Compelling benefits of managed file transfer solutions


describe the imageIn today's business, data has become the new form of currency. The value of information, whether it pertains to sensitive business documents, client matters or financial records, is immense. Although many organizational leaders are aware of the need for robust data storage solutions, many overlook the necessity for a reliable and secure method of transferring that information. Data is most beneficial when it can be made readily accessible across the entire enterprise or shared with trusted business partners for better collaboration opportunities. This may be difficult to achieve for the numerous organizations that leverage a large quantity of enormous files and face strictly outlined data protection regulations. Numerous industries and sectors from healthcare to financial services require reliable and high-functioning methods of transferring data with security and convenience.

Although businesses have many potential services and technologies to consider, managed file transfer solutions are among the most sophisticated. In addition to facilitating the quick transmission of large documents such as medical imaging files, MFT offers a level of security and accountability unparalleled in the industry. By leveraging MFT solutions, organizations can enjoy many of the enterprise benefits offered by the technology.

Untouchable security
Sharing critical business documents across the enterprise and among key partners has never been easier, but the open exchange of files across networks has also led to some massive security vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals have developed methods to steal or view data when it is transit, driving the need for sophisticated security capabilities that go beyond protecting files on disk. MFT services provide encryption capabilities so organizational leaders can rest assure that their important documents are safe. The fallout from a severe data breach can have a number of far-reaching adverse results, including direct financial loss, erosion of customer confidence and potential data security regulation violations.

Many industries, including the healthcare and financial services sectors, are subject to guidelines detailing what measures should be taken to maximize the security of sensitive information. In the aftermath of a damaging breach, if an organization is found to have acted negligently with its data protection protocols, it may receive severe financial penalties which could tie up needed funds and impede operations. A robust MFT solution can help organizations address these concerns and ensure that they are in full compliance with any relevant government or industry regulations.

Enhanced accountability
When exchanging large volumes of sensitive information, it's vital that organizations maintain a detailed record of each transaction to ensure that data is being leveraged judiciously and that only authorized personal have access to certain documents. TechTarget explained that traditional enterprise networking options such as FTP or VPN often lack any form of traceability, meaning officials cannot easily track the movement and use of highly sensitive information. This can raise a number of major problems if a company is faced with a sweeping audit.

"More companies are affected by a failing audit and the fear of failing audits [than data security concerns]," Gartner research director L. Frank Kenney said, according to the source. "The bigger issue is can I be assured, can I show, that a file that moves from point A to B has been secured, that the person who sent it had the authority to send it and was authenticated, and that the person who received it had the authority to receive it and was authenticated?"

MFT solutions offer the ability to diligently track all file transfers and authentication processes. This not only ensures that highly sensitive information is kept out of the hands of unauthorized users, but also establishes a paper trail to prove it. With a high-quality MFT product in place, organizational leaders can demonstrate to any auditors that they have acted in good faith regarding the use of internal data.

Optimized productivity
Although the benefits of MFT are often discussed in terms of security and documentation, one of the most enticing advantages to deploying this technology is the potential to bolster business processes for greater production and healthier revenue streams. When file management services operate inefficiently, personnel are unable to quickly access and share critical documents that could drive business. MFT addresses these issues by automating and streamlining a number of regular data transfer tasks to optimize this aspect of the enterprise and reduce the likelihood of an error occurring.

Even when employees attempt to transmit important information as diligently as possible, they may still encounter file transfer failures without realizing they have even occurred. When these processes are automated with an MFT solution, the system can identify a potential problem with a given transmission and resend the file without delay. This reduces the amount of time and resources spent trying to ascertain whether a particular document was ever sent or received. When paired with MFT's documentation features, this asset can ensure that mission-critical data is securely sent when needed.

Case study: Christie's International
World-renowned auction house Christie's International, for instance, struggled to send and receive high-resolution images on its standard FTP network, according to TechTarget's Linda Tucci. In order to create catalogs at a quality befitting the organization's reputation, Christie's required photos with unparalleled clarity. Because FTP could not facilitate transmitting these files over a network, the business was forced to mail physical storage media such as DVDs in order to send their catalog photos.

"We were finding this process extremely painful in terms of the delivery and receipt and management of the files into and out of our businesses," Neil McCutcheon, head of catalog production at Christie's London office, told the source. He continued, "It's not that hard to use if you're transferring small amounts of data. But when you have significant amounts, we ran into all sorts of difficulties with lines going down, with nondocumented receipts and email confirmation of receipts, and the speed and lack of automation."

By switching to an MFT solution for these processes, however, Christie's could quickly and easily share these documents with the necessary parties while removing unnecessary costly labor and production costs. Much of the ROI resulting from the transition resulted from increased operational efficiency, as fewer resources needed to be invested in the frequent exchange of documents. The organization also reported, however, that implementing MFT's automation features allowed it to offshore production duties to low-cost areas of the world for further revenue benefits.

If you liked this article, check out others from Lightwell:

Managed file transfer needed to stop ongoing FTP problems

Managed file transfer: Getting compliant, becoming secure

Managing global challenges to data integrity with secure file transfer

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