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How to Create Policy-Based Security

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This article refers to the Barracuda Message Archiver firmware version 5.0 or higher.


Data retention policies allow you to specify message retention policies and Saved-Search retention policies on the Policy > Retention page. Retention policies are the only way to purge messages; data cannot be deleted directly by a user.

Retention Policies

By default, automated archived message purging on the Barracuda Message Archiver is disabled. If you enable this ability, the Global Retention Policy and any Saved-Search retention policies are run against all the archived messages weekly on Friday night. If the age of a message exceeds the maximum age allowed by all Saved-Search retention policies that apply to the message, that message is permanently deleted from the Barracuda Message Archiver. The Global Retention Policy setting does not apply to any messages that match a Saved-Search retention policy.

To enable or disable the automatic message expiration capability:

  • On the Policy > Retention page, specify whether to Allow automatic message deletion.

Global Retention Policy

The Global Retention Policy applies to all archived messages. When retention policies are run against the archived messages weekly on Friday night, any messages stored on the Barracuda Message Archiver that are older than this age are deleted unless they match an existing Saved Search policy.

To configure the Global Retention Policy:

  1. On the Policy > Retention page, set Allow automatic message expiration to Yes.
  2. In the Policy Length (Days) field, enter the default maximum number of days to retain archived messages.
  3. Click Save.

Saved-Search Retention Policy 

A Saved-Search retention policy enables you to automatically expire messages that match a particular set of content criteria defined in the Basic > Search page. Use this feature to create exceptions to the global Retention Policy.

Saved searches containing tags cannot be used in a Saved-Search retention policy and do not appear in the list of available Saved Searches.

To configure a Saved-Search retention policy:

  1. Go to the Barracuda Message Archiver. Note the criteria specified by the Saved-Search on which this retention policy is to be based. If you need to create a saved search, go to the BASIC > Search page. After you create and saved a search, you can use it as part of a Saved-Search retention policy definition.
  2. Verify Allow automatic message expiration option is set to Yes.
  3. In the Saved-Search Retention Policy table, complete the following:
    1. In the Policy Name field, enter a name for the policy you are creating.
    2. In the Saved Search field, select the name of the saved search on which this retention policy is to be based.
    3. In the Policy Length field, enter the number of days to retain archived messages that match these search criteria.

      If a message matches more than one Saved Search-based policy, then the message is kept according to the longest policy length. If it matches a Saved Search-based policy as well as the global policy, then the Saved Search policy takes precedence.

  4. Click Add.

See How to Define Archived Message Retention Policies Based on Saved Searches for more information.

Litigation Holds

Litigation Holds are created by auditors to prevent messages that meet the criteria for a specific Saved-Search from being removed from the Barracuda Message Archiver. The system administrator must first Enable Litigation Holds before auditors are given the option to create Litigation Holds from the Saved Searches tab on the Basic > Search page.

The following information about active Litigation Holds will be displayed here, visible only to the system administrator:

  • Auditor – The account name of the Auditor who created the Litigation Hold
  • Saved Search – The name of the Saved Search associated with this Litigation Hold
  • Hold End Date – The date and time when this Litigation Hold expires

The system administrator can stop a Litigation Hold by clicking on the trashcan icon for the entry.

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