File Transfer Protocol (FTP) ... It's FREE, But Can You Afford It?

Posted by Brad Loetz on Oct 31, 2012 12:11 PM


Thinkronization Newsletter October 2012

Since 1972 companies have been utilizing FTP to move data between internal and external servers.  While other communication methods, such as HTTP, SFTP, and AS2 have been adopted by many businesses, a large number of businesses still use FTP to move files.  A recent survey by HubSpan indicates 70 percent of those surveyed still use unsecured FTP as their main transport protocol.   In addition, 49 percent of those say their top concern regarding file transfer challenges is security.  With this in mind, why are businesses still relying on a solution that can be unreliable, unsecured, and inefficient?

The average cost of a data breech in 2011 was $5.5, a drop from 2010 when it reached $7.2, according to a study by the Ponemon Institute.  When evaluating your file transfer options; consider the cost of a breech in your business.

When organizations deploy an MFT solution they remediate the inherent risks of FTP, tighten security and have important levels of monitoring to ensure file transfer processes complete.

downloadDifferences Between FTP and MFT

Cost:    FTP is a “free” file transfer solution; however, what is the inherent cost of FTP to your business?  Maintaining and managing FTP, and its average failure of 8%, is costly and time consuming in regard to your staffing needs.  MFT offers reliability, monitoring, and alerting capabilities increasing your profit margin by reducing manual operations associated with file transfer administration.

Security:  FTP has no security.  When FTP was created 30 years ago, it was meant to be used as an easy way to transfer a file, not the large scale use in which we use it today.  MFT delivers security through edge or DMZ based solutions.  The ability to encrypt and authenticate data leaves it the hands down choice for secure file transfer.

Reliability:  When it comes to reliability, despite your best efforts with FTP, you aren’t able to easily restart or retransmit files without the fear of duplication or lost data.  MFT Solutions offer multiple tools to ensure data is properly delivered completely, securely, and  on time without duplication.

Visibility:  How do you know if your FTP failed?  Do you have a reporting process, or someone constantly monitoring transmissions?  Or worse, do you not find out until your customer calls to inquire about the missing or late file?  Solutions provided by most MFT vendors include comprehensive alerting, reporting, and tracking features to assure that your data gets to its destination within service level agreement parameters.

How do you know if you need to explore an MFT Solution?  Here are a few questions to consider:
Do time-sensitive business processes get disrupted by late or failed file transfers?
Would your business benefit by timely notifications when a file did not transfer properly?
Do you have regulatory mandates for protecting sensitive information/files?
Is your daily business significantly impacted when your file transfers fail?

If you answered “YES” to more than one of these questions, your business would undoubtedly benefit from a comprehensive MFT Solution.

In a recent Forrester Security Survey, 91% of organizations listed data security as a high or critical priority. Given this priority, security also consumes a large chunk of technology budgets; 16%.  The growing number of security breaches within the US has lead organizations to strongly consider all areas of data security, including file transfers.

REMEDI Electronic Commerce Group recently hosted a series of MFT webinars geared towards educating organizations on not only the value of an MFT solution, but also the value of incorporating MFT into a Comprehensive Integration Suite approach to integration and data exchange.

Contact REMEDI for more information concerning Managed File Transfer.

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REMEDI, as an IBM Premier Business Partner, is able to help your organization weave your way through the complexities of this process and renew your Software Subscription and Support.  Often times we are able to review renewals and help clients apply these funds to more robust IBM software solutions, and other times for those satisfied with their IBM solution, we can provide value through discounted renewal rates.

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