Managed File Transfer (MFT)

Nicole P. automatic file transfer, data leaks, data protection, data synchronization

Why Managed File Transfer or MFT ?

Intelligent high performance file sync.

Intelligent high performance file sync.

The ability to share files is an essential part of conducting business in every industry across the board. File sharing generally transpires by using File Transfer Protocol (FTP), email or the internet but the issue with those approaches is that they are not easily governed. Questions concerning the security of confidential files, who received them and when are often asked. One way to confront any concerns an organization may have with the safety of their file sharing is with the use of secure Managed File Transfer (MFT) [1].

What is Managed File Transfer?

Managed File Transfer (MFT) is software that securely manages file sharing [1]. MFT software is intended to assist businesses with the growing compliance, security and system requirements of distributing data [4]. It works by using a network to transfer files from one system to another. To securely transfer the file, security features, such as file encryption, are added to maintain the privacy and integrity of the file. This hinders any hackers on the networks from gaining access to the contents of the file and changing them [5].

Since traditional data sharing methods such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and email are not easily controlled, MFT is a valuable tool because it helps organizations audit and track their file sharing and increases accountability amongst users. While the old standard, FTP, may use cloud services, it is not an adequate choice for businesses to use if they have information safety and privacy concerns [1].

How does MFT work?

The method in which Managed File Transfer approaches data protection is by giving users control over their access. The way in which access control is accomplished differs amongst secure file transfer products but the basic concept is that there is shared code between the source and the receiver. It could be something as easy as an established passcode or as difficult as the incorporation of an identity and access management (IAM) system. The code is utilized to scramble the file prior to its transfer from the source to the receiver. Once the recipient obtains the encrypted data, the file is then decrypted by their computer by using the agreed-upon secret [5].

Benefits of MFT?

It has become crucial for organizations to have dependable file transfer solutions and tools available to assist them in the preservation of the security of their vital data whilst it is transported across various digital platforms. Due to its ability to do so, MFT is gaining popularity as a practical alternate to traditional file transfer solutions [5].

There are several reasons why the use of MFT is valuable to businesses. Such benefits include:

  • It assists businesses improve compliance, protection and control involved in information transfer [2]
  • It provides auditing capabilities that other secure file transfer systems do not possess [5]
  • It has state-of-the-art technologies that provide automated storage and removal abilities from the depository to guarantee compliance with data preservation guidelines [5]
  • It increases organizations’ capabilities and productivity [2]
  • MFT has more vigorous scheduling abilities compared to its counterparts [5].

Why is MFT use growing?

MFT’s use is currently on the rise. As such, the marketplace of MFT is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 10.2% by 2020 [2]. In fact, the marketplace should top $1.6 billion by 2024 [3].

There are multiple reasons why MFT use is a growing market in various industries. Industries have listed the following as reasons why MFT use is on the rise [3]:

  • Increases in cyber crimes
  • Upsurge of information production
  • Rash of compliance guidelines
  • Growing need for data control
  • Increases of bring your own device (BYOD).

The following industries are expected to experience the biggest increase in the implementation of MFT due to data protection dangers and increasing compliance stipulations: healthcare, finance and insurance [2].

What  MFT services and features are available?

Before employing MFT, businesses need to ask what kind of MFT service they want or need to use. The kinds of services are called deployment types. However, even before the organization can choose the appropriate deployment type, they must first ask themselves what safety features are required. The safety features offered are [1]:

  • Encryption
  • Safe HTTPs/FTP systems
  • Automatic transfer
  • MFT can also be used alongside FTP to help make it safe. Organizations can preset the MFT to block specific types of data or IP addresses, impose password guidelines and put transfer limitations on users.

Once the needed safety features are determined, organizations can then choose the deployment type they wish to utilize. The following are the deployment types available [1]:

  • Cloud-based [1]
    • A good option because it’s low maintenance and inexpensive
  • On-site software that is self-installed and controlled [1]
    • It accounts for the prevailing type of deployment as of 2014, encompassing 59% of the total marketplace [3]
    • On-site deployment is most desired by businesses that create large quantities of confidential information [3]
  • Hybrid [1]
    • A blend of cloud-based and on-site deployments [3].

Conclusion

File transfer methods provide organizations a simple method to transport files from one location to the next while protecting the privacy, reliability and accessibility of the information. The various traditional systems are economical and have been commonly utilized for years, mostly for automatic transfers. Nonetheless, contingent on the type of the information being shared, it may be best for businesses to use an MFT system due to its innovative protection, administrative and auditing features [5].

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References

  1. Rashid, Fahmida (4 September 2015). “The Best Secure Managed File Sharing Services”. PCMag. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  2. “Managed File Transfer Market – Rising Trend in Application Integration & Cloud-Based Managed File Transfer Solutions”. PR Newswire. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  3. “Managed File Transfer Market Expected to Reach US$ 1.6 Bn by 2024 Globally: Transparency Market Research”. PR Newswire. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  4. Rouse, Margaret. “Managed file transfer (MFT)”. WhatIs.com. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  5. Scarfone, Karen (2015). “What to Look for in Secure File Transfer”. TechTarget. Retrieved 3 March 2017.

By Nicole P., EnduraData Communications

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Managed File Transfer (MFT) was last modified: February 9th, 2018 by Nicole P.