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Managed File Transfer 101: What's in it for Me?

managed file transfer 101 - fileTransferGroupThe term MFT (Managed File Transfer) is not new but you may be hearing it more frequently. Changes in data security and transmission regulations have brought this established technology to the forefront, but what exactly does it entail? Linoma Software [now HelpSystems] recently hosted "Managed File Transfer 101", a webinar to present the essentials of MFT and what you should look for when researching an MFT solution for your organization.

Current State of File Transfer

In the presentation, Bob Luebbe, chief architect of Linoma Software [now HelpSystems], talked about the existing challenges of file transfer:

  • Old technology - such as Standard FTP - is still in use despite limitations and risks posed by data "sent in the clear".
  • Time consuming manual processes that might include the use of PC tools. Scripts are also a legacy of old processes that continue to saddle IT departments. Programmers create and maintain these scripts - often hundreds or thousands - to automate transfers.
  • File access is often too decentralized, making it difficult to control and manage. Compliance has become more stringent in data management.
  • Lack of notifications critical to insure successful data movement, rather than waiting for a partner to notice missing or incomplete transfers. Traditional logs can be helpful but are also hard to find and filter for adequate audit trails. The big issue is meeting data privacy requirements (e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, GLBA and SOX) without centralized logs.
  • Employees are still sending files unchecked. Without a simple and secure alternative, employees find their own solutions for file portability to maintain productivity.

managed file transfer 101 - 58percent_send_to_wrong_personThis final point often involves employees storing sensitive files on their PCs and laptops, sending documents through email, and utilizing cloud storage providers - like Dropbox - without proper controls in place. If a company doesn't have internal policies in place to address file sharing and transfers, the liability risk can be severe. In a 2013 study by Stroz Friedberg on Information Security in American Business, it was found that 3 out of 4 office workers upload work files to their personal email or cloud account. Of this group, 37% said it was because they prefer using their personal computer while 14% said it's because taking their work laptop home was simply too much effort. The same survey highlighted the role of senior managers in an organization's data risk. Often the worst offenders, 58% admitted to accidently sending sensitive information to the wrong person. Just over half also admitted to taking files with them after leaving a job. While MFT won't put a stop to this practice, a workflow built on the secure storage of sensitive business documents will add transparency to file access activity.

What is Managed File Transfer?

File Transfers, in their basic form, involve the sharing of files with others through FTP, email or a cloud solution. In contrast, Managed File Transfer takes a centralized enterprise-level approach to automating and securing file transfers. This produces a secured, scheduled and trackable file transfer. By creating transparency within your organization, files are tracked and logged as they enter and leave your network. MFT is a smart solution for companies who understand the liability and risk involved in transmitting sensitive data.

  • Keep files safe and secure
  • Make sure files go where they are needed, when they are needed
  • Track files from start to finish for compliance purposes

To see what MFT looks like in a real world example, the team at Linoma would be happy to schedule a live demo of the GoAnywhere Suite. You can also click here to view the entire webinar for free. Discover how simple and affordable it can be to utilize an MFT solution in your organization.

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