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Creating software for the global IT community.

Today we released Ipswitch Analytics 1.1, an update to an add-on module for our MOVEit managed file transfer solution that offers flexible reporting and monitoring.  The most significant new capability is adding localized language support for end-users including Spanish, German and French (on top of English, of course).

What does this mean? It means life gets a little easier for end users.  For example, while a sysadmin can configure a localized language for all users, an end user can override and choose a different language for their own use that suits them better.  MOVEit users can now do all file transfer tasks in their native language: sending and receiving files, track the status of a transfer or create reports.

For a complete list of enhancements, check out our Ipswitch Analytics 1.1 Release Notes.

Simplified Managed File Transfer with MOVEit Server 8.2

While I am on the subject of new releases, last month we shipped MOVEit (DMZ) Server version 8.2, a secure managed file transfer server.  While there’s a number of updates in the new release, the most interesting is shared mailboxes.

This is a great feature for any team, where an individual member needs to securely send or receive large documents on behalf of their group.  Employees can now send large files securely to a single customer services mailbox, for example.  Any available customer services team member can access the file from the shared mailbox and securely reply to the employee.  There’s no longer a need to forward files between team members because everyone can access the same shared mailbox.  The feature can also be used to delegate access to co-workers during a temporary absence. The shared mailbox can be accessed from mobile devices, through web browsers, or an Outlook email client.

Read the MOVEit File Transfer (DMZ) Server 8.2 Release Notes for the complete list of updates.

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It’s hard to believe but Ipswitch Innovate Virtual Summit is almost around the corner. Through conference kick-off day (this Wednesday) I’ll wrap up previews of sessions presented by customers, outside experts and folks from Ipswitch. Today, join me for a preview of Stefan Drzazga’s session. Stefan is a senior Java developer at 360 Treasury Systems AG and his talk is called “High Volume of File Transfers between Many End Points.”

Eliminating File Transfer Error with an Automated Process

360 Treasury Systems AG is a provider of Web-based financial trading technology that allows clients to trade with transparency and control. But some time ago, transparency and control was just what the company needed to share confidential financial files with clients through file transfer.

Clients received files via email, preventing 360 Treasury Systems AG from knowing details like whether the proper recipient opened the file or if it was even opened at all. So Stefan and his colleagues searched for a file transfer service that was secure, offered transparency and control and worked with Java.

“With thousands of customers, having a partly-automated process meant someone could have confused things. We could have sent out the wrong report. We wanted to find a solution that would avoid this.” – Stefan Drzazga, a senior Java developer at 360 Treasury Systems AG.

They discovered MOVEit – our automated file transfer system that has an easy-to-understand web interface and integrates easily with existing IT infrastructure, including systems running on Java. Instead of continuing to worry about the errors caused by and the time spent on the manual sharing of files, Stefan and his team now breathe easy because of MOVEit’s automated customer distribution processes.

At Ipswitch Innovate, hear Stefan describe how MOVEit gave 360 Treasury Systems AG a full, clear view of transfer histories, complete control of the process and an opportunity to reduce overhead .

Come see us at Ipswitch Innovate Virtual Summit

Come to Ipswitch Innovate 2015. It’s free to sign up and you’ll get three hours per day of live webcasts and a virtual exhibit hall where you can evaluate network monitoring and data transfer solutions like WhatsUp Gold, WS_FTP and MOVEit. You can even navigate your way to the online Genius Bar for real-time answers to your product questions. Feeling lucky? We have extended the deadline through Tuesday, October 20 at Midnight PST to register for the event using “PWATCH” promo code in order to be entered into a drawing for a chance to win to win a Pebble Smartwatch.

Innovate
Ipswitch Innovate is a two-day online only event for IT professionals to learn from each other, and our product experts. Click to learn more.

For every IT pro who’s ever struggled to keep their head above water in a sea of changing network monitoring and secure file transfer requirements, here’s the lifeline you’ve been waiting for. file-transfer-securityEspecially in the wake of the recent ruling that struck down Safe Harbor, more likely than not your IT team is going to need to implement drastic changes to how your company transfers data internally and externally.

The upcoming Ipswitch Innovate 2015 virtual summit has brought together two leading IT authorities to offer free advice on FTP compliance in an ever-changing IT landscape and protecting the data that streams inside and outside your enterprise.

Secure File Transfer For FTP Compliance

On October 21, 2015, Cybersecurity expert David Lacey will give his top tips for building a secure, compliant file transfer system – from the standards you choose to the trends driving information security forward.

Why could a staged approach to securing file transfer be better for your business? Lacey’s answer might surprise you. But he would know, since he drafted the original text behind the ISO 27000 family of standards and was the first to develop a fraud detection system based on the human immune system.

Scaling Your Company’s Bandwidth for IoT

Tune in on October 22, 2015, to hear what THINKstrategies founder Jeff Kaplan says your IT teams should do now to prepare for the Internet of Things (IoT) that’s shaping our high-bandwidth future.

How connected is your network and do you have the bandwidth you need to scale for IoT? Kaplan’s advice is a must-have for upgrading your bandwidth requirements. No one knows the topic better. Kaplan was recently ranked in the “Top 100 Individuals and Brands in the Internet of Things Landscape,” by Onalytica, and was also named “Top 50 Cloud Bloggers of 2015” by The Channel Company and CRN.

Come See Us at Ipswitch Innovate Virtual Summit

Come to Ipswitch Innovate 2015. It’s free to sign up and you’ll get three hours per day of live webcasts and a virtual exhibit hall where you can evaluate network monitoring and data transfer solutions like WhatsUp Gold, WS_FTP and MOVEit. You can even navigate your way to the online Genius Bar for real-time answers to your product questions.

Feeling lucky? Sign up by October 15, 2015 for your chance to win a Pebble Smartwatch. Use the promo code “PWATCH” when you register.

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Today, we announced the release of Ipswitch Failover, a new MOVEit Managed File Transfer module that delivers zero data loss, no single point of failure and maximized availability through fast failover. Ipswitch Failover enables IT teams to provide highly available continuous file transfer operations and safeguard against data loss for regulatory and policy compliance with a simplified, easy to implement solution.

With Ipswitch Failover, businesses can:

Ipswitch Failover Architecture: Ipswitch Failover heartbeat communication between primary and secondary servers continuously replicates data at the windows kernel level ensuring zero data loss in the event of a failure.
Ipswitch Failover Architecture: Ipswitch Failover heartbeat communication between primary and secondary servers continuously replicates data at the windows kernel level ensuring zero data loss in the event of a failure.
  • Ensure high availability, continuous file transfers for 24×7 operations: Maximize file transfer success of business critical and sensitive data. Failover within a single datacenter, or to remote disaster recovery sites within seconds or minutes. Predictive and automated rule-based failover ensures continuous operations.
  • Safeguard against data loss for regulatory and policy compliance: Heartbeat communication between primary and failover servers allows for zero data loss in the event of failure. No single point of failure delivers 24×7 operations for MOVEit File Transfer (DMZ) and MOVEit Central servers.
  • Quickly implement automated failover: Implement failover in as little as an hour for local failover. No additional hardware and software for load balancing is required. Predictive and automated rules-based failover ensures continuous operations.
Monitor all file transfer activities from a single pane of glass.
Monitor all file transfer activities from a single pane of glass.

Key features of Ipswitch Failover include:

  • Real-time replication of data to a ‘hot-standby’ failover server to ensure file transfer services are always available.
  • Failover rules monitor performance metrics on production servers and can perform switchover to a ‘hot-standby’ before downtime.
  • Automated failover with Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) of less than a minute and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) of seconds.
  • No single point of failure nor load balancing hardware of software required.
  • Automatically monitor MOVEit File Transfer Server (DMZ) and MOVEit Central application health in real-time to identify and fix problems before they result in downtime.
  • Site-to-site (or on-site) failover to keep businesses running 24×7.

>> For more information about Ipswitch Failover please visit: http://www.ipswitchft.com/moveit-managed-file-transfer/file-transfer-failover.

>> And be sure to engage with us next month during the Ipswitch Innovate 2015 User Summit, a two-day (October 21-22) online event for IT pros to learn from each other and our product experts.

Ipswitch Innovate is a two-day online only event for IT professionals to learn from each other, and our product experts. Click to learn more.
Ipswitch Innovate is a two-day online only event for IT professionals to learn from each other, and our product experts. Click to learn more.

The responsibility for safeguarding sensitive company information and securely transferring it falls on the already stretched thin IT departments. Luckily, there are many options available for IT when it comes to file transfer. Email, FTP, USB drives and EFSS services like Dropbox to name more than a few. Yet none are as secure or cost-effective as managed file transfer (MFT).

Simple & Secure File Transfer: 5 Ways to Make it Work for You
Simple & Secure File Transfer: 5 Ways to Make it Work for You

MFT gives IT teams the agility they need to respond faster to business needs. All this while reducing time and resources required for file transfer operations. Here are five ways MFT makes IT better at their job:

  1. Secure and reliable transfers lift the burden from IT professionals. MFT provides a single-source solution with built-in security and encryption capabilities. This means all file transfers – whether they are process-to-process, person-to-process or process-to-person – are guaranteed to be protected.
  2. Out-of-the-box solutions free up valuable time and space. A MFT system offers out-of-the-box solutions that can easily be integrated into an existing IT infrastructure. Implementing a turn-key solution means that file transfer can be managed by less experienced IT administrators.
  3. Streamlined automation improves IT productivity. Many file transfers are initiated on a recurring basis. IT teams can get bogged down confirming transfers to meet SLAs.  The automation that comes with MFT promptly pushes data to the right person at the right time. This means that the IT team doesn’t have to think twice and can remain focused on other tasks.
  4. It’s IT friendly and eliminates errors. MFT incorporates admin, end-user access, analytics and reporting, and automation and workflow. This helps IT teams avoid tedious manual tasks that can lead to errors. Not to mention protection against a security breach via integration with important things like encryption and data loss prevention.
  5. Predictable reporting improves visibility and offers support for IT professionals. For regulated businesses (banks, hospitals, etc.), in-depth reporting is a critical need for file transfer systems. A MFT system incorporates reporting capabilities that ensure firms adhere to strict compliance regulations and are able to provide accurate data in the case of an audit – and fast.

Since businesses run on data, the transfer of data is the heart of today’s organizations – and with a solid MFT system, IT teams know that all data is protected while in transit and at rest.

>> Check out “Simple & Secure File Transfer: 5 Ways to Make it Work for You” to learn more about how we help IT teams with managed file transfer.

 

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Managed file transfer automation tools, like MOVEit Central, can make automating common tasks related to file transfers in much less time.

In a recent Ipswitch IT Priorities survey of over 371 IT professionals involved in file transfer and sharing administration, about 75% said they already used or had need for file transfer automation.  Their most common scenarios were:

  • Automate batch scheduling
  • Workload automation
  • Integration to backend systems. They include financial, CRM, ERP, cloud storage, ECM, EMR or marketing automation systems.

About half said they use Powershell to upload/download data from applications and databases today. So what should you keep in mind when using Powershell to automate common file transfer activities?

  • Use Windows Managament Instrumentation (WMI) to monitor a folder for newly arriving files.
  • Use Get/Add-Content calls when making changes to a file
  • Automation of file encryption is tricky, but consider using GnuPG.  Ensure you don’t use cleartext passwords.
  • You can use WinSCP client or WS_FTP Professional to transfer the files using secure protocols like SFTP, FTPS or HTTPS.

Managed file transfer automation tools, like MOVEit Central, can make automating common tasks related to file transfers in much less time. They are built to handle commonly overlooked scripting issues. These include error handling, logging, environment changes, and security related issues like encryption key management and password protection.

Adam Bertram, Microsft MVP, shared some “how-to’s” and sample code to automate a common file transfer scenario at last week’s Spiceworks webinar “Automating File Transfers Securely”

  • Monitor a folder for arriving files
  • Make changes to a file
  • Encrypt the file
  • Transfer the file

You can access the sample code at Adam’s blog here.

 

I’m excited to share the news of our release of Ipswitch Analytics, a new reporting and monitoring solution for MOVEit™ Secure Managed File Transfer. Ipswitch Analytics ensures reliable, cost-effective and auditable file transfers. IT teams gain deep insight into business critical file transfers through an innovative analytics engine that includes an interactive activity monitor, automated report creation and distribution, and fine-grained access control.

Ipswitch Analytics accesses and consolidates data from all MOVEit File Transfer (DMZ) and MOVEit Central servers. Authorized users are able to monitor MOVEit activity in popular web browsers from any device. Ipswitch Analytics also simplifies the audit process by managing workflow, transfer, security and audit activity in one centralized location.

Ipswitch Analytics  (click on image to learn more!)
Ipswitch Analytics (click on image to learn more!)

With Ipswitch Analytics, businesses can:

  • Ensure reliable file transfers: Track MOVEit performance indicators such as successful transfers by end-point, peak load performance, and total throughput trends.
  • Automate reporting and distribution for Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and policy compliance: Customize reports, establish distribution lists with fine-grained access control and schedule auto-generated reports for delivery. Email alerts are sent to authorized users as reports are generated.
  • Manage workflow, transfer, security and audit activity in one place: Maintain a single view of all MOVEit File Transfer (DMZ) and MOVEit Central Servers activity. Manage key parameters for all file transfer processes such as transfer status, user access, encryption, and file formatting to make data-driven decisions.
  • Simplify the audit process: Use out-of-the-box report templates, or easily create custom reports. Drag-and-drop elements to organize presentation of key metrics to validate compliance with SLA, regulatory and corporate policies.

Feature details:

  • Report Templates – Over 50 out-of-the-box templates to manage workflows, transfers, security and audits. Ease creation of reports by starting from pre-defined templates.
  • Policy Management – Create policies to manage user access. Restrict user’s ability to view data associated with defined organizations, servers, or users.
  • Browser-based UI – Ipswitch Analytics browser-based UI can be accessed by any authorized user from any device or desktop via popular web browsers. The Ipswitch Analytics HTML 5 interface allows dynamic update of data and offers a drag-and-drop user experience.

>>> For more information about Ipswitch Analytics please visit: http://bit.ly/Ipswitch_Analytics.

 

 

It seems that almost every organization – from SMBs to large enterprises – is struggling with secure file transfer. Large companies like Sony Pictures are not immune. They are dealing with the outfall of a successful attack on their secure files. Despite their IT security efforts, hackers have stolen and are leaking terabytes of data from the media company. These security breaches don’t come from a lack of effort or awareness. Rather, it is the result of file transfer practices that have not evolved to meet today’s complex requirements.

The main culprit: standard FTP solutions

Evolving from FTP to Secure File Transfer
Pictured: FTP (left) and Secure File Transfer (right).

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is widely considered the easiest way to transfer business data, and the numbers back it up; FTP is used by a staggering 83% of businesses. Of this group, however, we find that very few are comfortable with its security, as the majority of respondents express fear about sensitive data being compromised.

File transfer solutions have often been relegated to the darkest corner of the lowest wattage server room, and it’s very common to find long-ago deployed home grown FTP solutions that are not well understood, documented or easily maintained by today’s IT staff being used to manage company data.

As a result of this misunderstanding, FTP is now being used to send highly sensitive data that is subject to HIPAA, PCI, SOX and other industry regulations – putting an organization at risk. for data breaches, compliance violations, financial burdens, and in some cases, a “company death sentence.” Harsh, but true. Of course, this was never FTP’s intended purpose, and now, companies are scrambling to find an alternative.

Acronyms that start with “S”

Luckily, many are finding a viable alternative to FTP in the form of two common security protocols that help to secure and increase the reliability of data transfer: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Secure Shell (SSH). Specifically designed to encrypt file transfers and associated administration network traffic, both SSL and SSH enhance the security and reliability of file transfer by using encryption to protect against unauthorized viewing and modification of high-risk data during transmission across open networks.

Don’t just take our word for it, our customer Enterasys went through their own evolution from FTP to secure file transfer.

SSH is particularly popular in IT environments because most operating systems (including UNIX/Linux) support SSH, therefore using SSH for file transfer (SFTP) allows for cross-platform IT standardization. Standardization using SFTP ensures consistent, strong security policy enforcement and simpler administration.

Are you ready to learn how SSL and SSH security policies can help your organization? Are you ready to toss aside your basic FTP and evolve with the times? Download the free Ipswitch File Transfer Whitepaper: Evolution from FTP to Secure File Transfer.

Internet crime and electronic banking security

The already-infamous Anthem data breach has put personal information belonging to 80 million health insurance customers at risk after hackers gained access to their network. Customer names, birth dates, home addresses and Social Security numbers are reported to be stolen. The sheer reach is astounding. The breach at Anthem is the world’s largest within the healthcare industry. And it now ranks as America’s third largest after Heartland in 2009 (130M records stolen) and TJ Maxx in 2007 (94M records stolen).

There’s no such thing as perfect security and my heart goes out to the IT team at Anthem. They’re working 24/7 to  batten down the hatches. Hackers will always find vulnerabilities to get what they want. They’ve got plenty of motivation. The monetary value of the data stolen from Anthem could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars on the hacker black market.

Anthem responded quickly

A fast response is a good response when you are in crisis mode. Over the course of one day, Anthem:

  • Emailed customers to share the news, pledging support
  • Launched a site called AnthemFacts to address concerns
  • Published an open letter from CEO Joe Swedish apologizing for the incident
  • Offered free credit monitoring services

Anthem is getting praise for being proactive and transparent. But some of the company’s security practices have come under fire.  Security and compliance in healthcare is a journey, not a destination. IT teams need to do their best to manage and protect the high-volume of files related to Protected Health Information (PHI).

Managed file transfer helps healthcare organizations become more secure and compliant

Our healthcare customers have told us that a managed file transfer solution have helped them in the following ways:

  • Manage and control all file transfer activity from a central point of control; automate processes
  • Transfer patient files reliably and securely
  • Enable employees to easily send files using IT approved methods
  • Gain complete control over file transfer activity
  • Guarantee delivery (non-repudiation and file integrity)
  • Integrate with existing IT security systems
  • Reduce cost and time to achieve and maintain HIPAA compliance
  • Improved reliability and availability for data back-up

Additionally, a cloud-based MFT solution uniquely offers the additional benefit (since the facility and systems are directly managed) of being certified HIPAA compliant by a 3rd party auditor.  Always make sure a hosted solution has a signed HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with explicitly defined responsibilities to help achieve HIPAA compliance quickly.

Bottom line; don’t take chances when it comes to your IT security. Make sure your critical information is kept safe. Use tools and technology are put to use when data is on the move or stored within your network.

PS – Check out how our customer VIVA Health successfully and securely transfers healthcare data, demonstrates regulatory compliance, and automates manual tasks with Ipswitch MOVEit managed file transfer.

For most companies FTP is not enough. As the amount of daily file transfers skyrockets, so, too, has the cost associated with file transfer blunders. With the increased risk of data breaches, compliance violations and other pitfalls, companies are quickly realizing the need for a file transfer solution that grants them heightened security, visibility and ease-of-use.

Companies hit the wall with FTP when they encounter issues around:

  • Capacity & Volume: A recent survey from The Aberdeen Group suggested that the number of users needing to transfer files is growing at a rate of 6%-9% each year. The volume of data transferred is also increasing by 8%-11% each year, as is the size of the files themselves, at 6%-7% per year. Each of these figures highlights the strain that current file transfers are putting on traditional solutions.
  • Time & Complexity: When organizations use multiple systems and custom scripts to manage file transfer, they needlessly increase complexity for employees, customers and partners. The same research found that, on average, traditional FTP users spent 75% more time on manual file transfer tasks than their MFT counterparts.
  • Security & Visibility: With traditional methods, even the most highly-sensitive files are transferred via email attachments, thumb drives, the public cloud and other outdated means. Not only are these options insecure, they are also practically untraceable to IT staffs.

    Ipswitch FTP
    There are four different file transfer scenarios, and, when you consider managed file transfer, you should be looking for a single
    solution that can support all of them.

Fortunately, these weaknesses exhibited by traditional file transfer methodologies are among the strengths of managed file transfer (MFT). As a comprehensive system that automates transfers between people and processes, MFT was designed for companies that want enhanced visibility, security and ease-of-use. Here’s a quick look at some of the high-level value MFT offers:

  • Security: MFT supports broad range of protocols, including end-to-end encryption, authentication and delivery confirmation, helping to ensure delivery, scalability and reliability.
  • Automation: MFT empowers IT to establish new file transfer processes without the need for custom programming.
  • Centralized Reporting: Easily build enterprise reports for auditing, compliance and governance to meet corporate security policies and government regulations, such as HIPAA and PCI.
  • Connectivity: Accessible on any device and familiar desktop apps, MFT is easy for employees, customers and partners to adopt and use.

In other words, MFT solutions have capabilities that extend beyond traditional FTP systems, providing a single source of truth for handling all of your file transfer needs.  With the right MFT solution, organizations can reduce security risks and compliance incidents, help increase an organization’s efficiency and productivity, and lower the costs associated with file transfer.

Want to learn more?  Download the free Ipswitch File Transfer whitepaper: The Definitive Guide to Managed File Transfer: Attaining Automation, Security, Control & Compliance.

Life throws a lot of really tough decisions at us, but choosing a file transfer technology shouldn’t be one of them. File transfer expert Don Jones offers a checklist of requirements, and today I’d like to share his top 6 that company should consider:  Ipswitch file transfer

  1. Security Requirements: Begin by determining what level of encryption you’ll require, keeping in mind any compliance requirements or industry data legislature. Be sure to consider anti-malware solutions that do well to complement your existing set-up.
  2. High-Availability Requirements: High-availability requires careful research for determining how to go about providing it. In determining that high-availability is a necessary requirement for your organization, the method you employ will greatly influence the type of server set-up you’ll need.
  3. Workflow Requirements: Aside from security, workflow should be your biggest consideration in choosing a transfer system. If your file transfer doesn’t sync with your workflow, it won’t be efficient. More importantly, it won’t be used. Most systems will offer ways to customize your workflow. As you review these, look for ease of customization, limits on number of tasks, canned scripts and macros.
  4. Programmability Requirements: Programmability options offer different levels of integration with external programming. To determine the customizability of your business solutions, take a look at the Application Programming Interface (API) of your managed file transfer system. Understanding the breadth of API languages they support and the complexity of their API will help you to determine if your team has the necessary skills to create an integration—or if you’ll require a custom solution be created for you.
  5. Protocol Requirements: Look for a solution that not only works with the protocols you currently require, but also the proper selection of protocols that you may require as your company scales.  It can also be beneficial to look for file transfer options that offer email as a transport mechanism. While email isn’t the most secure transfer option, it will always be widely used. Having SMTP and POP3 available will keep your company more secure.
  6. Operational Requirements: Audit logging and reporting should be a main concern for organizations deciphering their abilities to handle their own file transfers.  Determine what types of logging are required and evaluate each of the tools on whether or not they’ll be able to meet you own specific needs.  Additionally, be sure you’ll be able to easily monitor and maintain your file transfer solution.

When evaluating which solutions best serve your company, be mindful of their interoperability with existing systems and with each other.  Furthermore, be sure your investments are best suited to serve your organization both now and in the future.

Want to learn more about how to craft a detailed file transfer checklist for your organization?  Download the free Ipswitch File Transfer whitepaper: Investigation Underway: How to Evaluate File Transfer Vendors Who Promise to Solve Your Complex Compliance and Productivity Challenges.

As you’ve likely already heard on Sept 24th a new computer security threat was identified and entered into the National Vulnerability Database as CVE-2014-7169.  This vulnerability does not affect any Ipswitch products.

Bug2

The vulnerability, called Shellshock, is a bug in the widely-used Bash shell, the Unix command-line shell that has been around for 20 years.  Shellshock affects almost all Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X operating systems and the US-CERT has given the flaw the maximum CVSS rating of 10/10/10 for severity, impact and exploitability.

Security is a top priority at Ipswitch and as soon as we became aware of the threat we assessed our products and have determined that all supported versions of MOVEit, WS_FTP and MessageWay are not affected by the Shellshock bug.

We strongly recommend you follow the advisories of your respective Operating System provider.