cisa-certificationA certified information systems auditor (CISA) carries a specialty certification that indicates a mastery of IT security in the realms of governance, risk and compliance. And although it’s not required, CISA certification is a big boost for the IT department in some surprising ways.

Not super familiar with it? Here’s an overview of what CISA is and why you ultimately need to know about it.

IT Security = Job Security

Improving security has become an essential function of the IT department, especially with BYOD a reality and new vulnerabilities getting discovered every day. It sounds demanding, but an IT pro who has this certification is uniquely equipped to see where security weaknesses are and rectify them swiftly using the most efficient techniques available.

Do You Qualify?

To qualify for CISA certification, candidates require a minimum of five years of professional experience in the field of information systems auditing, control, assurance or security and, additionally, pass a one-time CISA exam administered by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). ISACA is also responsible for awarding the certification itself.

Dust Off Your SAT PTSD

The exam is designed to be difficult, with no clear order to any one section of the 200 multiple-choice questions administered over a four-hour period. ISACA doesn’t publish pass/fail rates, although the information gathered by the University of Virginia suggests only 50 percent of candidates pass (don’t get discouraged; more than 50,000 have succeeded worldwide). Keep in mind certification is awarded upon completion of the exam, but to maintain certification, IT pros must consistently adhere to the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics and comply with the organization’s continuing professional education policy.

You can always go to ISACA’s website to take a CISA practice exam. This is a great way to self-assess.

What the Certification Gets You

CISA certification is not for the faint of heart, but the hard work that goes into gaining this certification is well worth the credentials you receive. CISA is ideal for any professional working in the IT field, but it is crucial for those who are looking to demonstrate a mastery of IT security audits and manage control operations. CISA certification also provides an avenue for IT pros to stay abreast of updates and changes in technology that would keep their IT department ahead of the curve. Because it’s constantly updated to reflect new network challenges, the continuing education required by the program is a great way to stay on top of ever changing IT trends.

Today’s SMBs are generally more security-conscious than their 20th-century counterparts, and actively take steps to prevent data loss. Unfortunately, however, mistakes are still made at the employee level that are seldom accounted for when designing protocols.

In the ’80s, the ‘hilarious’ free cupholder email prank (with an executable attachment) kicked out the tray of an employee’s optical drive. They all laughed as IT professionals cringed, knowing full well this innocuous result could spread a virus throughout their network and yield a loss of data from keyloggers. Well, they probably wouldn’t laugh today.

Unfortunately, while today’s users are often savvy enough not to launch executable files received by email, little has changed and human error remains the most common cause of data breaches. In fact, it was responsible for over 90 percent of all reported breaches in the Verizon 2015 Data Breach Investigations report. Even though a new workforce is impractical for a growing business, a problem-free IT infrastructure needs to be realized. One approach is to construct a risk management team to train employees according to a defined company security policy. The risk management team can then perform risk assessments to identify potential challenges and lock down each one, amending the policy as new threats are identified.

Complicated by new technology, increasing data volumes, bring your own device (BYOD), mobility, the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and more, the threat landscape is increasingly difficult to manage. But it’s easy to classify.

Unintentional and Internal

This is generally an issue of workforce literacy. Adherence to the company’s security policy and making staff aware of cybercriminals’ most common attack methods can substantially reduce this problem. How? Some of it you may already be enforcing:

  • Due diligence when opening email attachments
  • Awareness of phishing red flags
  • Use of the public cloud or mobile apps that aren’t company-approved
  • Weak account passwords that are never changed. Social engineering on social media (or other publicly displayed platforms of data) can lead a hacker to one’s ‘secret’ password or security question
  • The loss or theft of a physical device, such as a smartphone
  • Low- or no-tech methods such as dumpster-diving, shoulder-surfing or poor building security that allows for direct network access

Intentional and Internal

This is more difficult to deal with, given the countless methods available to disgruntled staff for sharing and gathering data. Think about audio and video via mobile devices, as well as cloud storage, unified communications (UC), file sharing, free email accounts and more. Even a simple printout of account passwords can result in data loss.

External

It goes without saying that firewalls, threat intelligence systems, antivirus software and the like should be in place. It’s also important to monitor network traffic for discrepancies and to ensure that any file transfers taking place are protected, encrypted and controlled for user access via employee role — usually with an audit trail for compliance purposes. When correctly configured, your file transfer solution will integrate into your data-loss prevention system and facilitate recovery if file transfer is interrupted. Installation of application updates and security patches should also be in your back pocket regularly, as hackers are quick to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software.

Fires Start Small and Hard Drives Aren’t Perfect

Data loss is not limited to the actions performed by the malicious or ill-informed; there are also hardware issues to consider. Like cybercrime, hard-drive failure will happen — it’s just a matter of when. Putting all your code in one line is never recommended and, in the event of a natural disaster (fire, flood, you name it), offsite and onsite backup is essential.

Old hard drives may make attractive coasters or works of art, but remember: Most of them, even if fire- or water-damaged, can be recovered using skilled data forensics techniques. When donating computers to charity or a local school, it’s best to degauss or physically destroy hard drives if they’ve ever contained confidential data. Your donation may not be as well received, but your data is secure.

Preventing data loss is an ongoing task and regular staff training is necessary as new threats appear daily. Only by being vigilant can companies protect themselves and prevent penalties from government or industry bodies that call them out on lack of compliance.

Protecting-FTP-Servers-Exposed

Don’t look now, but you and your IT team may be in the trucking and secure-transport business. And naturally, you’ll need end-to-end encryption.

Every day, your business is a virtual loading dock, packaging data and shipping it out to users who, now, have more than one way to receive it. All of it is valuable, or you wouldn’t be transferring it. And much of it is highly sensitive, filled with your intellectual property and your customers’ financial information.

With respect to file transfer, you’re probably transferring larger files (and more of them). With respect to the cloud, much of this file warehousing takes place at remote locations where your data gets trucked over the Web. And with regard to today’s highly sophisticated cybercrime rings, hackers would love to get their hands on it before it hits its destination. Securing it for transit with end-to-end encryption is, without a doubt, a pretty darn good idea.

What Is End-to-End Encryption?

What exactly is end-to-end encryption? Wired‘s Andy Greenberg said it best: a procedure in which “messages are encrypted in a way that allows only the unique recipient of a message to decrypt it, and not anyone in between.”

The servers that forward the file along the pipeline act as “illiterate messengers” passing along messages whose contents they can’t read themselves. More specifically, this form of encryption relies on public-key cryptography, wherein the user provides a public key that anyone can use to encrypt a message. However, only the user’s personal key can decrypt it to read the information.

To put it another way, the truck drivers don’t carry a key to the trailer’s cargo door, so they can’t be tricked or suborned into letting the truck get pilfered.

Data Protection Is In Your Hands

Vendors promise to encrypt files in transit, but this means the trucking company holds the key to the data, not you. Their security may be excellent, but you don’t have control over it. What’s this mean? You shouldn’t rely solely on their protection.

The list of big-enterprise breaches keeps growing, Target and Sony falling victim to two of the most spectacular as of late. Regarding a recent hack of British telecom carrier, TalkTalk, Jeff Goldman at eSecurity Planet quotes one security specialist’s advice: “Any company that collects, stores or transmits personal information needs to encrypt that data at rest and in transit.”

Apart from shipping your data on storage media in a physical lockbox, encryption is the only tool that can protect your data while it is in someone else’s possession.

Encryption Helps After Data Theft Has Occurred

The use of encryption points to a couple of fundamental points about security. One is that no security technology, including this one, is invulnerable. A so-called man-in-the-middle attack can trick senders into using the attacker’s public key rather than that of the intended recipient. Or, an attacker can hack your own computer and simply steal your private key.

These security measures can’t make data theft impossible; rather, it’s all about making data theft as difficult as possible. Encryption increases the chance that even if data is physically stolen, those behind it will be unable to read or use it.

Keep in mind that the subjective nature of security means there’s nothing wrong with adding multiple layers of protection. As noted at ZDNet, security experts consider it best practice to encrypt data in this way at all times — at rest as well as in transit. End-to-end encryption works particularly well in the latter, adding that critical extra layer of protection while data is out on the open superhighway and exposed to the world’s most precise attacks. Don’t let your data leave home without it.

Protecting-FTP-Servers-Exposed

Secure file transfer has been a somewhat quiet revelation for modern IT. As digital data continues to drive your biggest projects, the ability to transmit meaningful data at the click of a button becomes a necessity. Why then are data-sensitive environments so hesitant to give up on the tried and true physical copy? Three words: continuous data protection.

Old and New

Have you ever overheard your coworkers complaining about how much faster and more convenient paper data transfer is? Neither have they. There really isn’t much justification for data to remain on such an inefficient media in such a fast-paced industry. In healthcare, for example, a recent study by Behavioral Healthcare found that 79% of healthcare companies polled were using electronic health records. With sensitive data already in electronic form, it only makes sense to utilize a system to digitally transfer this data. Still, many organizations that rely on sensitive information, like financial data and electronic health records, are forced to compromise on speed and efficiency for the perceived security benefits of physical file transfer.

The always-present concern of prying eyes on sensitive data in transit encourages firms to keep this data living in ink rather than a business account. Even with modern encryption advancements of late, government organizations, law enforcement and healthcare industries remain hesitant to make the switch. And the reason is actually twofold.

First, securing sensitive documents from end to end — also known as continuous data protection — can be a daunting task. Not only does your IT team need to stay current on the latest vulnerabilities and encryption practices for their own network, but they also have to find ways to ensure transmitted documents remain secure outside of their walls (however well-kept they are). Secondly, because these documents must remain secured from sender to recipient, both parties must participate in the process — be it encrypting or decrypting.

Reliable, Continuous Data Protection

It stands to reason that midsized organizations need an automated, reliable and simple system for transferring digital files if they are to make a smooth move to 21st-century security. It just so happens that modern managed file transfer (MFT) solutions fit this description perfectly.

With an MFT system in place, your sensitive data is continuously protected in three key areas:

  1. Access points on each end are restricted
  2. Data transactions are logged
  3. Sensitive information is fully encrypted throughout the transfer

By applying HTTPS, FTPS, SFTP and similar web-based layers of support, data in transit is rendered useless to anyone sniffing packets. Without the necessary keys and certificates, all that is visible to unauthorized eyes is, well, junk.

Outside of encryption layers, MFTs also offer improved visibility into each transaction. How? A centralized point of management. From a single portal, users can be managed, transfers audited and business processes integrated. For those still using paper transactions, this translates to improved efficiency and pervasive security covering regulations like PCI/DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, SOX, GDP, and BASEL I, II and III.

Those in data-sensitive environments ultimately don’t have anything to gain by sticking to a familiar system. With increased visibility, security and efficiency, MFTs can help bridge the gap for organizations struggling with even the most ubiquitous security concerns.

social-banner-FT-future-2od

Secure Medical Records. Concept image. Narrow depth of field.

When it comes to designing a secure and compliant system for file transfers and data handling, system administrators face multiple competing standards and large regulatory burdens. Thesechallenges require companies to put a lot of effort into defining how their data flows work. It’s not just a question of sending processes through servers. Modern enterprise requires a high degree of risk management, architectural detail and proactive security.

First Steps for Developing Compliant Security Systems

At the recent Ipswitch Innovate 2015 User Summit cybersecurity expert David Lacey discussed some of the essential steps to coming up with the right systems for adequate security and full compliance with industry regulations. Some of the first steps involve looking at the business drivers that necessitate particular use cases. The first business driver is compliance, which David described as “backward-looking”. Another is risk, which can be harder to support:

You can actually find that there’s not enough funding available for mitigating actions,” David said.

Then there’s business opportunity. It may also be harder to fund projects based upon it. Unlike compliance projects, these projects may require the initiators to build a case for their value, he said.

Choosing a Set of Standards for System Design

Companies also face the delicate task of picking a set of standards and applying them to a secure and compliant system design.

In his keynote, David noted the difference between standards such as PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) in detailing how today’s lead system admins have to work through complexity.

Using the example of PCI-DSS for financial and retail sectors, each standard is composed of many different moving parts, with changing requirements that make it hard to get a handle on full compliance. For example, changes to the PCI standard that now require using TLS instead of the older SSL security certificate formatting. Authors of the PCI standard originally intended to have a “level playing field” with less proprietary acquirements, but that landscape is changing over time. As auditors become more stringent, there’s been a corresponding rise in restrictive requirements.

It can be very expensive to change all of the protocols in your organization,” David said. “You need to close the networks right down and restrict and control all of your data flows very formally.”

Another major contrast is between ITIL, which David characterized as big and expensive, and the NIST standards from the U.S. government, which are available for free. David favors NIST, describing some of its content as useful “how-to stuff” and pointing out that, unlike the British system, the standards are more accessible.

Companies can use open-source alternatives to ITIL, but that still requires a pretty large burden for figuring out how to use these tools and how to implement them in a business.

Another standard is COBIT – something David says is so complex that even auditors struggle to understand it. Speaking of the “numerous dimensions and permutations” built into the auditor-designed standards set, David described COBIT as time-consuming, but possibly valuable in its complexity.

Even COBIT experts will struggle to apply this in its full form,” he said.

Then there’s the ISO set of policy standards, in particular ISO-27001 and ISO-27002, built on 133 controls, 11 domains and 39 control objectives. David described these as highly complicated sets of standards composed of different “vintages” that make it extremely hard to address ISO in a comprehensive way.

The standards are of variable quality and consistency,” David added.

In addition, David described some of the growth and expansion of modern compliance standards. Some, like Sarbanes-Oxley and privacy legislation, apply to almost any type of industry or business. Others are specific to their fields: the financial industry faces compliance with Basel initiatives, while retailers need to adapt to PCI DSS standards, and healthcare companies need to be careful of HIPAA regulations. In addition, David said, there’s also local legislation that can also apply to projects.

Tips for Compliant and Secure Data Transfer

So how do companies build coherent and comprehensive systems?

David states it’s essential to pick a standard. Trying to pick and choose pieces of different standards can get businesses in trouble. At the same time, trying to build one’s own standards inventory is similarly dangerous.

Instead, David recommended starting with existing standards and creating your own risk assessment model. That will be the starting point for a business architecture that addresses all of the needs of that particular company. He also suggested using technology to reduce delays and keep overhead low.

Another good strategy is to select products that have out-of-the-box compliance built-in. This will allow companies to change with the times. And it also greatly decreases the complexity of procurement and implementation. It’s a shortcut to determining how a business system will really protect data, and protect the company from the liabilities of data breaches. Implementing end-to-end encryption and cloud security best practices, companies can feel safe and secure knowing that they are on solid ground.

Pixelated FTP

The State Employee Credit Union (SECU) of North Carolina has a mission to provide the best possible online financial services to its 2 million members.  As a result, the IT team at SECU has created an IT environment that focuses on speed, reliability and security.

Yet, the IT team had serious problems transferring data between different systems and locations. They relied on scripts patched together with custom (?) software, and the results were predictably lacking. Robert Skinner, the team lead of distributed systems at SECU, knew a change had to come.

Robert eventually discovered Ipswitch’s MOVEit platform and used it to modernize how SECU updates and moves data across multiple systems and locations.

A Productive and Secure IT Infrastructure

Robert knew that improving how SECU transferred critical data would allow employees to respond quickly to SECU’s members. His department works with other teams that have to move files internally and externally. A productivity increase in distributed systems means an increase throughout the entire infrastructure.

Secure Data Transfer Detrimental to Sales

Robert examined the workflows of other departments, particularly when and how they need to transfer data. One workflow that he knew could improve was home loan closing, where delays in data exchange can affect sales. He set out to reduce the cost and total time it took for mortgage closing and refinancing.

Still, before Robert was capable of improving the home loan closing process directly, it was vital to understand the challenges and limitations of the current system.

Faced with Challenges and Limitations

SECU faced unique challenges when it came to securely and reliably transferring data between systems and locations:

  • The existing method made use of custom scripts and FTP servers, creating an unreliable way to transfer important data to FTP clients
  • SECU must meet compliance standards that require that data is protected and moved securely, along with upholding SECU’s own risk management and IT security policies
  • Disaster recovery had to be a priority

“The level of compliance that we live up to requires that all data be protected, be securely moved, as well as have an audit trail of when things are moved and who touches different pieces of what information,” Robert said.

Knowing the importance of meeting compliance standards and how speed and reliability could improve workflow, Robert set out to find a tool to get the job done.

File Management That Emphasizes Cyber Security

Once Robert discovered Ipswitch’s MOVEit File Transfer Server and MOVEit Central – a file management software suite that emphasizes security and ease of use – he knew his search was over. MOVEit now allows Robert and his team to streamline the process of moving data across locations and systems. The suite had other benefits:

  • MOVEit File Transfer is an externally facing environment for securely transferring documents and files. Using an interface similar to modern consumer cloud products, SECU required little training to make use of MOVEit DMZ
  • MOVEit Central moves files between MOVEit File Transfer and SECU’s secure internal network, creating a useful audit trail and ongoing security
  • SECU’s business processes now have increased response times and decreased processing times, which creates improved services and reduces overhead costs
  • MOVEit Central satisfies the need for a disaster recovery environment
  • SECU now uses workflow automation that allows for centralization and control of which accounts are moving files, along with which ones were moving between servers

ROI from a Streamlined FT Program

Robert used MOVEit File Transfer to dramatically improve home loan closing, a process that involves external lawyers. Instead of having to physically send and receive documents, which often pushed critical deadlines, the lawyers can now download and upload documents and easily make deadlines.

The lawyers and SECU employees receive alerts when documents are ready, substantially reducing the processing time for home loan closing.

“We’re able to complete transactions, not have people sit around waiting for something. They know, they got an email, the file is here, now they can go ahead and process this,” Skinner reports.

SECU is now capable of saving members $100,000 per month by using MOVEit File Transfer and MOVEit Central. How are they saving so much? Robert dives into deeper detail in his presentation at Ipswitch Innovation Summit 2015.

file folders with Patient Health Records label and Confidential stamp

Are you ready for the Ipswitch Innovate Virtual Summit? It kicks off tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 21.) and this post marks my final customer session preview. This sneak peak features Dylan Taft,  systems engineer at Rochester Regional Healthcare, who will present his tale from the front lines entitled “Transfer Regulated or Confidential Files” at 12:00pm ET on Thursday Oct. 22. 

Improved Email Management with the Bonus of Security

As with any other health care organization, Rochester Regional Healthcare needed to reliably exchange patient records and health care information with insurance companies and health plan providers.

It also had to ensure that the transfer of information closely hewed to HIPAA regulations on patient privacy.

But with no proper system to send and manage privileged information through file transfer, Dylan was ready to call a digital doctor. Rochester Regional Healthcare instead relied on a script utility and PGB encryption for emails.

Now, with MOVEit – Ipswitch’s automated file transfer system – Dylan feels good. He knows that MOVEit complies with HIPAA regulations by securely transferring confidential patient information. It also preserves a complete audit trail of all file transfer activity in its database, making email management easier.

Tune in at 12:00pm ET on Thursday, October 22 to hear Dylan chat about how MOVEit reduced Rochester Regional Healthcare’s costs and gave the organization a clean bill of email health.

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 What’sUp Gold, WS_FTP and MOVEit. You can even navigate your way to the online Genius Bar for real-time answers to your product questions.
innovate-IT-pros-580x360

New data protection laws in the European Union are looming. Most notable of them all is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Ipswitch commissioned a survey of 300 European IT pros* to see how preparations are going. The GDPR survey results showed that overall, businesses are really feeling the financial burden of preparing for the new regulation. Over two thirds said they’d need to invest in new technologies or services to help prepare their business for the impact of GDPR. Ouch! 

Ipswitch GDPR Survey Findings (UK version)
CLICK TO ENLARGE: Ipswitch GDPR Survey Infographic

Key Survey Findings

  • Almost one fifth of businesses still have no idea whether changes in the regulations will apply to them. Despite confirming they do store and process personal data
  • 69% say their business will need to invest in new technologies or services to help prepare the business for the impact of GDPR including:
    • 62%: encryption
    • 61%: analytic and reporting
    • 53%: perimeter security
    • 42%: file sharing
  • Two thirds say that keeping up to date with changing data protection regulatory requirements is a burden on their business
  • Just over half report that their business has already allocated training budget to help staff understand and comply with GDPR, however, just under a third have not

While over two thirds (69%) of IT pros acknowledge that GDPR will impact their business, almost one fifth (18%) still have no idea whether changes in the regulation will apply to them. This is despite confirming that they do store and process personal data.

The GDPR draft has been passed by EU Parliament and is due to come into effect by the end of this year. It is expected to impact any organization which collects, stores, processes and shares personal data on employees, customers or partners. The regulation is designed to unify and simplify data protection across 28 EU countries. It includes severe penalties for non-compliance of up to two percent of a company’s annual revenues.

The Ipswitch survey findings demonstrate very clearly that IT pros are realiing not only will they need to review policy and process, but a financial, training and resource investment will also be needed. It is a time intensive and costly process. However, it is also an essential one to avoid being penalized with fines.

It’s encouraging to see that there is far greater awareness of the changes when compared to late 2014. A GDPR compliance survey conducted by Ipswitch in November 2014 revealed that more than half (56%) of respondents could not accurately identify what ‘GDPR’ meant.

IT pros recognize the need to align data protection regulation to keep up with modern data sharing practices and the globalization of data. It is clear that compliance comes at a price for most. Many are trying to prepare by organizing training and assigning resources. There’s clearly a very large expectation of a need to invest in technologies including managed file transfer systems like Ipswitch MOVEit™ that meet stringent security and compliance requirements.

Resources:

The Ipswitch MOVEit managed file transfer system helps IT teams support GDPR requirements in the following ways

Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

  • Support for secure open standard transfer protocols
  • End-to-end encryption, guaranteed delivery and non-repudiation
  • Automated file management policiesManaging PII

Managing PII

  • Automated file exchange
  • Managed ad hoc exchange
  • Policy based file access and data loss protection (DLP)

Managing System Exposure

  • High availability and disaster recovery
  • Monitoring and reporting for auditing and forensics
  • Trading partner provisioning and management

* The 2015 GDPR Ipswitch survey was conducted by technology research firm Vanson Bourne during July 2015 and polled 300 IT professionals. Survey responses include 100 responses from the UK, 100 responses from France, and 100 responses from Germany.

>> 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.

innovate-TW-1025x512

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.

 

With an alarming number of security breaches and data loss this past year, maintaining compliance with industry regulations is a top concern for IT pros and senior leadership. So why are IT departments leaving compliance and security processes to chance? (Particularly those in highly sensitive industries like finance, healthcare and insurance.)

CapturefffWe recently polled 313 IT professionals in the U.S. to understand how prepared organizations are to undergo compliance audits. We found that over half (59 percent) of all respondents feel unprepared. Some even feel they are facing an impending disaster. While IT is charged with keeping business processes smooth and secure, they have little control over all file movements across an organization and insight into operations. To help regain control over compliance requirements, IT should consider these five steps:

  1. Prepare for audits with centralized audit logs and reports for file transmission.
  2. Ensure the file you sent is the same as the one that is received.
  3. Integrate all of your IT and security systems.
  4. Never grant external users access to your trusted network.
  5. Think through the entire file lifecycle and ensure personal data is protected.

These five steps are easily completed with a robust, automated managed file transfer (MFT) solution. MFT provides transparent movement of files and strengthens related IT processes through scalability, reliability, failover, and disaster recovery. With the right MFT solution in place IT pros can rest easy knowing they can enforce governance when it comes to the transfer of sensitive information.

This will come as a relief for half of IT pros (46 percent) who would choose to have a root canal procedure, work over Christmas, live without electricity for a week, or eat a live jellyfish if it meant avoiding an audit. Without an MFT solution, companies run the risk of violating a growing number of statutes and regulations designed to protect sensitive data from being breached. Don’t let compliance haunt your dreams and find out how to successfully survive an audit here.

Today we announced some pretty interesting survey findings that stem from our poll of 313 IT pros in the U.S. that highlight the difficulties IT teams face when preparing for compliance audits. Regulatory guidelines demand full transparency and protection of critical business data across the borderless enterprise. Even with this in mind, our survey indicates a remarkable lack of preparedness and confidence on the part of IT pros to pass an audit today.

Don't Get Drilled by a Compliance Audit!
Infographic: Don’t Get Drilled by a Compliance Audit (Click on image to expand to full size)

Here are the responses that really caught my attention:

Unprepared and insecure

59 percent of the IT pros polled admitted they are not prepared to undergo a compliance audit today. That’s not good. And a surprising 75 percent of respondents are only somewhat confident or not confident at all that colleagues authorized to work with sensitive information are being cautious and taking the steps to fully protect that data. 34 percent believe data loss prevention is the most important security measure for their organization followed by security policies (24 percent), data encryption (18 percent), tracking and reporting (18 percent) and identity management (six percent).

Don’t get drilled by a compliance audit

ThinkstockPhotos-155960378

Nearly half of our survey takers are willing to do some pretty extreme things to avoid a compliance audit. Like having a root canal procedure (18 percent), working over the holidays (15 percent), living without electricity for a week (8 percent) or eating a live jellyfish* (5 percent).

Compliance audits are disruptive and consume IT resources

52 percent of IT professionals find the allocation of IT resources is the costliest part of a compliance audit. Another 18 percent of respondents point to critical project delays, while 13 percent say just the emotional strain and stress alone is the costliest part of an audit.

Fortunately, IT pros can take the pain out of an audit by using a managed file transfer system like Ipswitch MOVEit to easily comply with data security regulations and protect data with centralized audit logs and reports for file transmission to protect and manage data and system exposure.

 

*Disclaimer: We do not encourage eating live jellyfish. It’s cruel and unhealthy.