01

Email has become a reliable and ubiquitous communication medium for information workers in organizations of all sizes. Messaging stores and mailboxes have become repositories of valuable data. It’s important for organizations to formulate messaging policies that dictate the fair use of their messaging systems, provide user guidelines for how to act on the policies, and where required, provide details about the types of communication that may not be allowed.

Organizations must also create policies to manage email lifecycle, retain messages for the length of time based on business, legal, and regulatory requirements, preserve email records for litigation and investigation purposes, and be prepared to search and provide the required email records to fulfill eDiscovery requests.

The following table provides an overview of the messaging policy and compliance features in Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 and includes links to topics that will help you learn about and use these features.


Feature Description Resources

In-Place Archiving

In-Place Archiving helps you regain control of your organization's messaging data by eliminating the need for personal store (.pst) files and allowing users to store messages in an archive mailbox accessible in Outlook 2010 and later and Outlook on the web.

In-Place Archiving in Exchange 2016

In-Place Hold and Litigation Hold

When a reasonable expectation of litigation exists, organizations are required to preserve electronically stored information, including email that's relevant to the case. In-Place Hold allows you to search and preserve messages matching query parameters. Litigation Hold only allows you to place all items in a mailbox on hold. For both types of holds, messages are protected from permanent deletion, modification, and tampering and can be preserved indefinitely or for a specified period.

In-Place Hold and Litigation Hold in Exchange 2016

In-Place eDiscovery

In-Place eDiscovery allows you to search mailbox data across your Exchange organization, preview search results, copy search results to a Discovery mailbox, or export the results to a PST file

In-Place eDiscovery in Exchange 2016

Administrator audit logging

Administrator audit logs enable you to keep a log of changes made by administrators to Exchange server and organization configuration and to Exchange recipients. You might use administrator audit logging as part of your change control process or to track changes and access to configuration and recipients for compliance purposes.

Administrator audit logging in Exchange 2016

Mailbox audit logging

Because mailboxes can potentially contain sensitive, high business impact information and personally identifiable information, it's important that you track who logs on to the mailboxes in your organization and what actions are taken. It's especially important to track access to mailboxes by users other than the mailbox owner (known as delegate users). Using mailbox audit logging, you can log mailbox access by administrators, delegates (including administrators with full access permissions), and mailbox owners.

Mailbox audit logging in Exchange 2016

Data loss prevention

Data loss prevention (DLP) in Exchange 2016 includes 80 sensitive information types that are ready for you to use in your DLP policies.

Sensitive information types inventory in Exchange 2016

Transport rules

Use Exchange transport rules to look for specific conditions in messages that pass through your organization and take action on them. You can use transport rule conditions and exceptions to define when a transport rule is applied, and then apply a transport rule action on messages when the condition is met.

Transport rule conditions (predicates) in Exchange 2016

Transport rule actions in Exchange 2016

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