Managed file transfer may not be a frontline concern for many organizations, but they only push it to the backseat at their own risk. Over the past few years, it's become evident that hackers will take any and all means available to them to illegitimately access business data and exploit it. The news earlier this year that cybercriminals managed to breach a smart refrigerator and distribute 750,000 virus-laden emails sounds like a headline ripped straight from humor pages, but it is real. The same goes for the revelation that hackers found a way to pass around a virus using Wi-Fi hotspots, hitting area computers like a common cold.
With so much hazardous debris floating in the digital air, companies need to be extremely careful about the methods they use to exchange sensitive data. This is especially true as supply chains expand on a global level, putting more information in play that is sent to farther-flung operatives. There are also a variety of operational issues that make the implementation of managed file transfer solutions not only a secure choice, but a decision that will have a positive impact on an enterprise's bottom line.
Here are six reasons organizations should invest in managed file transfer solutions:
- Organizations want and need change: The current file transfer system is broken, too sluggish and unsustainable for emerging IT needs. Traditional models require a significant amount of direct oversight and manual configurations from IT teams, who are being stretched increasingly thin by the sheer number and variety of business-critical tasks for which they are responsible. Standards such as service level agreements demand heightened accountability and visibility for file transfer protocols. Managed File Transfer solutions can be deployed and maintained by a services provider, which uses automation, layered security and customized process solutions to deliver a reliable system.
- Standardization can prevent unplanned complications: In supply chains, and even within large enterprises, disparate file transfer protocols can create security, compliance and usability complications. By standardizing its in-house file transfer protocol and working with supply chain partners, organizations can eliminate these issues from scuttling productivity and creating security problems. Twentieth Century Fox, one of the biggest film companies in the world, was recently able to standardize its file transfer procedures in order to cut down on leaks of pre-released material, reported ComputerworldUK. The organization did so to cut down the complex variety of email and public cloud services its employees were using to communicate. Managed file transfer services can help companies safeguard their own intellectual property by eliminating decentralization and silos.
- Companies need to achieve compliance without breaking the bank (or losing their minds): Taking control of compliance mandates and information governance is one of the toughest tasks facing today's enterprises. File transfers are required to meeting various SLAs, as well as compliance standards that vary by industry. As eWeek contributor Christ Preimesberger pointed out, using a managed file transfer solution in place eliminates the seemingly never-ending cycle of manual oversight and adjustments. While compliance is costly, failing an audit can really derail an enterprise's future spending plans. A managed filed transfer solution like IBM Sterling File Gateway provides support for companies struggling to comply with federal and industry regulations.
- Access monitoring must improve: Larger enterprises are often overwhelmed with the task of monitoring data movement. They need to be able to manage the transport of data files of all sizes and track delivery, activities that can quickly swallow time and resources. A recent survey by ESG found that many organizations simply don't have the resources to monitor data movement sufficiently - 43 percent of IT security professionals said that their companies lack the security staff to keep track of data access activities all the time; 37 percent said that doing so is too costly; 31 percent said their companies lack proper tools. Managed file transfer solutions like IBM Sterling Control Center offer support for data management and loss prevention efforts.
- Enterprises need to conquer the scalability gap: Organizations dealing with big data and innovations like machine-to-machine communications must contend with far more data transfer needs than they likely have planned for. This means that legacy infrastructure is often inadequate to support file transfer needs. Managed file transfer solutions providers can offer critical back-end infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of upgrading all legacy equipment in house. Then, companies can reduce infrastructure spending, relying on a services provider for hardware and software support with scalability potential.
B2B relationships depend on it: File transfers are a key part of B2B partnerships, but onboarding trading partners can be a time-intensive and costly process. Organizations need to be able to exchange and access information in near real-time, but relying on legacy equipment and management strategies too often delays transmission. IBM Sterling File Gateway can ensure that business partners can send and receive critical, time-sensitive information with a minimum amount of potential headaches.
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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