We’re living in the age of information. In both the world of the enterprise and in our own personal lives, we expect speed first and foremost. The exchange of data between customers, employees, and partners is become a critical component of business operations. Shadow IT solutions such as email and cloud based file-sharing solutions, and even FTP server based solutions can leave businesses vulnerable to missed SLAs, data loss, data theft, and fines for noncompliance. Managed File Transfer has established itself as the go-to solution when requirements that involve large amounts of daily file transfers, guaranteed delivery, or regulatory or SLA compliance. While managed file transfer may seem like an absolute no-brainer for some, it may not always fit business needs or budgets.
101: What is Managed File Transfer?
Managed File Transfer is a technology platform that utilizes administrative controls, support for security protocols , and automation capabilities to assist organizations in securely sharing sensitive or compliance protected data and high volume data. Managed File Transfer offers enterprises a more secure method for file transfer than the standard file transfer protocol (FTP) and typically features an interface and functionality that allows for file transfer control and visibility. To break it down into its core purpose and benefits, Managed File Transfer looks to help businesses reach a number of data related objectives.
If your organization is required to meet certain compliance standards such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, or HITECH, Managed File Transfer solutions will be able to help. The technology supports the secure management of highly sensitive data, whether it be proprietary data, employee or patient information, or credit card data, Managed File Transfer offers the technology to minimize vulnerable endpoints while data is being transferred. These solutions also provide businesses with improved scalability and efficiency benefits. Managed File Transfer tools allow businesses to maintain operations while data is being transferred. By keeping data moving, MFT is able to prevent data from being stuck by inefficient, manual processes, or an inflexible IT infrastructure.
What Will You Get Out of an MFT Solutions?
A has been discussed, Managed File Transfer solutions bring security, order, structure, and visibility to the enterprise. The way in which files are managed, monitored, and reported is critical business operations.
Control is one of the primary benefits from investing in Managed File Transfer. Enterprise level MFT solutions help establish control over the security of private data. Full control is put in the hands of business users using a number of various technical features, to make sure that encryption and proper compliance standards are adhered to. MFT solutions also provided enterprises with powerful centralization and automation capabilities. Commonly used consumer grade file sharing tools have resulted in a mass decentralization of of enterprise data. As soon as data has left locally managed systems, IT teams aren’t able to accurately manage the data. Enterprise level MFT solutions have addressed these problems by giving IT teams and business leaders the power to enforce policies that can track the movement and security of highly sensitive data. Lastly, in this day and age, it’s almost a given that your organization will need to meet some sort of regulatory compliance. By implementing an MFT solution, internal and ad-hoc transfers can be easily managed and controlled by working with an existing email service.
Should You Invest in MFT? Or Will an FTP Server Get the Job Done?
When looking for a Managed FIle Transfer solution, there’s one question that seems to be brought up more than any other: “Does my organization need a full on managed file transfer solution or will a simple FTP server do the job just fine?” It’s a good question and one that’s asked for good reason too. The answer here depends on a few important questions. Will your organization only need to transfer files once in while? If a file isn’t able to transferred successfully, will it be disastrous if the file isn’t available until the next day? What’s the likelihood that the files hold highly sensitive, proprietary, or protected data? Depending on how you answered these questions, the difference between selecting an FTP server or a more robust Managed File Transfer solution can be significant. Consequences can include spending too much for a solution or failing to meet governmental or regulatory compliance.
File Transfer technology has been around for a much longer time than many people would think. In its earliest incarnations, File Transfer Protocol was a simple and easy method for moving files from one computer to another computer. The technology isn’t without its limitations: namely today’s security threats. Managed File Transfer solutions were originally brought into the market to address some of the shortcomings of FTP technology. These solutions brought much needed management functionality to file transfer technology as needs moved from occasional and non-critical to more high-volume and mission critical. Managed File Transfer solutions have also provide enterprises with a large amount of security and compliance features that were not available or difficult to build on to off-the-shelf FTP products.
The Bottom Line
It seems that everyone these days is looking to save an extra buck. However when it comes to investing in enterprise technology particularly managed file transfer solutions, shortcuts and penny pinching may actually cost businesses in the long run. Managed File Transfer solutions allow companies to automate their processes and in turn save time, labor, and ultimately money. Businesses can integrate MFT solutions into existing business processes, allowing them to easily introduce new compliance and security features while avoiding the trouble of disrupting the ways that their users typically conduct business. For any company, it’s absolutely critical that they maintain full control of their data, secure their data, and stay in compliance with industry and governmental regulations. By implementing a Managed File Transfer solution, enterprises can improve the controlling and centralizations of their data.
Ipswitch’s MOVEit Managed File Transfer Software helps organizations provide full visibility and control over their file transfer activities. MOVEit Managed File Transfer provides the reliability of critical business processes and the secure and compliant transfer of highly sensitive data between employees, customers and partners.