Four words: data on the move. Businesses today completely rely on being able to send, receive and share data, often incredibly large batches of data, quickly and securely.
The surge in remote working has also challenged businesses to rethink how their teams collaborate. Teams sharing information remotely means bigger files sizes are kicked back from emails when they’re too large for an inbox. People begin seeking ad hoc file sharing solutions they’re familiar with such as Dropbox or Google, and everything contained in that link might put your business at risk. It’s truly the stuff migraines are made of.
It’s essential for businesses to share information seamlessly while ensuring the data stays protected, and while many security teams are in a constant state of stress about data security, there are ways that businesses can be collaborative without compromising workflow or data security.
The solution? Automation.
The demand for secure file transfer, for both on-site and ad-hoc person-to-person situations, has catapulted businesses’ timelines to implement a secure, automated file transfer service. If your organization is already consideration cloud migration for its business systems, there’s the added concern of trading off security for cost savings?
So is it worth it?
Moving your existing FTP servers to a cloud-based Managed File Transfer (MFT) system, can boost production and workflow and give your engineers the security they need.
Nowadays, companies have incredible levels of flexibility when it comes to designing and operating the infrastructure needed to power their applications, but with that comes production environments that are larger and more complex, which also means it's more difficult for your average security team to safeguard these manually. Old-school best practices just aren’t good enough anymore and they’re leaving security teams struggling to keep up.
Utilizing automation can help teams work more efficiently, assisted by powerful tools such as Progress MOVEit, making it possible to build a secure solution that allows for collaboration without slowing your team down.
How it boosts security.
The more data that’s transferred, the great the security demand. It’s essential to ensure files are moved securely while meeting compliance standards. File transfer automation platforms such as MOVEit ensure your team has complete visibility over where the files have gone, either between processes or people internally or outside your organization.
Senior security consultant Andrew Constantine says automation can be of great benefit, particularly in the everyday malware scenario. Where a team would get an alert from an information and event management system, the analyst collects data, understands the context of the issue, classifies the incident, the analyst opens ITSM ticketing system (reimaging ticket), the system is re-imaged and incident is closed.
“Replicating this on scale for 500 infected machines is an issue,” he says, adding “there's a lot of manual labour work, such as the investigation, triaging, classifications et cetera.
“When we look at the enterprise level of engagements, we deal with let’s 300 endpoints which are potentially affected with malware, we need a very quick way to hunt, collect evidence and triage the case very quickly,” he adds.
Automation, he says, comes into play by doing the heavy grunt work, automating threat intelligence to give valuable information on indicators of compromise, quickly running through infected systems, whether that’s endpoints such as computers, servers, or mobile phones all the way to phishing and email compromise - searching known hashes, known executables file locations and more.
“It's about having effective automation, all the way to the point of allowing analysts to triage and remediate the issues rather than filling online portals, and manually compiling a list of searches on endpoints to identify those critical systems that are infected,” he says.
Traditional methods such as FTP simply aren’t up to scratch for security, compliance, monitoring, and reporting and utilizing more complex means such as B2B integration and EDI – can be inflexible, costly, and might only manage process-related transfers. Not useful if your files need to move between individuals or teams. Individuals then seek out platforms they’re familiar with, such as Dropbox or Google or traditional email for file sharing. Clearly, that’s not ideal.
File transfer automation platforms also integrate with most anti-virus software and provides transport encryption, encrypted administrative access, file integrity checking and cryptographic tamper-evident logging to help keep file transfers secure.
It keeps you compliant.
In almost every industry, IT teams must control what data is shared and who sees it. As a result, many organizations have opted for Managed File Transfer (MFT) to share sensitive data and give employees an easy-to-use platform for secured collaboration.
An automated MFT solution, such as MOVEit, will include security controls for this data in transit, visibility to document the activity and an audit trail showing exactly how the sensitive data was transferred. All your data is reliably and securely exchanged in a way that both outpaces and outperforms applications such as FTP, HTTP and other methods.
Implementing automation gives you the most data control, security and it should also integrate into your existing scheduling programs, makes it all seamless without any required programming.
How it boosts productivity.
Today, the number of end-users and the volume of information they’re accessing at any given time has grown exponentially with no sign of easing. Businesses are tasked with managing this information in a way that provides easy access for team members to go about their day-to-day roles. Many organizations use multiple systems and custom scripts, which can be clunky and cumbersome for staff and other stakeholders. With the right solution, you’ll get increased efficiency and productivity all while lowering the associated costs.
“Nobody wants to be entering data manually let alone scanning those 3000 hosts which assume to be infected without knowing what to look for or let alone doing this one-by-one, “adds Andrew.
But when users need to be able to collaborate, it’s important to create a culture that doesn’t restrict collaboration while still remaining secure. That can be tricky. Finding the right balance between having excellent systems in place and sound staff training is the key.
Using a MFT which secures data and allows for access controls and audit trails allows you to carefully protect sensitive data, allowing access only to relevant parties.
At the end of the day, automation, says Andrew is vital for scale but also must take into consideration the environment, customer sector, organization size and of course, constraints such as budget and resources. However, when implemented corrected it can definitely provide huge benefits to both security and the overall business.