By Christopher R. Wilder
Research Director & Senior Analyst, TAG Cyber
Businesses are sharing more sensitive information every day. CISOs and CIOs face the challenge of securing data shared between employees, customers, and third parties. Managed file transfer (MFT) is the solution most organizations use to send and receive files and data in a way that ensures the information cannot be intercepted or accessed by an unauthorized recipient. MFT normally uses industry-standard protocols such as File Transfer Protocols (FTP) and security encryption protocols such as AES, OpenPGP, SSH, and SSL to secure sensitive information.
Employees and organizations share sensitive information in many ways, including documents attached to an email or through cloud storage services. Businesses must understand the risks associated with a data breach or unintended user error, especially if the company operates in a regulated market where it’s essential to meet compliance mandates such as PII/DSS, HIPAA, SOX, GDPR, or FISMA.
Centralizing how an enterprise's information is encrypted and shared helps IT and security teams ensure that employees and lines of business have a secure and reliable file transfer solution, reduce "shadow IT," strengthen cybersecurity practices, and streamline compliance audits.
Cloud services have become a standard for both enterprises and third parties. Cloud MFT solutions allow enterprises to access their files anywhere, on any device, and have the flexibility to meet their requirements. However, the convenience of the cloud comes at the cost of control and, in some cases, security.
Considerations when Choosing a Secure MFT provider
Businesses evaluating MFT solutions must consider the following options, especially those companies with strict regulatory and compliance requirements.
- Multiple deployment options - MFT solutions must allow users to do their jobs, collaborate, and share data with their team, customers, and partners. MFT providers must be able to deploy their solutions into multiple environments including public cloud, on-premises, or hybrid.
- Audit and Compliance Support - Any MFT provider needs to have the ability to monitor and support auditing capabilities and, in some cases, automate and enforce digital/smart contracts between third parties.
- Strong Security Controls - Having enterprise-grade security controls help ensure adherence to compliance and internal policies for sharing information. While organizations need to allow teams and partners to collaborate, they must have the ability to restrict and safeguard users from having access to the data they don't need. Organizations with sensitive data may want to consider finding a provider who can offer additional security capabilities within the MFT platform, like stronger protection from malware, or the ability to encrypt and control access to documents even after they reach their intended destination.
- Ease of use and integration with internal applications - It's important to select a solution that seamlessly integrates with legacy systems, especially email. It's also important for an MFT solution to support transfers from anywhere to any device or a compatible solution.
For enterprises, Fortra provides a solid roadmap for protecting and managing their most sensitive data, files, and email. We recommend considering Fortra and their GoAnywhere and Globalscape MFT solutions to control, secure, and audit enterprise data sharing needs.
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