When it comes to B2B communications, AS2 and FTP rank among the most popular file transfer protocols. Each protocol can serve your business in a different way, which makes it important to examine your needs along the research journey. Today we’re going to examine AS2 vs. FTP by their key components to help you decide which file transfer protocol will serve you best. So, without further ado, let’s break it down.
What is AS2?
AS2, which stands for Applicability Statement 2, utilizes the encryption of messages known as AS2 messages. These messages can be exchanged with trading partners, vendors, and remote systems using a secure HTTPS connection . The Applicability Statement was originally created in the 1990s as AS1 but was upgraded when Walmart adopted the protocol and required their vendors and suppliers to use it in 2002. Because of this, AS2 has maintained popular status among retail organizations that deal in e-commerce.
There are two core security methods that AS2 relies on to protect sensitive information in transit:
- Digital certificates and industry-level encryption standards are utilized.
- All AS2 messages exchanged over HTTPS are compressed and signed before they are transmitted via a secure SSL tunnel.
Related Reading: What is AS2
One of the features that sets AS2 apart from other file transfer protocols is it allows you users to request what is known as a Message Disposition Notification (MDN). This is also known as a receipt (also called an NRR, or non-repudiation of receipt). The receipts alert the sender that the message was received and decrypted by the intended recipient which will give you legal proof that the file sent was received without alteration.
What is FTP?
FTP, or file transfer protocol, has been around for quite some time. It’s the original standard network protocol used to transfer sensitive data between a client and a server on network. FTP allows you to exchange and alter files over a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/Internet Protocol (IP) based network.
AS2 vs. FTP: What Sets Them Apart
Unlike AS2, FTP takes user credentials and sends it as plain text and files are not encrypted within the transfer window. Because each channel is unencrypted, data is left vulnerable to interception and can be taken advantage of. FTP does require an authenticated username and password for access but does not guarantee secure connection. However, you can achieve a secure connection by using security mechanisms such as Virtual Private Network (VPN) or leveraging a related protocol that uses SSL (FTPS) or SSH (SFTP). The combination of these methods encrypts the communications channel to protect the data.
FTP not only lacks encryption functionality, but it also lacks features such as automation and does not meet compliance requirements. FTP users tend to report connection errors and inconsistent functionality as well.
Related Reading: Problems with FTP
GoAnywhere MFT Could Have a Great Impact on Your Business
Understanding AS2 vs. FTP is an important step in understanding how to secure company data without being concerned about bad actors. GoAnywhere MFT is Drummond Certified for AS2 and supports SHA2 algorithms.
Download the MFT Software Impact Guide for a look at key findings from several reports, surveys and real examples of how your peers found success with MFT by their side.