As the use of data increases, data security becomes more critical for modern businesses. An IBM study IBM found that 51% of system integrations are completed through file transfers.1 However, prevailing file transfer solutions such as file transfer protocol (FTP) and hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) are not able to meet modern business requirements.
Modern businesses need more advanced capabilities. Data exchange between internal and external systems must be secure, compliant with regulations, and offer advanced capabilities such as real-time notifications and recovery from failures.
Managed File Transfer (MFT) can serve these needs. It is a platform that offers reliable and secure data exchange between systems, people, and entities. In addition, it can provide real time updates and enable quick recovery from failures. This guide will explore MFT, its benefits, and real-life examples.
What is managed file transfer?
Managed File Transfer (MFT) is a technology that facilitates the secure transfer of data files from one computer to another over a network. Enterprises often use it to manage, control, and automate the transfer of files, replacing or complementing traditional methods like FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol).
Benefits & Features of Managed File Transfer
With robust encryption protocols and secure authentication, MFT provides a highly secure way to transfer sensitive data, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches. Strong encryption algorithms like Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and secure authentication mechanisms like multi-factor authentication (MFA) are standard features.
Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions are often designed to support multiple protocols to ensure the secure and efficient transfer of files between different systems. These protocols can range from FTP/SFTP/FTPS to HTTP/HTTPS, AS2, and even proprietary protocols. The multi-protocol support allows for greater flexibility and compatibility with various partners, systems, and network configurations.
3-Automation and high-speed
As data grows, it becomes difficult for businesses to transfer them quickly. MFT helps move large volumes of data quickly between different systems. Built-in automation and scheduling capabilities allow for easily configuring complex file transfer workflows. Automation features allow for easy scheduling of repetitive tasks, reducing manual efforts and the chance of human error.
Regulatory frameworks and sector-specific guidelines, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Basel II, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), and GDPR often impose rigorous data security requirements. Employing a well-configured Managed File Transfer (MFT) system to safeguard, send, oversee, and store confidential information enables organizations to comply with these security directives. MFT solutions often offer robust auditing and reporting capabilities that help organizations comply with these regulatory standards.
5-Improved visibility and control
Organizations must proactively identify potential risks to minimize harm. Having a clear view into the operations of file transfers allows for early problem-solving, such as rectifying unsuccessful transfers, and enhances adherence to Service Level Agreement (SLA) obligations. Real-time monitoring and alerting provide a transparent view of the file transfer process, making it easier to manage and control data flows within and outside the organization.
Transferring files has grown increasingly complicated due to the emergence of groundbreaking technologies. The rise of big data, cloud-based services, machine learning, data analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) has heightened the demand for rapid and large-scale file movements. MFT provides sophisticated features and is compatible with various platforms, mobile gadgets, software, and other pre-existing IT systems. Some MFT solutions can automatically convert files to different formats or encrypt/decrypt them as part of the transfer process.
7-API and integration capabilities
Most MFT solutions offer APIs or other methods for integrating with other enterprise software like ERP, CRM, or databases.
2 MFT case studies
1. Automated threat mitigation and compliance
Problem: Appriss Retail is an artificial intelligence-based solution that provides advanced analytical insights and decision-making services. 2 The company needed an MFT solution that could help to scale its growing volume of transfers while meeting government regulations and fighting security threats.
Solution: The company adopted an automated MFT solution and deployed it with minimum downtime. Automated MFT solution detected and responded to security attacks with anti-virus scanning and data loss protection. Besides, Appriss Retail complied with government regulations as the MFT controls and notified any delineations.
2. Secure file transfer and integrations
Problem: Schlumberger is a leading global energy services provider operating in over 80 countries.3 The company needed a secure file transfer application that can seamlessly integrate with legacy resources.
Solution: Following the adoption of MFT software, Schlumberger could send large files securely and integrate its existing web-based customer portal. With over 8000 users, Schlumberger managed to send files quickly from one resource to another and handled files of more than 5 GB easily.
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If you have other questions about managed-file-transfer, we can help:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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