Progress MOVEit recently released a special edition eBook, Managed File Transfer For Dummies! This familiar, easy-to-read eBook conceptualizes managing file transfers in today's borderless enterprise while reducing risk and ensuring compliance in just five-short chapters. Download a copy of Managed File Transfer for Dummies for free and see for yourself.
In Managed File Transfer for Dummies, Author Andrew Lorandos, CISSP, walks us through:
- Understanding managed file transfer
- The need for a mobile MFT solution
- The basics of file transfer security, compliance, and regulations
- Reducing business risk and ensuring compliance
- Seeing Managed File Transfer in the real-world
Knowing what is MFT
You can transfer data in several ways, but most are manual, unmanaged, and often not secure. An MFT solution is both managed and secure. A good MFT can replace existing methods used to move data depending on your business needs.
- Email: Although email is the most common and convenient, it's prone to error due to invalid addresses, delivery failures, and file size limitations. It's also not easily automated or tracked.
- Physical transport: From 3 ½ floppy disks to thumb drives, the physical transport of data is ideal for casual transfer, such as moving PowerPoint from point A to point B. And while 'secure,' there are significant downsides such as virus propagation.
- Enterprise file sync and share (EFSS): We're all familiar with services like Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint, and other file sync and share solutions. Each is a popular way to share files for collaboration between small groups of people; however, it's one of the easiest targets for cybercriminals. (Check out my recent blog post – Business Alternatives to Dropbox.)
- File transfer clients and servers: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is another standard method and may be used explicitly through FTP commands. Transferring data via FTP is very difficult to automate, manage, and track because it's not secure.
A good Managed File Transfer (MFT) system can replace the other methods described above, depending on your organization's needs. MFT is automated and secure through server (or multiple servers) configurations and used to control transfers to and from people and processes. Using MFT as a single solution allows organizations to lower the risks and costs for moving files across networks that aren't secure.
Learn more about the basics of an MFT solution in our special edition, Managed File Transfer for Dummies eBook.
Achieving Data Security and Compliance
Whether by a business need or regulation, data often needs to remain secure. MFT provides the security mechanism needed to achieve your goals. An MFT solution offers the flexibility to ensure compliance with data privacy regulations and policies. When thinking about secure MFT, you should consider three areas:
- Regulatory Compliance: Compliance quite literally means conforming to every relevant legal, professional, and company standard. For example, hospitals must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Protected Health Information (PHI). Both internal and external audit teams look at the policies and ensure the operations satisfy requirements, often by examining log files and IT system documentation. Any MFT solution you pick should prove it's compliant with the standards essential to your business.
- Audit: One role of audit is its usage during an investigation — to determine the source of the problem, and when it happened, and what failed. The best MFT systems provide logging capability and configurable security alerts.
- Real‐time visibility: Sometimes, you need to know what's going on right now. Your MFT solution should log every event to a central database, whether it's starting a transfer, the completion, or errors. This logging can tell you what has happened in the system and notify you to watch in real-time to investigate various alerts and manage performance.
Careful consideration of security needs is essential because unauthorized access to data with PII/PHI for one record or millions could result in significant fines and have a large and lasting negative impact on your business.
Make sure you're compliant with your industry's compliance and regulations. Check out Managed File Transfer for Dummies to learn more.
Transforming Your Business
Managed file transfer (MFT) can transform your company's' file transfer operations.
- Automation and Control: File transfers can occur with email, FTP clients, or free file transfer tools. But have you considered the limitations? As we look beyond security, the real value of MFT comes from automation capabilities.
- Automation: With MFT, every repetitive process involving data movement have automation by:
- Pulling or pushing files to remote servers across the open Internet
- Coordinating movements of files between users and their systems
- Processing (encrypt and unencrypt or translate) and transfer files based on an event or schedule
- Moving files from any platform or storage device
- Automation Supports All Methods of File Transfer: MFT automates both process-to-process and process-to-person file transfer automation. Whenever copies of files are needed because one process feeds another, you can see automated MFT benefits.
Start transforming your business with an MFT solution. Read our special edition Managed File Transfer for Dummies to learn more.
Managed File Transfer in the Real World
An MFT solution reduces costs and increases productivity. A few mistakes can ruin productivity because of lost business and the increased time spent trying to fix the problem. A fully secure and compliant system can make your company much more responsive and agile.
Regardless of your industry, an MFT solution provides three critical dimensions of value: reducing costs, reducing risks, and improving IT agility, increasing its bottom line. For every company in today's world, it is crucial to embody these three elements, and MFT offers a platform to do so.
For example, a hospital in New York, USA, handles thousands of inpatient discharges, hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits, and millions of outpatients annually. As you can imagine, the need to send and receive files between insurance companies is crucial. The need for a reliable, easy to track, and secure file transfer system was imperative.
The hospital realized they required a highly reliable MFT solution. Additionally, the solution needed to be highly secure, handle large files and large amounts of files, provide an audit trail with confirmation of successful delivery. MOVEit MFT provided just that – centralized visibility, performance, and scalability.
By implementing an MFT solution, the hospital realized several benefits, including:
- An easy mechanism for employees to transfer large and sensitive files on an ad hoc basis
- Centralized visibility – giving IT the control they want and need
- Enhanced availability and scalability from using redundant MFT servers
- Integration across multiple platforms
Finding an automated MFT system supporting many devices, strictly complying with several privacy and security standards, and efficiently administers by an entry-level operator proved to be an excellent business decision. See other real-world examples of MOVEit MFT in chapter 5 of our recent special edition Managed File Transfer for Dummies eBook.
Moving data securely and reliably to support critical business processes is more critical than ever. Your files are a core element of your business, and you should be guarding them at all costs. Download a free copy of our Managed File Transfer for Dummies eBook today and start transferring files securely tomorrow.