MLC Life Insurance (MLC) works to protect Australians when they need it most. Protection sits at the very heart of everything MLC does as a business, so it’s no surprise they decided to invest in protecting sensitive customer data and ensuring it’s transferred without error.
Located in North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, MLC Life Insurance has been in business for 133 years and provides life insurance for more than 1.5 million Australians. They help Australians manage the aftermath caused by unexpected life events that may otherwise result in hardship. MLC is committed to bringing the security and protection of life assurance within the reach of every man, woman, and child. They offer a variety of insurance options including Income Protection, Total & Permanent Disability (TPD), Accidental Death, Critical Illness, and more.
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A Shift in Partnership Means a Shift in File Transfers
In 2016, a shift in proprietorship for MLC Life Insurance meant the company had to re-examine the way they transferred sensitive data, with their previous owner, National Australia Bank (NAB) becoming a third-party. Phil Kolodziejski, the Integration Technology Platform Manager for MLC, quickly found out about a new requirement that was now a necessity for enduring data integrations between the two parties.
Implementing Managed File Transfer
Originally, MLC wasn’t concerned with transferring files because NAB had their own internal software or in-house tool that took care of this function. "File transfer capability was overlooked," said Kolodziejski, in regard to their original integration platform, which was based off of Application Program Interfaces (APIs). "The requirements were rather agile. There wasn’t much visibility into the amount of file transfers we were actually going to be doing. Initially our expectation was very low as we wanted to avoid transferring files as much as possible for integration, but many companies or third parties can only interact through file transfers," he said.
After their ownership change, MLC knew they needed a secure solution. They took their time to find the best solution that met their needs and discovered GoAnywhere MFT. They had some previous experience working with Axway Software, but after utilizing the free 30-day trial account of GoAnywhere MFT, they knew they had found a winner. MLC began using GoAnywhere MFT in 2017 and haven’t looked back since.
The Deciding Factors
Once GoAnywhere was purchased and installed, "It was pretty quick to become familiar with it, get up and running on Linux, and feel comfortable with it," Kolodziejski explained. "With the help of some professional training services, we were up and running within a couple of weeks and began with transferring general ledger files, payments, and payroll. We were very happy with the help we got!," he stated. The team was also walked through how to build workflows. "It was all very straightforward and prompt," he said.
"Also, there’s not really a big learning curve. Using the product is fairly simple; it’s fairly simple for any IT professional to pick up and start building workflows on," Kolodziejski added. Now, they can set up workflows in a matter of one to two hours, depending on the complexity of the workflow and if a third-party is involved. The workflows are currently set up to run on a regular basis. "We have a lot of triggers, all running weekly or monthly," he said.
MLC is also keen on the stability of GoAnywhere MFT. "The product is stable. We have never had any issues with run times crashing or memory leaks," Kolodziejski explained. "What I love about it is that it does the job and it does it well," he added. "For moving files, this is a great product," he stated.
Security & Cost
Security also had a significant impact in MLC’s choice of GoAnywhere MFT. "Security is another main thing for us here at MLC. The ability to do simple security and integrate with Active Directory (AD), PGP and GPG has been huge," Kolodziejski stated. "The security features are really good; it supports all the encryption algorithms – it does encryption quite well," he explained. Their AD Single Sign-on (SSO) also integrates easily with MFT – "Another big positive," he added. In Australia, MLC is governed by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA), where they govern and highly regulate banking, insurance, and financial industries. Internally, MLC has a security team that enforces these key APRA security standards, but MFT has had no issues fitting in. "We haven’t had any problems meeting security standards," Kolodziejski said.
Cost was also an important factor when they decided to proceed with GoAnywhere MFT, which MLC found to be more reasonably priced than competitors’ available MFT solutions.
"We are using this product quite extensively at the moment," Kolodziejski said. What started off as one to three integrations has grown exponentially to over 50 workflows now. "Even for our core SFTP capabilities, we’re using GoAnywhere MFT. Whenever we have to expose data or are working with an external vendor and they need to send their files to us with customer data that needs to be encrypted and secure, we provide them an SFTP endpoint and they drop the files in. It all goes through MFT," he explained.
MLC has also been expanding on their data migration abilities now with GoAnywhere MFT. "We have migrated user direct/employee home drives from the NAB network, so all the employees’ user drives were migrated. NAB archived the drives and we pulled them with SFTP through MFT into our data center," Kolodziejski explained.
Aside from utilizing GoAnywhere MFT for its file transfer abilities, MLC has also made a habit out of utilizing the secure forms GoAnywhere offers. Secure Forms allow end-users to fill out custom forms with one or more input values and optionally upload files through the HTTPS Web Client in GoAnywhere. "We began using the secure forms because of a marketing partner we were working with. They had the requirement of sending certain sensitive files their way and these files needed to be PGP encrypted and had to be SFTP. We created a secure form for them where they logged in using their AD credentials and uploaded their files, thus triggering the project workload. The files were automatically encrypted, scanned for viruses, and sent to the vendor through SFTP," Kolodziejski explained.
Additionally, MLC found they had a need to make their upgrades and scaling easier, so they decided to virtually containerize the application to run in Docker. After modernizing, they still run MFT today in Docker. Kolodziejski, who oversees and manages applications like Docker and GoAnywhere MFT, said, "MFT has been flawlessly running in Docker for two years now."
The End Result
Overall, Kolodziejski and his team are pleased with their experience using GoAnywhere MFT. MLC employs IT Professionals from many different backgrounds who grew up speaking different languages. "They haven’t had difficulty learning. Overall, everyone’s quite happy with the product. We didn’t expect this much usage to come forth. It grew exponentially," Kolodziejski stated.
The MLC team is enthusiastic about GoAnywhere’s strong ability to automate and transfer files securely. "We’re mainly using MFT for file transfers only now," he said, "but this product is fantastic for just that – transferring files!"
You can learn more about MLC Life Insurance by visiting their website.
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