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What is Secure File Transfer?

The transfer of sensitive and often proprietary files from one person or organization to another has become a complex aspect of today's business world. This complexity comes not only from the size and number of files that need to be shared but also from the need to protect them all the time from the sender to the receiver.

what-is-secure-file-transfer

Although there are excellent solutions for secure file transfers, many IT departments still rely on outdated options, including FTP, PC tools (usually installed by employees and not known by IT), or old scripts. These measures simply cannot solve the problem of improving overall efficiency, ensuring company data security, or demonstrating compliance with industry requirements for how to protect and exchange information.

With this in mind, let's take a look at how secure file transfer works.

Define secure file transfer

At a higher level, secure file transfer is just one way to protect file movement. Through scripts, PC tools, or hosted file transfer solutions, secure file transfers can usually encrypt information during transfer and at rest, and create audit records of all file transfer activities, which is very suitable for production to show compliance with PCI DSS, GDPR, SOX, HIPAA, NIST, and other requirements.

There are many types of solutions available for secure file transfer. However, if you are looking for a powerful secure file transfer platform that includes additional features such as automation, the ability to send large amounts of files, and user-to-user collaboration tools, then Managed File Transfer (MFT) is the best choice on the market.

More MFT definitions

Main functions of managed file transfer software

Batch file transfer and temporary file sharing

Static and dynamic file encryption

Automation replaces error-prone manual activities

Audit trail and PDF report prove compliance

Secure collaboration tool for internal file exchange

This sounds very appealing and has many benefits for ordinary organizations, right? So why did the IT team give up on implementing hosted file transfer software?

Where is the company wrong?

In today's organizations, there is a trade-off between security and convenience. According to a survey by HelpSystems in 2018, more than 65% of IT and security teams struggle to balance network security control and business efficiency, while 46% struggle with insufficient network security skills and staffing.

Tools such as intuitive secure file transfer solutions can greatly meet the needs of enterprises for efficiency and security, especially in data encryption.

But sometimes, the path of least resistance presents obvious risks while also tempting.

When transferring files from outside to trading partners or customers, there may be a variety of malicious technologies at work in your organization. This decentralized approach makes it impossible to securely manage file transfers and protect data. The following are common methods for organizations to exchange files without a highly secure hosted file transfer solution:

Developers usually create scripts to handle one-time file sharing requirements, such as reports that must be generated and sent to trading partners every week. However, when the server IP or login credentials change, management becomes very complicated, especially for time-critical resources. The password embedded in the script is also vulnerable to attack and abuse. Besides, the scripts are too simple, that is, if the scripts fail the first time, they cannot be retried. Likewise, they lack notification functions. Scripts are just patches to solve larger problems, making the centralized file-sharing method included in the hosted file transfer solution more effective.

For decades, FTP was the de facto standard for sending files. However, it cannot see who is accessing the file, and it lacks the overall security features needed to protect the transfer of sensitive files. It also stores the user's credentials to log in in "clear text", making intrusions easy.

PC tools and free software introduce one of the most common sources of data leakage: human error. Perhaps the file contains sensitive information that the user forgot to encrypt. Or the file is sent to the wrong person and cannot be called. Maybe someone manually transfers the file unexpectedly, and no one knows the steps to correctly send the file to the correct recipient. All these possibilities put sensitive data at risk. Likewise, insecure email and cloud services (such as Dropbox or Box) make it difficult to prevent sensitive information from leaving your organization.

Features of secure or managed file transfer solutions

You will find various features on the market today, but the following are the main considerations when choosing a secure or hosted file transfer solution:

Ease of use: The easier the software is to navigate, the better the adoption for administrators and end-users. If the solution is puzzling, people will revert to old tools and habits, and your new purchase will become a shelf commodity. Ensure that administrators or other key users can easily set up and execute file transfer workflows. Also verify whether the solution can seamlessly interact with other systems, applications, and APIs. This will help centralize work. Does secure file transfer meet your requirements?

Security and compliance: The product must be able to support the latest security protocols and algorithms so that you can consider all customers and trading partners. It needs to enable you to meet the details of any regulations that need to be resolved. It should have centralized control that can only be accessed by authorized administrators. This means that only one audit trail can show file activity, user activity, and all system changes.

Error handling and peace of mind: a powerful secure file transfer system can highlight any abnormalities of the expected task, so they can be resolved quickly. This is the only way to protect the organization's relationship with customers and partners. As you know, secure file transfer is an efficient way to protect your company’s valuable and sensitive information while increasing employee productivity. When the above features are combined with automatic file transfer workflows and collaboration-enabled features, hosted file transfers are an excellent choice for meeting secure file transfer requirements.

The Raysync large file transfer solution is dedicated to meeting the data transfer needs of enterprises or external partners, providing efficient and controllable accelerated transfer of large files, ultra-long distance, transnational network data transfer, safe distribution of file assets, file management and organizational authority management, Supports local deployment and cloud services, and provides enterprises with safe, stable, efficient and convenient large file interactive technical support and services.

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