Looking back at 2011, we saw more and more employees using consumer-grade (and often personally owned) file sharing technologies such as USB drives, smartphones, personal email accounts, and file sharing websites to move sensitive company information.  We’ve learned that employees will “do what they need to do” to be productive and get their job done… And if IT doesn’t provide them with the right tools, they will find their own.

2011 was also a record-breaking year for data breaches.  Coincidence?   Perhaps.  But there is no denying the fact that the increased use of non-sanctioned technology in the workplace has created a security loophole in many organizations.  It will become increasingly important for organizations to mitigate this risk to avoid a failed security or compliance audit or worse, a data breach.

Ipswitch can help your organization meet the security, usability and visibility requirements for file sharing.  For example, our Ad hoc Transfer module for MOVEit DMZ enables organization to enforce consistent policies and processes around person‐to‐person file transfers ‐ email encryption, attachment offloading, secure messaging, eDiscovery, and more.  It not only gives companies unparalleled governance, but it also allows end users to send information, with anyone, in a fast, easy, secure, visible, and well managed way.

We will be talking a lot more about the topic of people person-to-person file sharing in 2012, so stay tuned….

I just finished reading a great article in Network Computing titled “Managed File Transfer Asserts Data Governance In Transit”.  Author Neil Roiter hit the nail right on the head by calling out the importance of visibility and governance over person-to-person file transfers.  And if you don’t believe us, just ask any eDiscovery judge!

Sure, organizations absolutely positively must carefully consider how to transfer staggering volumes of data between systems and servers, both inside and outside the organization – all with management, policy enforcement and visibility capabilities.

That being said, individual employees are sending files to other people too… And unless IT provides them with an easy-to-use process to accomplish this, they will find their own ways, such as personal email accounts, USB drives, online file sharing services, etc.

Increased focus on data security, governance, regulatory compliance and eDiscovery has really put pressure on IT to not only have complete visibility into the processes involved in data transfer, but ALSO THE PEOPLE.  Frank Kenney,  sums it up well  in the article:

“MFT can bring (person-to-person) file transfer under the corporate governance umbrella. We can give people ad hoc technology and enforce the use of those technologies. We make capabilities dead easy to easy and enterprises have the right policies in place about how to use them. MFT products provide visibility and validation through dashboards, reporting, real-time updates on data transfer and audit trails.

Some day, an eDiscovery judge may ask you to provide an audit trail with proof of chain-of-custody for a particular file that has bounced around your company and between people.  Here are just a few questions you’ll need to be able to answer:   Who sent what?  When?  Where?  To whom?  Was it encrypted?  And did it get there?

What will your answer be?

Tax season is behind us (at least for most of us) and we can all give a sigh of relief… but can we? This year, getting my taxes organized and handing them to my accountant seemed to be more difficult than usual. Fortunately for me, the Federal Government gave certain areas that were dealing with flooding a small extension that allowed me to find the time to pass my taxes into my accountant.

Once that task was completed, I was able to relax except for the fact I now had one day to get back into the accountant’s office and sign the documents for them to send to the IRS.

read more “Do People Realize What They Are Sending and the Risks Associated?”

A big frustration of many employees is that they have problems sending very large files to other people, both inside and outside of their company.  Often times IT has placed file size restrictions on email without providing an alternate solution for getting that really big (and often company-confidential) file to someone else.

So while IT has successfully relieved the burden from the email server, they have subsequently created a situation where employees need to scramble to find their own method for sending that large file such as USB drive, DVD, personal email accounts or file sharing website – All of which are outside of the control and visibility of IT, not to mention this adds extra security risk to the company.

In fact, Ipswitch’s recent survey uncovered that over 90% of IT and security executives admitted to using thumb drives and other external devices to move data.  And nearly 70% said that they have no visibility into files outside of their organization.

The new MOVEit DMZ Ad Hoc Transfer module enables secure person-to-person file transfer using a Web browser or Microsoft Outlook.  Unlike other software and services that are currently in the market today, Ipswitch’s Ad Hoc Transfer module not only allows users to seamlessly share information without sacrificing productivity, it also allows companies to stay firmly within compliance of their auditing policies particularly those around email/email attachment retention and discovery.

Please watch a short webcast where Tony Perri, CISSP and Senior Solutions Architect at Ipswitch File Transfer, showcase the new version of MOVEit DMZ and our exciting new Ad Hoc Transfer module

Greetings from tradeshow floor at RSA Conference.  Over the last few days I’ve had the pleasure of talking with a dozen or so existing Ipswitch File Transfer customers that stopped by our booth at the RSA Conference.

It’s always a great learning experience to hear the details of how our solutions are being used… Not to mention the inevitable “I wish you could solve this other problem that I’m having”.

Often times that request involves a new capability that’s on our roadmap for an upcoming release.  However, it’s notable that the most common request has been for a capability we already have.

All those conversations went something like this:  “Ipswitch is great for server-based file and data transfers… But what about person-to-person file sharing?” Some customers want an Outlook plug-in, some prefer a browser interface, and it’s unanimous that the solution must be easy for their end users.

Everyone was pleased to learn that we solve that problem today with our Ad Hoc Transfer module for WS_FTP Server (And the MOVEit DMZ version will be available very very very soon).

People are non-consistent, incredibly stubborn and risk prone when it comes to information technology. Bottom line you can’t nor should you depend on them to accurately establish and mitigate risk according to your corporate standards and policies.

What incredibly geeky statement to make…

But it’s absolutely true. The future set of technologies from Ipswitch will include capabilities that better allow IT departments to have visibility, management and control of the things that people do. As vision and strategy guide it’s easy for me to make this statement, but trust me our product manager and senior developers are looking at me through the crosshairs of their rifles and shotguns. That is because they understand people dynamically assign and mitigate risk, based on context that we just cannot re-create in current IT environments.

read more “Living at the Intersection of People and Technology”

Frank Kenney, VP of Global Strategy, Ipswitch

Frank Kenney, Ipswitch’s VP of Global Strategy, recently spoke in London at a press conference for InfoSecurity Europe, Europe’s leading information security event which take place on April 27-29, 2010.

Dan Raywood from SC Magazine UK attended this week’s press conference and his article can be seen below:

Problem with the professional consumer is leading to an information security headache
Dan Raywood  January 15, 2010

The culture of the professional consumer, or ‘prosumer’, is leading to increased problems within the workplace.

L. Frank Kenney, vice president global strategy at Ipswitch File Transfer, explained that a ‘prosumer’ is a consumer buyer who purchases an electronic device from personal funds but intends to use it primarily for business rather than consumer applications.

read more “Frank Kenney: Problem with the prosumer is leading to an information security headache”

My best friend and mentor Daryl Plummer used to say to me all the time, “Words matter.”. He used to say it because we’d get into these heated discussions that would dissolve into the phrase “It’s just semantics…” Well, it isn’t! Semantics do matter! Today I will address an annoyance I have with how the market uses the term ad hoc. Let’s start with some basic definitions with respect to this market.

  • Interactions are the combination of all the facets of file/data/information movement and related information (Metadata) about the file transfer including sender, receiver and intermediary. At this point I must acknowledge my colleague and friend of 9 years David Bennett, CTO of Axway, for his use of “interactions” with respect to MFT. My use of the word is consistent with his, strengthening the term in the MFT marketplace.

read more “Words Matter: Stop Using “Ad-Hoc” When You Don’t Mean To”