Melinda Powers

Every day data is exchanged electronically all over the world using the unsecure FTP protocol, but few companies realize the security and management risks inherent in such file transfers. Thus, the need for managed file transfer (MFT) technology is critical to all organizations, small/medium or large.  All companies need to exchange files quickly, securely and cost effectively, and that need occurs across all major platforms, both inside and outside the walls of their enterprise.

With this in mind, we have compiled a list below of some FAQs relating to MFT technology.

Q. What is MFT and why would I want to use it in within my company?

A. MFT is a way of securely transferring data or large files across either an internal or external network. It’s a business process that uses software containing encryption and secure communications protocols to ensure secure, policy-based file transfers, and provide end-to-end monitoring, logging, auditing and tracking. An MFT approach can help companies better meet the challenge of safely and reliably exchanging business information electronically.

Q. Why should I invest in an MFT solution when I already have a way to send/encrypt data?

A. This answer would depend on how your company currently exchanges information.  You could have secure encryption as part of your current FTP solution but not the ability to audit, report and track file transfers.  You could also be using a home-grown “legacy” system that does not support the most up-to-date encryption, thereby leaving your company vulnerable to security risks.

A robust MFT solution must provide strong encryption using well understood algorithms, cryptographic keys of appropriate length, and cryptographic modules that have undergone validation testing. Otherwise, the solution cannot be trusted to assure the confidentiality of the data before, during and after the file transfer.

Q. What are the top five areas of functionality to consider in an MFT solution?

A. Forrester   suggests there are five key areas of functionality to consider:

Administration and governance. This includes data security features, auditing, and profile and policy management.

Architecture.MFT solutions use many different deployment models, ranging from on-premise, to software-as-a-service, to a blended approach.

Core features. Features to consider include support for different protocols, the ability to schedule transfers, and workflow.

Visibility. Good MFT solutions allow both business end-users and IT staff to monitor the status of file transfers. Robust solutions provide alerts if problems arise, log key events, and offer reporting.

Quality of service. Access to the application must be controlled via secure passwords.

Q. What MFT solutions does bTrade offer?

A. bTrade has MFT solutions that contain all the functionality mentioned above, for both the enterprise and SMB customer.  bTrade makes it easy for companies to exchange files, quickly, securely and cost-effectively across all major platforms, both inside and outside the walls or your enterprise. bTrade Secure delivers fast time-to-value while meeting compliance requirements, reducing data loss, cutting costs, and increasing efficiency, revenue, and profit.