While file transfer protocol has been around for 40 years and was the norm for businesses, the aging technology continues to demonstrate weak spots. For example, a breach at Yale University exposed personal information on roughly 43,000 faculty, students and staff, because the data was stored on an unsecured FTP server.
|Companies today face the dual challenge of promoting collaboration across the organization and among business partners while still protecting the confidential data that makes the process worthwhile.
Through the rise of consumerization and cloud computing, numerous tools that emphasize collaboration have made their way into the enterprise. But it's important for companies to promote their own business integration solutions to ensure that information is exchanged in a secure manner that won't hinder productivity and efficiency.
|The expansion of their supply chains, coupled with widespread efforts to focus on B2B integration, has many organizations looking for a better method of transmitting critical business information. No longer is FTP, with its file size limits and lack of security measures, cutting it for many.
According to a recent SYS-CON Media report, companies are instead turning to business integration solutions such as secure file transfer. Such tools are fully equipped to deliver the compatibility, data security and effectiveness that all companies need in a collaboration platform.
When making a switch from FTP to secure file transfer, there are certain steps the organization should take. SYS-CON Media contributor Hugh Garber identified several of these measures in his recent report.
Step 1: Get employees on one page
Before deploying a new solution, Garber encouraged companies to identify all the tools currently in use by employees. In addition to FTP, this will more than likely include email, public websites and mobile devices, he said.
The IT department will have to put a stop the use of such tools for file sharing if success of secure file transfer is to occur. This can be accomplished through education that highlights the benefits of secure file transfer business integration solutions compared to other less secure and less effective methods.
Step 2: Take a data inventory
By recognizing where certain information resides within the company, officials will have a better idea of what data will most likely be affected by secure file transfer. Furthermore, by completing a picture of their data storage and lifecycle processes, companies will be better able to protect and secure the information, Garber said.
"After all, it’s harder to protect information that you don’t even know exists," he wrote.
Step 3: Determine who has access
This is another step that can enhance the security capabilities of a new file transfer solution. Experts agree that many data breaches are the result of employees inappropriately accessing confidential information. Such threats can be minimized by setting access controls to the new tool, according to the report.
Garber noted that not all employees need access to all enterprise data. If access isn't already restricted, implementing such measures should be part of "your near-term plan," he wrote.
A recent CSO Magazine report also highlighted several capabilities that companies should look for in a file transfer tool. For one, the news provider stated, it's important that a new solution allows the IT department to regain control over the entire process.