Managed File Transfer Software, MFT
Managed file transfer (MFT) is a technology platform that allows organizations to reliably exchange electronic data between systems and people in a secure way to meet compliance needs. These data movements can be both internal and external to an enterprise and include various types, including sensitive, compliance-protected or high-volume data. It can be offered as software or as a service and may include a single pane for visibility and governance.
Managed file transfer software is a more reliable and efficient means for secure data and file transfer, outpacing and outperforming applications such as file transfer protocol (FTP), hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) and other methods.
Organizations increasingly rely on managed file transfer tools to support their business needs and goals in a way that FTP cannot. FTP presents many challenges(PDF, 571 KB) such as data security gaps, lack of visibility when a problem occurs, timely manual recovery from failures and costly SLA fees due to poor performance.
Key capabilities of effective managed file transfer
- Security. Encrypt internal and external transfers, in motion and at rest. Secure file transfers with advanced capabilities like session breaks and protocol inspection maximize the protection of sensitive data at multiple layers.
- Simplified file transfer. Offers timely and flexible data transfer across a range of file transfer activities and support for multiple file types, including multimedia, PDFs, email, XML, EDI and more.
- Full visibility. Provides a 360-degree view in near-real time. Companies can see who is transferring files, what is being shared and the volume passing through the system. Potential issues like delays and failed transfers are visible before they impact downstream business processes or become missed SLAs.
- Compliance standards. Strong encryption helps companies avoid compliance failures which can lead to hefty fines. Thorough audit trails confirm regulatory compliance.
F.A.Q about Managed File Transfer Software, MFT
What are the benefits of managed file transfer?
Data security. High-profile data breaches and failed transfers can drastically impact a company’s bottom line and reputation. MFT offers a preemptive security strategy with real-time monitoring, and validation security policies and controls to protect data in transit or at rest.
Data growth. Data is everywhere, and companies face larger and more varied files than in the past. The number of users sharing files has grown as have the number of end-points and devices. And as files get larger, the time to move them over global distances becomes longer. MFT brings reliable, automated governance to the movement of files inside and outside the business and can accelerate big data movements around the globe.
Regulatory compliance. Legislative and industry requirements such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), Basel II, Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and others — typically have stringent data security standards. Using a properly-configured MFT system to encrypt, transmit, monitor and store sensitive data empowers organizations to meet security mandates.
Technology megatrends. Moving files has become more complex with the adoption of transformational technologies. The growth of big data, cloud applications, artificial intelligence, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) place a premium on the speed and bulk of file transfers. MFT offers advanced capabilities and support for multiple platforms, mobile devices, applications and other existing IT infrastructure.
Visibility. Companies need to anticipate risk factors to mitigate damages. Operational visibility over file movements leads to proactive issue resolution, like failed transfers and improved compliance with SLA commitments.
Secure File Transfer vs Managed File Transfer software comparison
MFT is a platform. This may make it seem more advanced than other protocols, and arguably it is. It offers administration capabilities coupled with automation and popular security protocols like HTTPS, SFTP, and FTPS. Often, the interface of MFT is designed for transparency and visibility. Generally, it’s a more secure transfer protocol than most others.
MFT beats secure file transfers in complexity and nuance and crushes the competition when it comes to security. If we had to find some drawbacks to implementing a MFT strategy, it’s complexity may mean a learning curve is required for some users. Also, managed file transfer implies management is required. The introduction of visibility and transparency of the process offers no benefit if the processes aren’t being monitored.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and SFT (Secure File Transfer) are both network protocols for “put” and “get” functions. With regards to billing data, data recovery files and other sensitive information that enterprise businesses need to hold and share, SFT offers encryption, whereas FTP does not. SFT was designed for the purposes of securely transmitting data.
To that point, SFT uses Secure Shell or SSH network protocol to transfer data across a channel. Data is protected as long as it’s in moving across the channel. Once it hits a secured server, it’s no longer protected. For additional encryption, senders would need to ensure encryption occurs in advance of sending.
The main benefit of Secure File Transfer is it is enhanced with encryption during the sending process, whereas regular FTP does not have such protection. It’s still second to an MFT platform, but SFT could be a less expensive alternative, depending on how much impact data transfer has on your business.