Defining Managed File Transfer For IT Pros

What Is Managed File Transfer

It is estimated that across the globe, cybercrime generates $445 billion every year. In spite of this, a recent survey of more than 100 IT professionals shows that nearly half (42 percent) of IT professionals confess that their organisations do not mandate secure methods for transferring corporate information.

The harsh reality is that today, every organisation is at high risk of a data breach and security processes and tools are now critical. An oversight in this area could have a business-critical impact and the study reveals an alarming number of IT professionals who admit to either losing a critical file indefinitely, or spending a significant amount of time trying to retrieve it. In fact, 18 per cent of respondents report that they have lost a critical file, 11 percent have spent more than an hour trying to retrieve that file, and 10 percent have lost the file forever.

It is apparent that many organisations are still not up to speed on the ways that employees can transfer critical information, and many IT professionals are unaware of secure solutions that now exist, such as Managed File Transfer (MFT). When asked what “MFT” stands for, only 16 percent of respondents answered correctly in comparison to other industry concepts, such as BYOD, which 55 percent identified correctly.

So, What Is MFT?

MFT solutions support person-to-person file sharing with added security and visibility. They have automated system to system file processing capabilities, including file transportation, translation, encryption, sorting, filtering, routing and compression, to name a few, and this significantly improves IT operations.

IT managers can use an MFT solution to configure transfer workflows over all the standard and established protocols. In addition to this, some MFT solutions do not have transfer size limits. While Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) solutions, such as Dropbox, will have file size limits that won’t support many large file types, such as high-definition videos, MRIs, or CAD/design files, certain MFT solutions can avoid this.

To keep corporate data secure, MFT solutions have to work – and work well – for end users. The best MFT solutions provide the robust administrative toolset that IT managers need to ensure security and compliance. It is a careful balancing act between collaborative file sharing and file-based system-to-system integration, and this is the challenge of MFT. End users demand simple file sharing solutions that are quick to get started, while IT departments demand compliance to corporate and regulatory security standards.

The good news is MFT is evolving with the market and its systems are becoming increasingly secure, manageable, and scalable. And MFT is more than just file transfer. Organisations require tightly integrated transfer automation around the system core that allows IT to manage the exchange of any volume of transfers, while efficiently processing files to prepare them for the next step in a business process.

With all we know today, and all the tools that are available to protect the transfer of corporate files, it is unfortunate to see that organisations still lack centralised, comprehensive processes and methods. There needs to be a better understanding of MFT solutions and businesses need to take the transfer of files as seriously as encryption and compliance – especially as threats to those files become more prevalent across the extended enterprise.

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Ken is currently the Director of Product Marketing for Ipswitch File Transfer and is responsible for all product messaging, positioning and marketing content around the product portfolio. Prior to joining Ipswitch, Ken was the Director of Product Marketing at Metalogix, one of the largest Microsoft SharePoint ISVs. Ken’s past experience also includes IBM, ATG, and Lotus Development Corporation. Ken holds a BA in mathematics/computer science from Hamilton College and an MBA in strategic marketing from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business.