Ipswitch Blog

Five things your files would tell you (if they could talk)

| July 24, 2014 | Compliance, Data Breach, Managed File Transfer, Secure File Transfer, Visibility

FileTalkIf your files could talk, I guarantee that they would have a lot to say. With larger quantities of data being shared across more devices than ever before, we often mismanage our files and lose critical information.

Nearly half (42 percent) of IT professionals report their organization does not mandate secure methods for transferring corporate information according to a recent Ipswitch survey. In addition, 18 percent of IT professionals admit they have lost a critical file and 11 percent have spent more than an hour trying to retrieve that file.

Organizations need to reevaluate their file transfer strategy because let’s face it – our files are not happy with the way they are handled. Here are five things they would tell us if they could:

  1. I don’t feel safe. I need more protection: Cyber incidents occur at an alarming rate and cost the economy billions of dollars each year. It’s important for IT professionals to protect the file transfer server by running frequent penetration tests, vulnerability scans, static code analysis and storing files encrypted so they cannot be easily executed in the servers host OS. Additionally, file transfer solutions must incorporate rigorous control and security measures to meet Service-Level Agreement (SLAs) and compliance requirements. In the healthcare industry, for example, compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) has fueled businesses to find ways to securely transmit protected health information (PHI) and meet the law’s requirements. Managed File Transfer (MFT) systems are a key component to enable secure file transfer and auditing to support compliance.
  2. If I were to go missing, would anyone care?: Not only are lost files a huge headache for IT, they are also a huge risk for an organization. Losing sensitive information, whether it is patient or financial data, can result in costly damages and cause an organization to fail an audit for non-compliance. MFT systems guarantee delivery of data and track files so IT professionals are aware of their locations and who accessed them at all times.
  3. I want to make my mark in the world: Files want to be seen and leave their imprint in the system. When employees use unauthorized applications, such as Dropbox, to share or download files for personal use, there is a true lack of visibility or audit trails. It’s important that businesses maintain control of company data and keep the flow of data transparent. It’s not just the employee that gets into trouble for sending a file in an unsecure manner; it’s the entire company that suffers, particularly if there is a breach as a result.
  4. I have places to be and little time to spare: In another survey conducted by Ipswitch this year, more than 100 IT professionals highlighted just how stressful a manual approach to file transfer can be: 61 percent equated manual file transfer processes to sitting in traffic. Manually transferring files can slow the transfer process and cause more interruptions for IT. Automated MFT solutions allow for efficient transfers and give back time to the IT department and make them look like heroes when they can quickly automate repetitive transfer-related tasks for business users. MFT allows files to get where they need to be much more quickly and securely.
  5. I want to feel cared for: If your car breaks down, you have AAA come repair your car onsite or take your car to a service station. Files want that same assurance with high availability and disaster recovery features. In addition to the soft costs, such as time and reputation, there are also hard costs that come with being unable to reliably transfer files between employees, partners and customers, including missed SLA penalties, lost business opportunities and impact on supply chain. By leveraging high availability, horizontal scaling, and disaster recovery as part of file transfer processes, organizations can ensure that critical files are delivered consistently and reliably.

I think it’s time IT professionals start listening to their files to understand the existing problems with their file transfer processes. MFT gives files what they want – security, reliability and visibility.

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Paul Castiglione

This post was written by Paul Castiglione

Paul Castiglione is a technical marketer and product evangelist with years of experience working with IT professionals implementing software and SaaS integration middleware: web app servers/PaaS, SOA/ESBs, and MFT/MFTaaS. He's worked for a few start-ups (most were subsequently acquired by IBM), open source, and IBM WebSphere.