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Using Secure File Transfer to Protect Creative Assets

Kevin Conklin| June 18 2018

| security

Network admins and IT engineers at companies that need to update their file transfer processes face a critical mission: making sure digital assets always remain safe and protected against lurking cybercriminals.

One such company that took on this challenge is Rocksteady Studios. Based in London, the video game developer is well-known for its award-winning “Batman: Arkham” series. The firm relies on the successful transfer of creative assets with agency affiliates and needed a reliable and secure file transfer system in order to keep game development on schedule.

When transferring large files, the company also needs to make sure employees do not create any security risks that might introduce threats to digital assets. Maintaining robust data security is paramount.

Moving Massive Creative Assets Safely with Secure FTP

On a daily basis, Rocksteady shares massive files with partners that contain sound effects, music, artwork, on-screen graphics and props. Like many other video game developers, Rocksteady needs to securely transfer creative assets to meet confidentiality requirements. No less important, the files need to arrive on time, and intact. Email was not an options even with secure e-mail. The result would be email attachments that were too large for the servers. A secure file transfer solution was needed.

Rocksteady previously used the file transfer protocol (FTP) client within Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) to transfer files. However, this was not a sustainable approach because the firm’s digital subscriber line connection was too small. Dozens of gigabytes of data were broken down into compressed file packets, which led to packet loss and reliability issues.

Benjamin Nias, a Rocksteady Studios Engineer, commented on the situation: “Due to the instability of the connection, there was no guarantee that all the packets were getting to their destination. I was increasingly getting emails and phone calls from the agencies, saying that assets weren’t coming through. I needed a more stable transfer mechanism I could trust.”

Secure File Transfer Reduces IT Complexity and Provide Total Control

Nias’s team ultimately chose WS_FTP Server from Ipswitch as the best method for using secure file transfer to protect creative assets. “The reliability and advanced encryption provided by WS FTP Server made it a clear-cut choice,” noted Nias.

WS_FTP Server features a proven track record of delivering transfer reliability and securing sensitive data—protecting the most confidential information in several security-sensitive industries for over 20 years. The proven, effective, and easy-to-use file transfer solution secures data in-transit in the cloud while also integrating programmable methodologies that simplify transfer tasks and improve efficiency. Businesses can also improve control, visibility and security over transfer activities—with the ability to implement safeguards against information leaks and data breaches. WS_FTP provides more than one secure file transfer protocol. This includes SSH file transfer protocol (Secure Shell) as well as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and SCP2 (Secure Copy). 

Using WS_FTP Server, the Rocksteady Studios creative assets as well as intellectual property, trade secrets and sensitive data are all protected by 256-bit AES encryption as they are transferred outside the company. At the same time, the company is preventing fraudulent transfers.

On the other side of the fence, agency affiliates are required to use multi-factor authentication in order to access the files. Each end user at an affiliate must use strong passwords that routinely auto-expire.

A Complete File Transfer Portfolio of Services

For every video game developer, the loss of any of digital asset could have severe legal and economic recriminations. But WS_FTP Server has ensured that Rocksteady Studios is fully protected by providing a complete file transfer portfolio of services.

The firm can meet the stringent legal requirements mandated by its publisher. At the same time, affiliate agencies view Rocksteady Studios as one of the more competent companies to deal with. This is a prime example of how the performance and security of an IT infrastructure positively impacts a company’s brand. For another example, check out Branding In Healthcare: A Strong Brand Builds Trust.

Additionally, Rocksteady Studios is able to further bolster its asset protection capabilities through user access control and real-time visibility into file sharing and file transfer activities. Systems engineer Benjamin Nias reported that he has also saved a great deal of time and effort since installing WS_FTP Server:

“Time is of a premium in our industry, and any way we can speed up the process is of great benefit. Splitting up the asset data into manageable packets each day and transferring them overnight via IIS took quite a while. Now I can do this in only 30 seconds with WS_FTP Server.”

Another benefit that comes from improving file transfer security is in the compliance arena since many regulations require proof that data in transit is just as safe as when at rest.

Check out this blog to see how event log management can also play a key role in security and compliance, and then read about Three Compliance and Security Predictions from last year to see how they could influence your approach to security and compliance this year.

Implementing a Managed File Transfer Solution for Your Company

Every business exchanges information—internally among end users in different locations and externally with partners and customers. Traditional file transfer techniques such as FTP are no longer viable options for transferring files due to the pressure for speed, efficiency and security. If you work in a regualted industry, auditors will frown upon FTP solutions due to security holes that can come up from poor maintenance of FTP servers, not to mention basic and secure FTP servers don't scale well. Managed file transfer solutions are now recognized as a necessity for many businesses. 

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But implementing a managed file transfer solution is not something that should be done in a hurry. Moving away from traditional file transfer techniques and homegrown solutions needs to be done using an effective step-by-step approach.

Prior to implementing a managed file transfer solution for your business, conduct a thorough analysis of your current state and file transfer requirements. It can be difficult to choose a solution that will scale with the needs of your business, so be sure to gather requirements not only by determining today’s needs, but also the projected requirements in the future.

Then create a shortlist of solution providers that meet those needs. Try to find one that helps you avoid post-implementation challenges by making it possible to govern the application with the appropriate metrics, policies, and procedures.

As you search, you may discover that WS_FTP Server from Ipswitch is the right secure file transfer system for your business. Just as Rocksteady Studios found out, you can use secure file transfer to protect your vital creative assets. As for a more robust product that includes log reporting and automation, MOVEit managed file transfer may be the option for you. 

Topics: security

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Kevin joined Ipswitch in 2015 and leads the company’s product and content marketing practices. He is widely recognized for his product marketing accomplishments in information technologies. He is a serial startup executive having played instrumental roles in the success of such companies as for Prelert, VKernel, Mazu Networks and Smarts, Inc. and has been instrumental to the success of these IT management technology companies. Kevin is also the co-host of the PICNIC Podcast live show (https://picnic-podcast.com/), sharing experiences and best practices, providing a voice of expertise, and educating IT professionals with the latest technology challenges.

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