Cloud, FTP, or MFT – What Option Best Suits You?

By on October 6, 2021

No matter what working model your business uses, files are likely transferred in and out of your organization every single day; but are you aware of where your data is going? Are you protecting sensitive information?

With many easy-to-use options like cloud storage available, it’s simple for businesses, especially SMBs, to create an account, choose a low-cost or even a free storage plan, upload your files, and send out the link to your peers or collaborators outside of your organization, and you’re good to go.

But is a cloud storage option enough to keep your data protected? Most of these file sharing services have encrypted servers, and some have an extra layer of security for data in transit. The potential issue you can encounter with the cloud is your files are stored in servers you don’t own or have direct access to, which makes it difficult to keep track of what files are being sent or who they’re being sent to.

If anyone were to gain access to your account, they’ll also gain access to all the files in your cloud storage, and with the average cost of cyberattacks having grown to $58,902, and 55% of business who have suffered one in the past year being SMBs, it pays to be careful with your information.1

Can a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Solve All Your Problems?

A staple in file transfers, FTP has been around for almost 50 years; it’s simple to use and gets the job done. However, with businesses becoming more modern and needing more scalable solutions, a simple FTP can fall behind the times.

One of the main things FTP lacks is encryption, which can expose not only your data in transit but potentially the credentials you’re using. These security vulnerabilities also make it impossible to stay compliant with governmental regulations such as GDPR, HIPPA, PCI DSS, and many more, which are necessary if you want to be able to provide service to certain clients and organizations.

A Managed File Transfer (MFT) Solution Can Be the Answer

An MFT solution is an evolution of FTP technology and is designed to provide a higher level of file transfer control, administration, and automation.2 It can solve issues with:

  • Security: MFT supports other secure protocols like FTPS (FTP over SSL/TLS) and SFTP (FTP over SSH), which add a layer of encryption to protect your data in transit from vulnerabilities such as data snooping, tampering, and leakage.
  • Management: Having visibility into your file transfer operations, setting up and controlling end-user permissions, reporting, logging, and audit trails are all parts of keeping your data “managed.”
  • System integrations: MFT solutions are designed to consider your overall IT architecture. They also help you assess how to integrate the file transfer technology with your other IT systems, such as storage, Active Directory and LDAP servers, SIEM tools, etc.

An MFT solution can be the best option to keep your data safe and keep track of where your files are hosted, where they’re being sent, and who has permission to access them. You can find a comparison of some of the best MFT software on the market here.


[1] URL: https://www.connectwise.com/resources/smb-research

[2] URL: https://www.serv-u.com/what-is-managed-file-transfer

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