When you send someone a file via FTP, how do you know — and later prove — that it was successfully sent?
It might be possible to save a screen shot as long as the process was simple and you can see all the commands on a single screen. But what if your commands start getting complex? And if you start sending quite a few files every day, how do you organize all these screen shots so that you can easily retrieve proof 2 1/2 weeks from now. What about 2 1/2 years from now? Believe me, I’ve been there and it’s no picnic.
Why should you care what files you sent two-and-a-half years ago anyway? To begin with, it’s the law… for most of us anyway. Most businesses are required by law to maintain an audit trail of any files that hold personally identifiable information in the data. Still, we shouldn’t do it just because it is the law, we should do it because it’s is a good business practice to protect and track the movement of all business information.
How to Audit
The screen capture option is probably the worst-case scenario in maintaining an audit trail of all your FTP transactions. It makes sense to look into better tools to manage your FTP processing that make it easier and safer to prove the files have been sent or received from the correct locations.
In most windows-based FTP tools, whether free or purchased, there are options to maintain a log of all your transactions. Here’s an example of GoAnywhere Director’s job log that shows the status of your file transfers, and allows you to drill down further into each job to find out even more.
Other FTP software solutions have similar settings. Logging your transactions provides the audit trail you need to prove that you have done your part in sending or retrieving the files. Managed file transfer solutions, in addition to providing necessary file transfer security, provide an even better audit trail by logging exactly who sent or received the files.
Bottom line: Your FTP audit logs should be easy to find and understand just in case you are audited 2 1/2 years from now.
Our business environment today is really all about relationships. Not just relationships with people but also our relationship with information: private, sensitive, timely, accurate, priceless data that is literally the lifeblood of the business that we obtain daily from our trusting customers and vendors and exchange with our trusted business partners.
Of concern is how information is being exchanged. Too often, business owners/managers are stuck in the mindset of sending business information by email and if it is too big, perhaps by FTP. Neither of these methods are, by any means, safe and secure. As businesses grow and its information relationships become more complex, how do we know who within the office is sending what data to which partners? And who is actually receiving it? As the demand for data exchange increases, so do the complexity and risk of managing all of these processes.
This increased complexity exponentially increases the chance of some information getting sent to the wrong place at the wrong time or accessed by the wrong people. If this happens, we are required by state laws to disclose this data breach to our customers, which undermines the trust and the relationships that we have so carefully worked to build with clients and partners.
As business processes continue to become more regulated and complex, it is critical that these data exchanges are improved. Controlling and automating data exchanges can be greatly simplified and secured by implementing a managed file transfer (MFT) system. The good news is that it isn’t too difficult with the right tools. MFT solutions are available to provide powerful, yet simple ways to address these challenges.
Those companies that can earn and maintain the trust of their customers and trading partners not only through their business interactions, but also by the way they respect and protect their data exchanges, will be the leaders in today’s global business environment.
There’s no better way to kick off the new year than with a new release of Linoma Software’s GoAnywhere™ Director, our popular managed file transfer software.
GoAnywhere Director is the flagship component of the GoAnywhere managed file transfer suite, and it’s used by thousands of enterprise customers who need to initiate secure file transfers as part of their daily workflow.
Whether exchanging data with trading partners, vendors, customers, or even other servers, GoAnywhere Director is the preferred solution for our clients in both the IBM Power Systems environment as well as Linux, Windows, Solaris and others because it simplifies, automates and secures file transfers efficiently, while still remaining affordable.
Director 4.0 has added a variety of features to improve the user experience, including enhanced job controls, custom add-ons, new options for holiday calendars for scheduling, and more than 30 additional advanced functions.
For more details, check out our latest announcement, or dig deeper by reviewing the software release notes.
If you’ve been considering a different solution for handling your secure file transfers, we invite you to begin 2012 by investigating GoAnywhere. Learn more about our managed file transfer solution, or simply request a free trial.
Rounding out our series of GoAnywhere product videos, we’ve recently added an overview of GoAnywhere Gateway. It explains how incorporating a reverse proxy and a forward proxy into your managed file transfer processes adds an extra layer of protection for your private network.
When GoAnywhere Gateway is implemented, trading partners can exchange files with your organization without gaining access to your private network because no inbound ports will need to be opened to complete the exchange. This feature is especially important to auditors evaluating compliance with regulations such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and SOX.
Our Gateway video premier coincides with the release of our latest white paper entitled DMZ Gateways: Secret Weapons for Data Security. Please let us know if you’d like to learn more about how our reverse proxy DMZ gateway can improve your secure file transfer system.
By now, most companies have gotten the message that their data – as well as the sensitive data belonging to customers and partners – needs reliable protection from unauthorized access. The ever growing regulatory environment is making it more and more painful for any company who does not take their data security seriously.
The difference between the desire to keep data secure and actually getting it done, however, has proven to be challenging, especially considering the extraordinary amount of data that is being shared among companies and their customers, health care providers, financial institutions and more as part of daily business activities.
A common approach for sharing information with partners is to deploy a FTP or SFTP server in the “public” area of the company’s network called the DMZ (demilitarized zone) where authorized users can drop off or retrieve files. Those files will often remain in the DMZ until an internal program or user copies them into the private network for processing.
Industry regulators and compliance auditors are becoming increasingly alarmed at this practice of staging files in the DMZ, because even if those files are encrypted, they are more susceptible to theft by savvy hackers. Worse yet, if the company decides to move those file servers into the private network, they may unintentionally be allowing unwanted access through open inbound ports.
A solution that’s gaining in popularity is the reverse proxy DMZ gateway, which is used as a secure bridge between your trading partners and your file servers. A DMZ gateway allows you to move file servers and other public services out of the DMZ and into the private network without having to open inbound ports. Because it serves both as a reverse proxy for handling inbound traffic and a forward proxy for any outbound file transfer requests originating from inside your network, DMZ gateways keep the auditors happy and your data safe in the private network.
For more information about how a DMZ gateway works and what advantages it brings to your network security, please download our new white paper DMZ Gateways: Secret Weapons for Data Security. Then, let us know what you think!