IT Security News & Blogs

What is Managed File Transfer?

Posted: 2 June 2018

Irrespective of which industry your organisation belongs to, facilitating collaboration and the sharing of files and documents among your employees, customers and business partners is a key requirement for increasing your revenue generation potential. Effective collaboration with employees, customers and business partners means that at some point, files and documents will need to leave the security and boundary of your organisation.

The average organisation transfers files and documents using email, shared cloud storage and/or integrated applications. However, when users keep files and documents stored anywhere and everywhere, businesses lose control and expose themselves to the risk of those files and documents being mishandled or lost.

Some organisations in need of a file transfer infrastructure to protect their data simply reached for a basic FTP server, most likely one which they have been using for some time. This can certainly be the answer if your core focus is making those files easily available. Create a space where users can drop files and recipients can collect them. However, as file volumes have increased in recent years, so too have the range of processes involving file exchange widened, creating risks for securing those files and documents being exchanged.

Take a look at our definitive guide to Securely Sharing Documents and Files in a Privacy Oriented World.

Enter the Managed File Transfer Solution

Where simple FTP was once sufficient, IT now has to search for a more suitable solutions which combined the simplicity of EFSS (Enterprise File Synchronisation and Sharing), the reliability of an FTP server and the process focussed integration middleware.

Most, if not all IT teams are taking on this challenge by leveraging the advantages of Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions. Managed file transfer offers more than the basic FTP server, it combines user desired  simplicity with reliability and security to facilitate critical business file transfers and exchanges.

Using simple, secure file transfer protocols and easy-to-understand models of file and document exchange, MFT is empowered with strong encryption, manageability, scalability, integration and auditing options. With such capabilities at their disposal, IT teams can deliver more sophisticated and controlled file-transfer solutions for their organisations.

How Managed File Transfer Works

A Managed File Transfer solution, which typically runs on a dedicated MFT server or cloud service, provides the security and control required for high-volume, secure file transfers. IT receives complete visibility over all file transfer activity and can assure the reliability of core business processes through the secure and compliant transfer of sensitive documents and files between employees, partners and customers.

By consolidating all of this file transfer activity into one system, IT can also take advantage of  centralised access control, strong authentication, file encryption, and auditing. This helps ensure compliance with internal SLAs, internal governance policies, and national data protection and regulatory requirements, such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

Using standardised file transfer protocols with encryption methods, IT can also automate and transfer files and documents across on-premise networks and cloud environments, such as Amazon AWS. Authorised account holders are able to send files via email attachments or through the cloud via their web browsers.

IT can set up automated transfer exchange workflows without the need for scripting using batch script or Robocopy, as is typical. This accelerates the rollout of new services and the onboarding of external partners by reducing development time while also decreasing the likelihood of errors..

Would you like to learn more about managed file transfer and the best practices for its usage? Try our free Managed File Transfer for Dummies eBook.

A Better Way to Transfer and Exchange

If your current file transfer systems require scripting, significant manual tasks, and high-touch maintenance, managed file transfer represents a better option.

Managed file transfer has emerged as an indispensable technology as the exchange and transfer for files and documents becomes ever more routine for organisations. Those that routinely transfer financial, personal and other sensitive types of data, who are concerned about data security, accessibility and compliance, need a strong managed file transfer solution. Only then can they eliminate data errors, reduce costs, and make transfers easy for both IT and users.


Managed Transfer Solution Buyers Guide

Topics: Managed File Transfer, MFT, File Transfer, Data Security

Chris Payne

Written by Chris Payne

Managing Director - Advanced Cyber Solutions