What is an MFT Solution, and Does Your Organization Need One?

posted in: Blogs

Whether your organization is in healthcare, government, technology or media, information is inevitably going to move around it. In some situations, your data may have to leave the secure boundaries of your organization to make its way to clients or other businesses.

Traditional sharing methods may be appropriate for personal situations like sending personal messages or consuming content. But, these traditional methods aren’t as well suited for organizations

Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions are an effective way to create a more secure IT environment within your organization. Companies that use an MFT solution usually handle sensitive information on a regular basis, putting security is at the core of their business functions – making the need for an MFT obvious. I thought it would be a good idea to explain what a MFT solution is, and how your organization can benefit from deploying one.

As the acronym suggests, an MTF solution is a service that manages your data and ensures that it is secure during transfers. They are most often used by corporate organizations who have moved away from ad-hoc methods like FTP and HTTP. At the end of the day, a good MFT solution should simplify your transfer processes, as well as be compliant with security standards such as SSL encryption and others. A good MFT solution should include:

  • Refusal of unsecure connections
  • Encryption for data that is being stored, or “at-rest”
  • A reverse proxy that acts as a passthrough and doesn’t write any unencrypted data to the server
  • The ability to support your organization’s security policies such as password expiration or SSL.

Since MFT solutions focus on business processes, security for sensitive information should definitely be included with your MFT solution. If your organization receives credit card information, your solution should be PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) compliant to safely handle the credit card data. For organizations in healthcare, your MFT solution should be HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) compliant. Imagine the implications if a hospital lost a patient’s sensitive medical records while the data was in transit. The repercussions this type of breach could be massive – from legal costs to bad publicity. Companies who aren’t using an MFT solution may be putting themselves at major risk.

A great MFT solution can bring more than just security to your organization. One example of that is file transfer acceleration. Sure, organizations need to be secure; but speed and agility can also be the difference between closing and losing a deal. Imagine you are a high-end printing shop and a client has put out a contract for a major printing job. The files they need printed are in the tens of gigabytes – and they need it immediately. With file transfer acceleration, the printing shop is able to receive those large files, do the job, and send them for distribution at speeds that may beat the competition by hundreds of times. Now that’s a sure fire way to stand out in the crowd, and win the contract.

As file sizes continually grow, MFT solutions are rapidly becoming an asset to organizations who require secure and reliable file transfers. Not only are MTF solutions a good preventative method in terms of security, they also can provide real benefits that can help you get a return on your investment. Now that you know a little bit more about MFT solutions, now may the time to evaluate your need for one.