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File Transfer Automation Explained

file transfer automation illustrationOrganizations today are challenged with maximizing their resources in a fiercely competitive environment. Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Lost time is never found again.” This is a problem that is familiar to IT departments of all sizes.

Take, for example, an IT staff member who spends countless hours waiting on inbound and outbound transfers. Or there’s the professional who still needs to manually process data — spending time translating it from one file format to another. What’s more, often many valuable hours are spent troubleshooting when a file transfer fails (and the failure isn’t discovered until after a trading partner calls to complain). Yet there is a way your existing staff can shift their focus to higher priority tasks. But how?

The Benefits of File Transfer Automation

File transfer automation is a powerful tool, as it allows IT departments to pivot away from the cumbersome tasks that surround file transfer and instead focus on more strategic and significant projects. Automation reduces human error and increases accuracy; plus, you still get communication about everything that is taking place.

For example, email notifications can be programmed at any point in the automation process to alert key personnel regarding transfer activities. This helps organizations identify failures and successes quickly and adjust accordingly. Other benefits and capabilities include the following:

Scheduling. Built-in scheduling allows for executing workflows at future dates and times. For example, schedule workflows as “one time” or set them up to run at various times — every minute, every hour or every day — or another interval of your preference. The result is fewer interactions and higher efficiency for staff.

File monitoring. Monitor your company’s files with greater accuracy. For example, through automation you can monitor or scan all the files created, modified or deleted within specific folders on your network, SFTP or FTPS servers. Greater visibility is gained with less time invested in manual processes.

Triggers. Set triggers for monitored events, such as file uploads or downloads by a specific partner. After a file is uploaded, perhaps you want it archived to a folder or processed by running a shell script. Setting a trigger allows you to set in motion a sequence of actions prompted by an event. Triggers eliminate the time consuming process of manually completing routine follow-up tasks.

Greater Efficiency for the Future

Organizations need competitive advantages that promote operational efficiency. In some cases, companies have eliminated the need for difficult-to-staff third shift positions or the reduction has happened organically through attrition and they need to maximize their existing resources. Other times, they are growing fast and need innovative tools that streamline time-consuming tasks.

Automation provides these solutions, offloading manually repetitive tasks so your existing team can refocus their talents on more strategic projects.  You can learn more by visiting our file transfer automation page.


Four Modern Alternatives to FTP Explained

Today's data-driven world is demanding, requiring accuracy, speed, integrity and above all -- security. It's a tall order to fill, and in the past, many organizations relied heavily on the legacy FTP protocol to transmit files. But over time, the security of this method has been tested by hackers.

FTP AlternativesFor example, a serious breach occurred at Yale University in 2001, when more than 43,000 user IDs were exposed and all data was carefully harvested from an FTP server. Acer customer details were stolen in a similar fashion the same year. And most recently, 7,000 FTP sites had their credentials circulated in underground forums, including an FTP server run by The New York Times.

Security and file transfers are a significant concern for IT security professionals, but what is the best way to safeguard your company's data?

Leveraging More Secure Options

As many organizations have evolved past traditional FTP, they are opting for modern and secure options for transmitting data, including:

SFTP. Also known as FTP over SSH, SFTP brings down the risk during data exchange by using a secure channel between computer systems to prevent unauthorized disclosures during transactions. Authentication of an SFTP connection involves a user id and password, SSH keys, or using both.  It is also firewall friendly, only needing a single port number to be opened.

HTTPS. Many sites are gravitating to HTTPS instead of the traditional HTTP, but what are the major differences? For starters, traditional HTTP doesn't encrypt traffic to your browser, which poses a security risk. In contrast, HTTPS provides an added encryption layer using Transport Layer Security (TLS). This creates a secure channel so the integrity of the data is not changed without your knowledge. HTTPS is ideally suited for file transfers where a trading partner requires a simple, browser-based interface for uploading data.

AS2. This is a popular method for transporting EDI data safely and reliably over the Internet. The AS2 generates an "envelope" for the data, allowing it to be sent using digital certifications and encryption. For example, Walmart has become well known for using EDI through AS2 and has played an important role in driving adoption in the retail industry.

Managed File Transfer. A method that supports the above options and makes FTP more secure is managed file transfer (MFT). This secure option streamlines the exchange of data between systems, employees and customers. Numerous protocols and encryption standards are supported, and MFT provides extensive security features that meet strict security policies to comply with PCI DSS, HIPAA, GLBA and other regulatory requirements.

MFT solutions provide advanced authentication and data encryption to provide secure and reliable file transfers. You can also track user access and transfer activity through reporting features.

Overall, managed file transfer offers the best option for securely managing the transfer of data quickly, efficiently with detailed audit trails. It's preventive, rather than reactive, which is what security professionals in today's environment need most.  


Custom Online Forms Made Simple and Secure with Latest Linoma Software Product Update

Linoma Software builds on the security and automation capabilities of GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer with the introduction of Secure Forms in the latest release, version 5.3.

Secure Forms

Secure Forms allows administrators to quickly and easily build custom forms, with optional file upload capabilities, that can automatically process submitted data and files. Access to Secure Forms is made available through a secure HTTPS Web Client, which can be configured for access by authorized users and/or anonymous users.

GoAnywhere Secure FormsAny files uploaded through a Secure Form are automatically encrypted at rest, and submissions are logged in GoAnywhere to provide Administrators an end-to-end audit trail. Registered users can save forms as drafts to revisit at a later date, or view their submitted forms at any time.

"As an example, Secure Forms will be used in the upcoming presidential election to collect ballots from military personnel and overseas voters," says Bob Luebbe, president of Linoma. "The voter can go to a web address provided by the state, then choose the county where they have permanent residence and upload their ballot. With the GoAnywhere workflow engine, the ballots will be automatically distributed to the local county commissioners over encrypted connections."

Secure Forms is offered as an optional licensed module for GoAnywhere MFT.  Please visit the Secure Forms page for additional details.

New Tasks and Enhanced Features

GoAnywhere customers updating their current software will notice a number of new tasks and workflow features. Among these enhancements are:

  • A new GoDrive task provides administrators the ability to push files out to GoDrive users and set expiration dates on distributed files.
  • A new Checksum task provides standard MD5, SHA-1, SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, and SHA-512 hashes to identify files that may have been altered or tampered with.
  • Globally update an administrator's password used in GoAnywhere's Project automation tools.
  • Ability to send detailed structured data to the Syslog server for AS2, FTP, FTPS, GoDrive, GoFast, HTTPS, and SFTP events
  • Additional FileSet sorting and ordering options.

For a complete list of enhancements for GoAnywhere MFT, version 5.3, visit the release notes page.


How Managed File Transfer helped a Healthcare Organization Save Time and Money

For a healthcare group looking to streamline processes and slash costs without compromising on security and functionality, finding a reputable secure file transfer solution was imperative. Nemours, one of the largest integrated pediatric health systems in the United States, was tasked with migrating to a standardized system that would help them work more efficiently while maintaining compliance with health industry regulations such as HIPAA and HITECH.

With over 70 years of providing care and services to more than 300,000 children each year, Nemours relied on writing scripts and manual transfers in their day-to-day operations. While the process served them well in the past, as transfer numbers grew to over 5,000 per month, the team knew it was time to find an alternative that could help them save time and money.

Nemours - GoAnywhere Managed File TransferThe search was on for a file transfer solution…

Because of the sensitive nature of the patient data they often send, data security and safeguarding measures were at the top of the wish list for the Nemours team. Additionally, they required a solution that would provide flexibility and automation capabilities that could further streamline internal processes and workflows. After evaluating a number of solutions on the market, the team chose GoAnywhere MFT™ for its robust features and affordability.

Surprisingly versatile software

The Nemours team found that their GoAnywhere licenses could be used to manage workflows in multiple departments and as they implemented the software, they realized that they could harness the power of managed file transfer to handle projects that weren't on the original list for MFT.  For example, external clients would remotely connect and drop files via an HTTPS website in the past. Nemours was able to permanently migrate that entire process to GoAnywhere which gave them the added functionality of detailed audit logs and notifications when files were successfully received. Nemours was also able to deploy GoAnywhere to automate a complicated enterprise project that redefined how they processed electronic statement transfers.

Dealing with high volume, encryption and decryption and various data points became nearly effortless with the managed file transfer solution and as a result, projects that used to take several days now take just a few hours. Troubleshooting issues now takes minutes as they have the convenience of detailed job and audit logs to quickly pinpoint problems. By decreasing the amount of time that staffers had to spend on writing scripts, manually transferring files and troubleshooting as they did in the past, Nemours was able to save time and reduce stress on IT staff. Saving time equates to saving money and with GoAnywhere on their side, the team at Nemours can now turn their attention to more strategically significant projects. To learn more, read the case study.


HelpSystems Acquires Linoma Software to Meet Rising Security Demand

HelpSystems logoHelpSystems announced today the acquisition of Linoma Software, whose secure managed file transfer (MFT) and data encryption products have propelled exciting growth. The acquisition broadens the HelpSystems security portfolio with solutions that fit specific needs and run on major operating systems.

Linoma Software is a Nebraska-based firm with more than 3,000 customers around the world. With Linoma's GoAnywhere MFT™ solution, organizations centralize and secure data exchange with their business partners, customers, and employees--thanks to robust encryption and detailed audit trails. This innovative product allows businesses to better protect confidential file transfers and stay compliant with standards and regulations, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Linoma also offers Crypto Complete™ to protect data at rest within systems with strong AES-256 encryption and key management. This is essential for protecting confidential data including PCI, personally identifiable information (PII), and protected health information (PHI).

Linoma Software was founded by Bob and Christy Luebbe in 1994. Bob will continue to lead Linoma, serving as its Chief Architect and President.

"Growth in our security business is strong and we saw an opportunity to expand our offering with managed file transfer and encryption," said Chris Heim, CEO, HelpSystems. "Linoma provides industry-leading solutions in both of these categories."

"This is an exciting new chapter for Linoma Software," said Luebbe. "HelpSystems knows security well and is dedicated to protecting its customers' information systems. By joining forces we can combine our security expertise and carry a more complete solution to more organizations around the world."

About HelpSystems

HelpSystems empowers IT professionals to excel like never before. Every day more than 9,000 organizations across the globe rely on HelpSystems to automate and simplify system and network management, secure data, and give people simple access to information they need. For critical needs like IT and business process automation, system security, network mapping, document management, and business intelligence, HelpSystems makes IT lives easier and keeps businesses running smoothly. Learn more at www.helpsystems.com. Mike Devine Vice President, Marketing +1 952-563-1696 mike.devine@helpsystems.com


GoAnywhere MFT Earns Drummond Recertification for AS2

Drummond Recertification AS2 1Q16 GoAnywhereMFTLinoma Software is pleased to announce that GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer (MFT) has earned Drummond Recertification for Applicability Statement 2 or AS2 interoperability.

AS2 is a popular security standard that defines how to transfer digital data securely and reliably over the internet using encryption and digital certificates. Some advantages of using AS2 include end-to-end encryption of the actual data files instead of just the transfer channel, non-repudiation verification of sender and recipient authenticity through the use of digital signatures, and validation of original file integrity with successful transfer confirmation.

In order to become Drummond Certified™, companies must submit to rigorous product testing and meet strict requirements that verify compatibility between certified products for specific protocols such as AS2. The Drummond Group provides a controlled, vendor-neutral environment where routine tests are conducted to ensure that certified products meet strict testing protocols and are kept current.

Drummond Recertification for AS2-1Q16

For the first quarter AS2-1Q16 tests, 12 Global companies participated and 16 products were certified or recertified.   "Not all companies are willing to undergo the certification process, it's not easy," said Bob Luebbe, President and Chief Architect at Linoma Software. "We count certification as part of our unwavering commitment to providing one of the highest quality and proven managed file transfer solutions on the market. Being Drummond Certified makes it easy for our customers to verify at-a-glance that our products have been real world tested and are guaranteed to fit into their existing AS2 infrastructure."

In addition to receiving Drummond Recertification for AS2, GoAnywhere MFT also successfully met requirements for AS2 optional tests including multiple attachments (MA), file name preservation (FN), file name preservation for multiple attachments (FN-MA), chunked transfer encoding (CTE), and secure hashing algorithm 2 (SHA-2). To learn more about Applicability Statement 2 or AS2, please visit these links.


3 Steps to Safeguarding Company Data and Limiting Risk

GoAnywhere Safeguard Data and Limit LiabilitySecurity professionals of today are inundated with headlines about the potential consequences of a data breach. Take, for example, Target, which suffered a massive data breach at the end of 2013, exposing the personal information of 70 million shoppers. Worse yet, the breach occurred at the height of the holiday shopping season, rocking consumer confidence.

This case and many others underscore the fact that protecting data is getting more complex as security professionals work to manage vast amounts of data throughout various physical and virtual locations. So how can you best safeguard your data?

Catalog Assets: Know What Data You're Storing

The first step in protecting critical data is understanding the full extent of what you're storing. All data is important, but it's especially critical to identify and catalog sensitive information. For example, this may include:

  • Transaction and account records.
  • Customer lists and contracts.
  • Personally identifiable information (e.g., Social Security numbers, credit card numbers).
  • Proprietary corporate details that are, such as financial documents, marketing plans and trade secrets.
  • Employee records.

This list, of course, is endless and unique for every business type. Taking inventory of the types of information that you are storing and identifying which are the most sensitive will assist in implementing the best safeguards.

Identify Where Data Is Stored

The percentage of workers operating remotely has skyrocketed from 9 percent in 1995 to 37 percent now, according to Gallup. This trend presents additional complexity for security professionals, especially when you add other trends -- such as BYOD -- into the equation. In fact, in a recent survey by Tech Pro Research, 74 percent of companies said that they are already using or planning to adopt BYOD. After identifying the types of digital information stored and which are highly sensitive, you must also inventory where that data resides to effectively keep it safe. For example, locations may include:

  • Portable drives
  • Laptops
  • Network drives
  • Servers
  • The Cloud
  • Mobile devices

After identifying all the locations -- physical and virtual -- security professionals are faced with the important question "OK, now how do we protect this data?"

Protecting Data

Protecting data involves safeguarding the exchange of information between all systems, employees, customers and trading partners. For example, an effective security solution should:

  • Encrypt important information at rest and in transit.
  • Enforce strong password policies.
  • Allow you to limit access.
  • Include accountability, showing who has accessed data, when, and from what location and device.
  • Have multi-factor authentication.
  • Leverage safeguards that ensure you are alerted if important data is leaking or stolen.
  • Ensure that regular data backups are in place to safeguard data in case of an unexpected event.

Security threats won't be slowing down anytime soon, but advanced security solutions allow organizations to more effectively safeguard business data. As a result, organizations are able to mitigate business risk, reduce liability and provide customers with greater confidence.


Improving PCI Compliance by Understanding Common Mistakes Organizations Make during an Audit

Linoma Software, a leader in providing enterprise-class security and managed file transfer solutions, announced today a free webinar titled, "How to Improve Your PCI Compliance: Avoiding the Common Mistakes of a PCI Audit", on Wednesday, May 25, at 12:00 PM Central Time.  The webinar will offer expert advice from Alan Sabatka and Bob Huerter from Continuum Security Solutions.

PCI Audit - CompliantThe event is ideal for any organization handling credit and debit card transaction data, and anyone responsible for `their organization's compliance with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) requirements. This informative webinar will specifically cover:

  • The PCI audit process
  • Common misconceptions and business mistakes
  • Best practices for meeting PCI requirements

For additional information and to register for the webinar, visit http://www.goanywhere.com/pci-webinar.  The event will also be recorded and available for on-demand viewing at http://www.goanywhere.com.  


About the Continuum Worldwide

Continuum Worldwide Corporation, DBA Continuum Security Solutions, is an information security company, engaged in all phases of compliance, assessments, governance, digital forensics, and incident response. With expertise developed through decades of real-world experience, our consultants take a holistic approach to clients' risk. We help clients recognize threats, evaluate potential impacts and create individually tailored programs that transform their ability to manage exposure to future detrimental activities.


GoAnywhere MFT wins 2016 Cybersecurity Excellence Award

Linoma Software, a leader in providing enterprise-class security and managed file transfer solutions, has been awarded the 2016 Cybersecurity Excellence Award. Linoma's GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer™ software was chosen as the winner in the Secure File Transfer product category.

Cybersecurity Excellence Award Winner 2016Feature-rich and affordable, GoAnywhere MFT garnered high praise from voter participants. "Our company leverages dozens of software solutions. None has a better value proposition than GoAnywhere. We've automated manual processes, saving time," said Shaun S. "We've secured existing file transfers with minimal effort and no disruption. And we've migrated acquisitions off products that cost ten times more at no additional cost to our existing structure!"

The Cybersecurity Excellence Awards honor individuals and companies that demonstrate excellence, innovation and leadership in the information security industry. Nominees were carefully considered by the Information Security Community on LinkedIn which is comprised of over 300,000 cybersecurity professionals. Weighing in with their votes and comments, the group determined the final winning products for each category.

"Congratulations to Linoma for being recognized as the winner in the Secure File Transfer product category of the 2016 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards," said Holger Schulze, founder of the 300,000-member Information Security Community on LinkedIn. "With over 430 entries, the awards are highly competitive and our winners reflect the very best in product innovation and excellence in the cybersecurity space."


About the Cybersecurity Excellence Awards

The Cybersecurity Excellence Awards are produced in cooperation with the Information Security Community on LinkedIn, tapping into the experience of over 300,000+ cybersecurity professionals to recognize the world's best cybersecurity products, individuals and organizations. For more info: Cybersecurity-Excellence-Awards.com


The State of Data Security Technology: 4 Essential Safeguards

Enterprises today are capturing more data than ever. And while collecting an increasing amount of data yields valuable insights and the ability to connect more effectively with customers, it also creates more concerns -- mostly around security.

Sixty-nine percent of North American and European security decision-makers report they are responsible for protecting customers' personal information. As a result, the pressure is rising -- and so are the budgets. According to a recent Forrester report, 36 percent expect to increase spending in this area. But with increased media coverage highlighting devastating cyber attacks and security breaches, companies are asking, "How can we best ensure that this doesn't happen to our company?"

Data Security and Privacy

Many technologies claim to be the "cure all" to growing security concerns, yet with so much available, how can you be sure that you're selecting the right tools? Forrester recently explored the state of security through examining past research and surveying 53 field experts. The company highlighted important solutions that will play a critical role. Here are four to watch.

GAMFT Cloud Protection Solutions Data SecurityCloud data protection solutions.

Enterprises are seeking solutions that allow them to encrypt their own data and hold the keys, in contrast to older models that rely on a cloud or third-party provider's native encryption solution. This type of solution works by encrypting sensitive data before it leaves the enterprise network, rendering it unreadable or useless to cyber criminals. The cost to implement is moderate, and the solution can be deployed as an on-premise or virtual application or as hardware. It's typically priced per user and often based on the per-user pricing of an SaaS agreement.

GAMFT Email Encryption Data SecurityEmail encryption.

Regardless of the industry, email often contains confidential information that requires safeguarding. This is especially true for industries that are under strict regulatory scrutiny, such as the health care industry. Forrester predicts that email encryption adoption will remain steady over the next decade as compliance concerns rise. This solution works by encrypting emails between recipients so that only the correct email recipient is able to read the content and download attachments. This is typically offered as a feature of a security solution or service, and can have the added advantage or removing file size restrictions. Pricing is moderate and enterprises can typically select from a hosted or on-premise solution.

GAMFT Managed File Transfer Data SecurityManaged File Transfer.

Managed file transfer is an important technology to help organizations protect and audit their data transmissions. It's at the core of many B2B interactions and serves as an effective replacement for unsecure methods such as FTP and email. MFT is proving especially important in financial services, healthcare, public sector and manufacturing, where security concerns are very high. The technology works by allowing for the secure movement of files between business applications internally and externally. It's typically offered as an on-premise solution or hosted service, and pricing can vary greatly. Because it's typically a replacement for a legacy FTP system, migration to a Secure Managed File Transfer solution is the ideal opportunity to review additional enterprise requirements for batch or ad-hoc file transfers.

GAMFT File Sharing Data SecuritySecure file sharing and collaboration.

Workers today are increasingly interacting remotely using consumer-grade cloud sharing tools, also called EFSS (Enterprise File Sync and Sharing). This remote workforce benefits greatly from using a professional platform to synchronize files across multiple devices. As a result, Forrester expects the demand for secure methods of file sharing and collaboration to continue growing. These EFSS tools allow for the safeguarding of information while sharing data and documents with internal and external partners. File sync and file distribution capabilities can also be included. The cost is typically low to implement, with services delivered on-premise or from the cloud and are priced per user.

Moving Forward

Data security is entering the golden age. S&R professionals will continue to feel increased pressure to analyze all available security options, stay nimble, and adjust quickly to ensure data privacy and security moving forward. Selecting options that offer a progressive amount of security and internal control over data, however, will ensure that enterprises are safeguarding critical data while navigating an increasingly complex regulatory environment.