Managed File Transfer Myth: MFT Is Just for Big Organizations with Big Files
When asked who uses managed file transfer (MFT), the default response might be the enterprise when sending massive files, especially in industries that are heavily regulated. But today, according to providers of the technology, that is not necessarily the case.
“It is so NOT an issue of how big the file is.” says Paula Skokowski, chief marketing officer for Accellion. “A Social Security Number is just 10 digits and you can get in trouble for sending that out.” Not only is the size of the file not the only driver if MFT should be in place, but also who uses it within the organization.
“What is the logic if we say security is important, yet we give MFT to just 10 percent of the organization?” asks Skokowski. “It only takes someone from the other part of the organization to send an email and you are on the headline news.”
Typical highly regulated organizations, like financial services, healthcare and government, are not the only ones that can see the benefit of MFT. “Cosmetics and media are two industries where external regulations are not the driving factor in managed file transfer decisions,” offers Jonathan Lampe, CISSP, VP product management for Ipswitch File Transfer. “However, internal concerns around protection of intellectual property serve a similar function in the decision making process.” Lampe continues by noting that it is more about what needs protecting than who the company is, and how big the file is. “Whether we’re serving a bank sending thousands of credit card numbers at a time or a cosmetics giant sending its latest perfume formulas and advertising collateral around the world, the ability to protect and track every exchange remains.”
Skokowski is in agreement stating: “Obviously healthcare with HIPPA and financial services, and government, MFT is a given. Not even debatable. But for the other organizations, it is a case of confidential information that might be intellectual property or sensitive employee information. It doesn’t take any more effort to send a file securely, so really rather than debate, does it need to be secured or not? You might as well just send it securely.”
Really big files were the driver for FTP popularity, which is still used heavily today. As time has passed, however the need to ensure the security of the file and have an audit trail has led to the evolution to MFT. Large files are often loaded to CDs or USB sticks, but these lack the auditing component and can be easily lost.
“The need for establishing data security, especially around file transfer, is because human intervention is rising every day, especially as files keep getting bigger and companies become more aware,” observes Paul French vice president product and solutions marketing for Axway. “CTOs are terrified in how easy it is to send huge files, knowing that they have lost all control, lost all audit.”
French offers an example of YouSendit, where anyone can send a 2GB file. “YouSendit has some security – but the last piece is the audit and compliance and it really falls down there. It is really easy to send a file. We caught 50 people using that. There is a place for YouSendit, just not in the enterprise.”
Knowing where files are going is a benefit of MFT, no matter the size of the file, nor the size of the organization. “We have a customer that is very well-known and its whole business is around their intellectually property,” shares Skokowski. “They discovered files being sent to a country that certainly should not have been receiving it. They wanted to be sure that anyone that sends a file, the person on the other end has to authenticate and that there are controls in place. Using something like YouSendit means that the organization has no visibility.
Accellion, like the others, recognizes that MFT is not just for the enterprise. Last year the company launched a solution for SMBs. “We realized you can still get yourself in a lot of trouble even if you only have 100 employees! You can be handling very sensitive information, and need be responsible in securing, reporting and tracking. So while we do have multi-national, global corporations, we also realize the needs are great across a spectrum of organizations.”
For more about MFT read File Transfer Technologies Offer Security and Audit Trails.
Eye on Messaging is written by Stephanie Jordan, editor in chief of Messaging News. If you have story ideas or news to share, email her: sjordan [at] messagingnews [dot] com
- IT Security
- Internet Privacy
- Messaging Security
- Email Security
- Mobile Security
- Internet Security
- Cloud Security
- Information Security
- Internet Privacy
- Privacy Protection
- Email Encryption
- Data Breach Protection
- Spam Filtering
- Virus Protection
- Botnet Detection
- Internet Worm Protection
- Social Business
- Managed IT Services
- Mobile Devices
- Disaster Management
- 1 of 283