According to a recent Dark Reading report, file transfer protocol (FTP) is still one of the preferred methods for businesses to trade information. The technology is admittedly easy to use and very familiar to companies, but it was developed in times when security threats were less sophisticated. In the modern, cloud-enabled marketplace, FTP programs present a major risk to companies. The secure option is the adoption of new secure file transfer systems in place of risky legacy technology.
The source stated that a recent Harris Interactive poll of IT decision-makers found 51 percent admit they still send files through FTP. Doing this, however, ignores the risk posed by using a decades-old system in modern business. Auditors are wary of companies still employing FTP, meaning that organizations without a secure file transfer method could have trouble passing industry compliance inspections. The source stated that in the past few years, files have been exposed to the public purely through their position on an unsecured FTP server, with no outside attack involved.
"The FTP protocol is in the drinking water," file transfer expert Greg Fraubert told the source. "But while it is a ubiquitous protocol, depending on it as a standard architecture for file exchange is a bad strategy."
Old and unsecured FTP systems are also cause to fail PCI compliance examinations. The PCI standards specifically check to make sure file transfers are secure, Fraubert told the source. Whether a company engages in frequent B2B integration or handles sensitive client data, making sure that the data is secure in transfer is critical for maintaining strong relationships with partners and consumers.
Businesses can find the answer to their file transfer woes in the cloud. Modern solutions such as SEEBURGER SEE FX work on a variety of business systems, including mobile devices. While old-fashioned systems are mired in the pre-smartphone era, new managed file transfer systems allow documents to be edited on tablets or phones. They are also compatible with files of all sizes, a major concern as enterprise data grows at previously unimaginable rates.
All data moves through encrypted channels, meaning that companies are better equipped to pass PCI examinations and fend off challenges from hackers.
Data in transit does not need to be a risk area for businesses. For more than half of companies, it still is, however. Luckily, the technology exists to reverse the trend.