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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

8 Reasons to Implement an MFT Strategy

Today’s companies need to adhere to various security standards (e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, the GDPR) not only to prevent the high costs related to data breaches but also to avoid hefty penalties.

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However, ensuring the security of data transferred among employees, partners, vendors, and customers has become increasingly challenging due to the massive amount data that organizations need to handle and protect. One wrong step, such as for instance lack of file encryption in only one workflow, could cost you dearly.

Thankfully, you are able to enhance the safety of your file transfer processes by using proven technologies, such as for instance managed file transfer (MFT) software, without straining your IT resources or interrupting current business processes.

What’s Managed File Transfer (MFT)?

MFT solutions are designed to help businesses reduce the complexity of and costs related to file transfer. They assist in improving cybersecurity by replacing susceptible legacy file transfer protocols, such as FTP.

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An MFT computer software solution is an all-in-one technology that automates and encrypts file transfers.

The administrator of the file transfer can access the program with a centralized dashboard from anywhere and perform tasks needed. The tasks can include:

  • Sending encrypted files.
  • Receiving and decrypting sensitive documents.
  • Scheduling batch file transfers.
  • Sharing information with partners via external servers or cloud-computing platforms.
  • Reviewing audit logs.
  • Generating audit reports for compliance.

Using an MFT solution, you can automate workflows, increase efficiency, minmise manual file transfer, and reduce the dependence on custom scripting.

8 Reasons for Implementing an MFT Strategy

There are many reasons why organizations should implement an MFT strategy to increase the safety and efficiency of the file transfer processes:

1. MFT Helps Ensure Compliance with Data Security Regulations.

An MFT software supplies a high level of security to protect critical data, such as for instance personally identifiable information (PII) in healthcare or charge card payment information in banking.

It helps you effortlessly eliminate many vulnerabilities from your own business communication processes. This will help you not just prevent high priced data breaches but also avoid fines linked to the violation of stringent industry regulations.

Most MFT solutions are compliant with common requirements (e.g. PCI DSS, HIPAA, HITECH, and the GDPR.) You may use various features, such as auditing, reporting, role-based access, centralized security controls, key management, encryption, and secure protocols to protect sensitive information.

2. MFT Provides an Audit Log for Your File Transfer Activities.

There are many situations where you will need to audit your file transfers. For example, a business partner requests an overview of the month’s transfer activities, you will need to troubleshoot a failed file transfer, or you need to launch an investigation for a data breach.

MFT software stores detailed audit records for many file transfer activities plus some also provide capability to search the audit log for specific terms, users, or date ranges. You can get information about the transfer workflows and investigate whether each step succeeded or failed.

3. MFT Enhances Security Without the Hassle.

If you have been using FTP for file transfer, it’s time for an upgrade. FTP is an old technology that doesn’t meet modern security standards and fails to protect files whether they’re sent through private or public networks.

You also needs to consider upgrading to MFT software when you yourself have been using homegrown solutions, which often have many security gaps and vulnerabilities that will easily be exploited by code hackers. Not to mention, their maintenance is usually time-consuming and labor-intensive.

With an MFT solution, you don’t have to worry about the danger, maintenance, and programming needed to setup a file transfer protocol. The computer software is easy to use and you will schedule batch transfers to improve efficiency. Secure data exchange techniques such as SFTP, FTPS, and HTTPS help ensure that most of the files are properly encrypted.

4. MFT Minimizes the Impact of IT Downtime.

Did you realize that system downtime costs organizations an average of $100,000 an hour? While not absolutely all downtime is preventable, you are able to mitigate its impact on your company by ensuring that critical file transfer systems and servers are available to minimize delays.

A robust MFT solution offers active-passive and active-active (i.e. clustering) methods to help keep your processes running even if you encounter other IT issues. For example, clustering ensures the best availability by running multiple servers concurrently so your communications won’t be disrupted if one server goes down.

5. MFT Helps You Comply with Government Requirements.

If your organization services government agencies, you’re required to follow special reporting and encryption requirements issued by the usa National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These requirements are complex so it’s very challenging and inefficient to build a homegrown solution that meets most of the criteria.

On one other hand, an MFT solution can fulfill various NIST requirements with FIPS 140-2 compliant AES and Triple DES encryption algorithms, audit logs and reports, secure authentication and user controls, etc. As such, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when you obtain a government contract.

6. MFT Facilitates Secure File Exchange in the Cloud.

As more companies are migrating to cloud computing, you’ll inevitably need to exchange files in the cloud — whether within the organization or among partners, vendors, and customers.

However, it’s often challenging to maintain proper cybersecurity practices in these situations. For example, how will you be certain that it’s safe to store painful and sensitive files on a third-party cloud?

Advanced MTF solutions allow organizations to streamline and automate their cloud file transfers to platforms such as for instance Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services with strong encryption, perhaps the files are in rest or in transit.

7. MFT Streamlines Workflows with Third-party Integrations and Automation.

Some MTF applications also offer integrations with popular cloud-based services such as for instance Box, Salesforce, and Google Drive. This helps promote the movement of data between on-premise environments and a variety of cloud applications.

The automation allows you to streamline workflows, increase efficiency, and minmise errors or bottlenecks brought on by manual processes. Meanwhile, you are able to continue to use the many cloud-based productivity tools and add an extra layer of security without interrupting your current business processes.

8. MFT Reduces Your IT Costs.

Devising your own file transfer solution while maintaining the many security standards can be extremely expensive. Not only do you really need to create custom scripts and single-function tools nevertheless, you also have to invest in IT resources for ongoing maintenance and upgrade so the program meets the newest cybersecurity protocols.

An MFT solution eliminates many manual processes and therefore overhead costs related to IT maintenance. Not to mention, the countless automation features also permit you to increase efficiency and cut down on time-consuming manual tasks that can be high priced in the long-run.

Conclusion: Improve Security and Cost-efficiency with an MFT Solution

To stay competitive and optimize profits in today’s complex business environment, you can’t afford to overlook the security and cost-efficiency of your data transfer processes.

Using an MFT solution permits you to leverage the latest cybersecurity measures to ensure the safety of one’s business-critical information.

MFT Guidelines makes it possible to stay compliant with increasingly complex and stringent regulatory guidelines while streamlining the workflows so critical information can flow smoothly among various stakeholders to optimize operational efficiency.

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Matt Shealy

Matt Shealy is the President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small companies grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce global.

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