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The Definitive Guide to Managed File Transfer

Steve Staden| March 12 2015

| security

Moving files from Point A to Point B…if only it were that simple. As the number of files being transferred continues to rise, so does associated costs. Likewise, as technology evolves, so does the need to ensure security and compliance.  So how can your organization determine the best way to go about transferring files securely? ...in compliance with regulations? ...and without breaking the bank? All very important questions.


Guide to Managed File Transfer Guide to Managed File Transfer


No surprises here that the answer (to all of them) is a Managed File Transfer solution. As we explain in our Definitive Guide to Managed File Transfer: Attaining Automation, Security, Control & Compliance, it’s no longer enough for organizations to transfers files via email attachments, zip drives or even standard FTP. These methods are clearly not secure enough – and even if they were – they would leave enormous holes in terms of efficiency and visibility.

This is a realization that many organizations have arrived at in recent years, but it’s one that first requires them to ask some critical questions about the state of file transfers. Here are a few, extracted from the aforementioned eGuide:

What’s actually in these files?

Without asking this question, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll put your organization at risk. For instance, just imagine if these files ended up in the wrong hands:

  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII): Name, physical and email addresses, phone number, date of birth, Social Security/national identification number, vehicle registration information, driver’s license number, digital credentials, biometrics
  • Financial Customer Data: Credit card numbers, financial statements, credit applications, claims
  • Business Customer Data: Letters of agreement, statements of work, purchase orders, invoices, corporate financial information, intellectual property, business plans
  • Legal Information: Contracts, discovery, privileged communications
  • Medical: Patient-provider communications, patient records, test results, X-rays, CT Scans, PT Scans, MRIs, prescriptions, insurance claims
  • Government and Regulatory Data: Compliance information/audits, tax filings
  • Personnel Information: Payroll data, workmen’s compensation, unemployment tax filings, HR records, 401K data, benefits information, employee applications, offers, agreementsHow do files travel today?

As complex as it might seem, all file transfers can be classified into 1 of 4 categories

  1. Process-to-process: Many files are automatically transferred between systems. This is especially true when it comes to an organization’s external partners – clients, vendors, service providers, government organizations.
  2. Process-to-person: These transfers occur when an automated process creates a file or report and transfers it automatically to a person, based either on a schedule or an event.
  3. Person-to-person: Ad hoc or impromptu file transfers from one person to one or more other parties.
  4. Person-to-process: In this scenario, an employee, customer or partner transfers a file that is automatically uploaded into storage or a business system.Why is this important? Simple. If you’re going to simplify your file transfer processes, then you need a solution that can address all of these scenarios, not just one or two.

What’s wrong with the status quo?

At this point, it’s common to wonder—if all your files are reaching their destination—why there’s a need to revamp or think your approach. Several reasons:

  • Manual complexity: When organizations use multiple systems and custom scripts to manage file transfer, they needlessly increase complexity for employees, customers and partners.
  • Control (or lack thereof): For security and compliance reasons, companies now need a greater level of visibility and control over file transfer activity.
  • Shadow IT: Without an enterprise-grade solution, employees will use whatever means necessary to move files. Most of these methods are intended for personal use, not for sensitive data, putting your organization at risk of a data breach or compliance violation.So can the status quo get the job done? Yes. Does it put your organization at risk, and create needless complexity and additional work? Absolutely.

Next Steps

If you’re currently asking these questions, you’re on the path to adopting a more comprehensive, powerful method of transferring files—but why stop here? Be sure to read our eGuide in its entirety: The Definitive Guide to Managed File Transfer: Attaining Automation, Security, Control & Compliance>>>

Topics: security

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