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Higher Education Centralizes Campus-wide Secure File Transfers

While some may not think institutions of higher learning are a hive of business transactions, the truth is that they need to move data files as much as any enterprise.

The big difference between corporations and higher education is that companies typically use a top-down approach when it comes to selecting and implementing IT solutions. Conversely, in a university system, the different business offices and departments are frequently selecting technology independent of one another.  This creates a unique challenge for post-secondary schools.

Compliance Gatekeeper

From admissions and financial aid to alumni relations and human resources, universities must meet data security and reporting compliance with HIPAA, PCI DSS, GLBA, FISMA and FERPA, to name a few. This positions a school's IT department as the central hub in maintaining secure connections between these independent systems and encrypting every file transfer sent to outside vendors and agencies.

Higher Education - Northwestern University logoTo help streamline this process, Northwestern University replaced their traditional FTP and file transfer scripts with an MFT (Managed File Transfer) solution that supports modern encryption standards and transmission protocols.

Scot Milford, Northwestern's distributed application platform service manager, was among those tasked with finding a new solution. "We decided we needed to look for an application with good but easy reporting and something that provided a framework for standardization and more structure," he remembers.

"I would say it's extremely flexible," states Ron Blitz, senior systems administrator in Northwestern's IT Administrative Systems Enabling Technologies department. "It's easy to construct a script-like process without writing any code. Customizing transfers specific to each trading partner takes minutes and is often just a simple 'drag-n-drop' or right-click away from being ready for Production."

To learn more about how Northwestern University is utilizing MFT to connect campus-wide systems and secure data exchanges with external trading partners, we invite you to read the "Higher Education Funnels Secure File Transfers Through GoAnywhere" case study.


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