Safeguarding our patient, student and employee information is a top priority at Augusta University. Attacks on our systems have become both more frequent and more sophisticated, and it has become urgent that we address the root causes of known vulnerabilities as quickly as possible.
One area of high vulnerability is in Outlook 365, our institutional email platform. In recent attacks, hackers have gained access to sensitive information in employee and student email accounts, so one of our top priorities is to safely archive millions of older emails.
Beginning Monday, March 11 and over the following week, emails older than 180 days (six months) will be removed from all augusta.edu email accounts. From that point forward, older emails will be continuously removed when they reach 180 days to keep them out of reach of hackers. They will be migrated to a secure location, but with the sheer volume of emails and attachments, the migration process will take time.
During migration, you will not have access to those older emails. Your access could be restored in as little as one month, but the full migration process is expected to take about four to six months, so your access may be restored later in the process.
Emails you have already manually archived locally (in your Outlook account on your device) or saved as PDFs to Box will still be available to you. When your emails have finished migration in one to six months, they will again be fully available to you in a well-organized and easily searchable secure platform called Mimecast.
More information and FAQs will be posted to augusta.edu/ITS/email as soon as it becomes available. Please visit the site and be on the lookout for further information, including on training and help to navigate this change.
It’s important we all recognize that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. Expect ongoing initiatives to improve our cybersecurity and more changes to come. Thank you for your patience, and thank you for your commitment to keeping information on our patients, our students and ourselves safe.
Michael Casdorph, EdD
VP, Information Technology
Chief Information Officer