FTP vs. MFT: Gaining Control of Your Organization’s Data

Don Miller

Is it a good practice to transmit data using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP)?  bTrade, as well as most IT professionals, answer this question with a resounding:  “No!” In fact, we would tell you that relying solely on FTP to transmit data exposes an organization to very clear risks (i.e., lack of visibility and reliability) and would pose very serious challenges with controlling the high costs associated with managing/maintaining such processes.

The Limitations of FTP Technology

In these security-conscious days, legacy FTP environments are simply not good enough to ensure that corporate data is handled with appropriate security. FTP environments possess inherent limitations, some of which are obvious, but are worthy of repeating:

  • Many security weaknesses
  • No encryption
  • Vulnerability to packet sniffing
  • Clear text user IDs and passwords

These inherent limitations, along with the headaches created for IT staffs to track and maintain individual connections, should raise serious concerns with both outside auditors and senior executives who demand better security and improved control over corporate data. Driven by the need to increase data security, strict governance and risk regulations, and the need to quickly transfer and track files globally, many organizations are becoming now more aware of the vulnerability of having only a legacy FTP strategy.

How Your Organization Will Benefit From A Managed File Transfer Solution

If you have a legacy FTP environment, the need for an MFT (Managed File Transfer) solution should be high on the list of problems to be solved. Your organization’s MFT investment should center on meeting its business needs today, as well as the ability to scale to meet the business demands of the future. Being able to adapt quickly to evolving business needs will be critical to your organization’s success.

At bTrade, we have identified four principle benefits that have been realized by companies who have already implemented an MFT solution:

1. Data Security, Privacy and Protection

With legacy FTP, your data is at-risk when your corporate IT team has no control over the installation and use of the software. With an MFT solution, you can be assured in knowing that a high level of data security exists with software that can ensure secure file transfers, whether internal, external or ad-hoc, in a single solution. With a single point of access, you will regain control over your data, where it goes, how well it is secured while in transit, and if the receiver has received it. MFT applications offer many layers of protection. You can encrypt your files; sign the files digitally so that the receiver knows they are from you and have not been altered in transit; securely connect to your trading partner; and finally, only allows the intended receiver to decrypt them.

2. Minimize File Transfer Costs

Managing a legacy FTP solution can be very expensive to maintain and administer. When changes are required, your IT staff needs to find all instances of use, update them with associated change management tasks, and make sure they found all instances of that particular connection. Companies can minimize these costs by implementing a scalable managed file transfer solution that can handle increasing volumes and provide improved security, reporting and responsiveness to changing business and technology conditions. With a single integrated interface, you have complete control over all aspects of the solution allowing your staff to easily manage even the largest trading community.

3. Meeting Governance, Risk And Compliance Mandates

Many organizations have stringent rules and policies in place to protect data and ensure that critical information is secured. Complying with these regulations is a necessary part of business, and a managed file transfer solution offers a relatively seamless way to proactively prevent risk events and compliance violations without reducing capabilities and productivity. In addition, having advanced error reporting and notifications can significantly improve your day-to-day performance levels. With notifications regarding SLA levels, you can respond quickly when things do not go as planned. If a file must be sent or received within a particular time frame, these notifications can make sure they happen, and allow you to respond quickly if they have not.

4. Improve Application-To-Application Integration

Organizations need to review periodically how they organize, integrate and analyze business data. To improve application integration, an organization needs to implement a managed file transfer solution to enable and simplify its operational environment with a solution that is a reliable, scalable and secure. This is essential to leverage the maximum value from your investment and from your data assets.

Your entire trading community will benefit from increased efficiencies, increased reliability, increased security and minimized risk, all while expanding your opportunity for growth and meeting governance, risk and compliance mandates.

How bTrade Can Help

You now know the risks of relying on legacy FTP, but if you think migrating to MFT is more than your organization can take on, think again.

bTrade’s MFT solution, secureXchange, will deliver the rock-solid security you need, as well as the flexibility you want to upgrade, replace, consolidate or outsource your FTP processes. The end result is not just the assurance that your critical data is protected, but you will also get faster on-boarding of partners, quicker time to market and an overall enhanced customer experience.

Our managed file transfer solution provides:

  • A Single Integrated MFT Platform
  • Compliance  with Governance and Risk Mandates
  • Enhanced Security, Privacy and Data Protection
  • End Point Strategy with Easy Onboarding

For more information about secureXchange and how to replace or consolidate your expensive, at-risk FTP processes, please call us at 818-334-4177 or email us at sales@btrade.com.