Great question asked by Wayne Hemrick at ArticleSnatch.  In his answer to “How would you send large files in an ideal world?”,Wayne touches on a few very important considerations when thinking about person-to-person file sharing, including:  ease-of-use, large file size, and security.

I agree that the ability to easily send ginormous files is only part of the problem that a business should be looking to solve.  It’s no secret that people need to send other people files as part of their jobs.  In many cases, these files contain information that is sensitive and confidential.  In my opinion, the real issue is that business users lack a way to ensure the security of these information exchanges.

Wayne correctly points out that many of the currently used tools are insecure, inefficient, complicated and some even require the intervention of IT professionals.  But the growing risk of privacy loss and data breaches has made the security aspect of sending files a top concern.  Organizations need to demonstrate to their customers that they understand this and are taking steps to address it.

Businesses require a simple file sharing solution that:

  • Enables employees to easily send files (any size, any type) to other people
  • Lowers company risk by securing and protecting internal and customer information
  • Provides visibility into what happens after file is sent for auditing and compliance

The ideal solution must provide for guaranteed and trackable file delivery that your business can rely on.

Please do not send the Sept. and Oct. payment together in one wire transfer. Anything over $10,000 wired could draw too much attention.”
Alleged email written by Paul Shim Devine on October 5th, 2007

Is your business-critical information walking out the door?

A few months ago Ipswitch conducted a survey at an RSA Conference. The line of questioning regarding visibility into files moving out of organizations produced some shocking results:

  • 83% of IT executives surveyed have no idea what files are moving both internally and externally at their organizations.
  • 25% of IT professionals surveyed admitted that they used personal email accounts to send files that were proprietary to their own organizations, with the intent of using that information in their next job.

Both of those figures are frightening. Some companies have refused to seriously consider these numbers, so consider this tale as devine intervention (yes, that’s a play on Paul Shim Devine’s name.) This is the saga of one man getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar. It’s actually a perfect example of the reality and consequences of not knowing what files are moving in and out of your organization. It’s the story of a recent case involving Apple and Paul Shim Devine.

See Martyn Williams’ article for the full details, but here’s the 2 cent version. Back in April 2010 “Apple investigators discovered a Microsoft Entourage database of e-mails and a cache of Hotmail and Gmail messages on Devine’s Apple-supplied laptop. The company took a copy of the drive and began working through its contents,” and as for what they found Apple says “the e-mails contained details of payments, and the supply of confidential information that began in October 2006 with a Singaporean company called Jin Li Mould Manufacturing.”

This is happening. Employees are using private e-mail accounts to transfer confidential company information, but really, how often is this happening?

Not only is it common, but it’s startling in its frequency,” said Ipswitch’s own Hugh Garber, recently quoted in a ComputerWorld article.

Garber goes on to say that it’s not always done with bad intentions and that “of course, most of that privileged information misuse is not malicious. Many of the times, it’s your hardest-working employees just trying to get the job done.”

To Hugh’s point, that’s true. I know that in other jobs that I’ve had I’ve emailed spreadsheets or word docs home (to my Yahoo account) to work on so I wouldn’t have to schlep my laptop home.

But what about the “other” kind? How do you deal with the malicious kind?

I received your e-mail on my Apple account. Please avoid using that e-mail as Apple IT team will randomly scan e-mails for suspicious e-mail communications for forecast, cost and new model information.”
Alleged email written by Paul Shim Devine on Sept. 16, 2008.

Ok, that’s one way. Randomly scanning emails for something suspicious. Seems like a good policy to have. Do you know where your organization is in terms of these kinds of policies?

With hundreds of data breaches over the past five years resulting in multi-million-dollar consequences, it’s hard to believe that organizations still don’t have the right solutions in the right places to protect sensitive information,” said Frank Kenney, VP of Global Strategy at Ipswitch File Transfer. “You may be investing heavily on business applications and their inherent security requirements but if you’re not monitoring and enforcing policies with respect to the information moving both internally (between business applications and people) and externally (between you and your business partners and collaborators), the consequences are dire.”

You can check out more of what Frank has to say on this issue, and see what else Hugh has to offer.

And, with this issue in particular, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Do the numbers surprise you? What is your organization doing? Any crimes or misdemeanors you’d care to confess to?

Ipswitch File Transfer is going (more) global. We’re thrilled to announce the expansion of our already successful Ipswitch FT Partner Program.  It now boasts a number of new benefits for our global partners, including a new Elite Partner Level and a deal registration program.

The Elite Level expansion was created for those partners looking for even greater association and support from Ipswitch File Transfer.  A new deal registration program has also been introduced, which will incent resellers with additional discount points for registering qualified net new sales opportunities on the FT Partner Portal.

read more “Going Global: Ipswitch File Transfer Expands Partner Program”

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?”

The growth and evolution of the managed file transfer industry continues to be a blessing for Ipswitch and our partners.

The acquisition of Sterling Commerce by IBM (article) presents an opportunity for both companies’ customers and prospects to reexamine their challenges around advanced file services. Proprietary technologies and protocols such as Connect: Direct and Network Data Mover (NDM) are inefficient, expensive and difficult to manage. Yet many companies continue to pay excessive licensing and maintenance fees because the cost and effort to replace these technologies have, until now, seemed as expensive.  Furthermore, some partners and ecosystems insist on the usage of legacy file transfer technology because alternatives did not seem to be available.

read more “Ipswitch Steps Up To Replace Legacy Technology After Sterling Acquired by IBM”

A quick summary of key industry happenings:

A) The economic impact of piracy (including software) is *really* not understood: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-423. See pages 15 – 19 of the full report in particular.

I’ve always been skeptical of the piracy claims, good to see someone actually reviewed them. I think it is better for the industry to focus on the valued real customer rather than to fabricate and fret about the unknown and unquantifiable pirate customer.

read more “HTML 5, Memristors and Software Piracy”

Those of you who visited the Ipswitch File Transfer tradeshow booth at the recent RSA Security Conference were likely asked to fill out a short survey.  When the show ended, we tabulated the survey results and there are some staggering data points that we want to share:

  • 83% of IT executives surveyed lack visibility into files moving both internally and externally
  • Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents admitted to using thumb drives or other external devices to move work-related files
  • 66 percent of survey respondents admitted to using personal emails to send work-related files
  • More than 25 percent admitted to sending proprietary files to their personal email accounts, with the intent of using that information at their next place of employment

Here’s my colleague Frank Kenny, VP of Global Strategy at Ipswitch File Transfer, sharing his thoughts on the survey results.


The key takeaway here is that IT organizations are at a greater risk for sensitive company information ending up in the wrong hands if they don’t know who is accessing company information and how they use/move files, where they send them, and to whom they are sent to.  It’s not enough to secure common data access points or provide tools for some employees.  Rather, true visibility into all file and data interactions enables IT organizations to then actively manage, secure and enforce policies for company information, both inside and outside of the organization.

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).

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”