FTP was designed as an easy mechanism for exchanging files between computers at a time when networks were new and information security was an immature science. In the 1970s, if you wanted to secure a server from unwanted access, you simply locked the computer room door. User access to data was controlled by the basic User ID and password scenario. At this time, the Internet didn't exist and the PC revolution was still a decade away.
Today, the security of business file transfers is of paramount importance. The exchange of business records between computing systems, enterprises, and even across international borders has become critical to the global economy.
Yet, the original native FTP facility of TCP/IP wasn't designed for the requirements of the modern, globally-connected enterprise. FTP's basic security mechanisms (the user ID and password) have long ago been outdated by advances in network sleuthing technologies, hackers, malware, and the proliferation of millions of network users.
Risks Associated with Using Native (Standard) FTP
There are many risks that come with using FTP to secure your file transfers:
- Native FTP does not encrypt data.
- A user's name and password are transferred in clear text when logging on and can be easily recognized.
- FTP scripts and batch files leave user IDs and passwords in the open, where they're vulnerable to hacking.
- Used alone, FTP does not meet compliance regulations.
- When using an FTP connection, the transferred data could "stray" to a remote computer and not arrive at their intended destination. This possibility leaves your data exposed to third parties and hackers.
- Conventional FTP does not natively maintain a record of file transfers.
If You Use FTP in Your Organization:
It may be time for a change. First, examine how FTP is applied in your organization. Second, identify how your organization should manage and secure everyone's file transfers. Finally, determine if your company could use a Secure Managed File Transfer solution (this MFT buyer's guide will help you decide!), then evaluate the software to see how it matches the needs of your business.
What's Beyond FTP? Find Out in This White Paper
Explore new ways to secure and manage your file transfers with this free white paper. You'll learn how to bring your FTP implementation into a more modern framework with cybersecurity practices that protect your critical data and help you improve your team's productivity and efficiency.
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