The History of Large File Transfer
The first file is exchanged via removable media. In the mid-1980s, asynchronous modems took over where the dual synchronization stopped. Then, in the 1990s, the Internet changed the game of using persistent connections to transfer files between enterprises via HTTP, FTP, and SMTP. In the following years, a large number of B2B managed file transfer solutions emerged, which helped organizations meet the increasing security, compliance, and operational requirements of mobile information.
Despite all these changes, business-to-business file transfers are still basically the same as in the 1970s. The transportation channels and agreement portfolio have changed, but the process and methods are the same. In 2015, B2B data exchange belonged exclusively to technical users who performed file-based batches, and the pricing of professional file transfer software solutions reflected this.
For example, when two companies want to automate data exchange, the IT departments of both companies need to discuss data format, transmission protocol, encryption, transmission confirmation, and error/exception handling. Considering that the automatic file transfer function is not the highest priority of most corporate IT departments, it can be a long and frustrating process for business users who delay or lose waiting for IT revenue. This process can take several weeks to automate the data exchange with a company, and it must be repeated for hundreds or even thousands of customers/suppliers again and again. Because of this, the B2B file transfer and integration market has become very mature.
What is a "secure, managed" file transfer? It is important to exclude some term definitions. File transfer is a general term that applies to the act of transferring data through a computer network, private or public, and therefore the Internet. Hosted file transfer is designed to facilitate file transfer, it is a software or service used to provide secure internal, external, and temporary data transfer over the network. Secure file transfer is another term, which is usually an integral part of file transfer software; the secure part usually refers to a specific function.
Historically, programmers wrote scripts to automate batch FTP functions. This works fine within a limited range, and if the configuration is rarely changed. However, when an organization exchanges data with many customers and partners, and when passwords, libraries, and IP addresses are constantly changing, relying on scripts can quickly become troublesome. Using hosted file transfer products can help your business avoid data leakage. You will get restrictions on allowed senders and recipients, centralized recording of data transmission, secure encryption of data, and functions that integrate with data loss prevention products.