Why Strong Firewalls are Not Enough: Debunking File Transfer Misconceptions

A typical business enterprise transfers thousands of files every day. Because this is an essential productivity tool, misconceptions abound as much as the practices associated to it. Could your file transfer concepts be nothing more than just myths? Here are the top three collated misconceptions debunked:

Misconception # 1: Encrypted Email and Home-grown FTP are enough

Most companies think a home-grown FTP and encrypted email are enough to keep businesses safe and do secure business transactions. This is the biggest and most common mistaken belief. Home-grown FTP solutions have high risks because it is littered with inefficiencies and limitations. It is also more costly in that it is ten times more expensive than other available technology solutions. Contrasting FTP solutions and scripts are difficult to manage. Even if a company has strong firewalls and solid firewall protection programs, file transfer is still not enough to guarantee data security. While encrypted email is a step in the right course, its utmost function is only to protect the files in transit from being stolen. However, it does not give the options for data transfer visibility, regulation, or enforcement necessary for compliance. Encrypted-type mails are also limited because files larger than 10MB are not possible to be sent out. This is a significant inhibition among businesses because it limits the flow of several transactions. A large part of IT executives, 75% to be exact as shown by recent surveys, state that the companies make use of email accounts to send out information and process classified files such as customer info, financial information including attachments, and payroll. Conclusion: Consolidation is important especially for expanding businesses. An ideal business should work with lesser vendors to reduce security risks and do away with technology or solutions that only give temporary fixes. Home-grown FTP solutions, encrypted emails, and impractical security approaches only give short-term solutions that cannot withstand a growing enterprise.

Misconception # 2: File Transfer is as simple as getting data from point A to point B

The very phrase files transfer sound elementary and quite self-explanatory. That is probably the reason why most people think the process involves nothing more than getting data transported from one point to another. What most people don’t realize is that compliance, overall security, and operations make the process more complex than it sounds. Visibility is a crucial element because one cannot safeguard transactions that cannot be seen. In the same way, users cannot be compliant if they do not know who sends out the data and where it is transferred to. The success of getting a file transported is important but just as crucial is the manner by which it is transferred. Conclusion: Visibility in the whole process of transferring data is important because it allows clear monitoring of the files moving in and out of networks. The importance of this is stressed more where large files are concerned. Bulk files demand increased bandwidth needs. Although there are many free tools available to make this possible, it is not advisable to trust corporate data to third-party vendors especially when companies are not able to monitor who handles their info and in what manner. Financial files and corporate information deserve to be handled more delicately and not just thrown from one point to another.

Misconception # 3: Employees Use Corporate Emails to Transfer Work Data and That Should be enough

It is important to raise corporate security awareness and enforce it through training and policies. However, businesses should not bank all their confidence in this move. Unfortunately, not all employees take security in workspace and networks seriously. Many may not even be aware that the simple task of opening their personal mails using work computers can already provide passes to jeopardize security. When they do, employees can already leak out the IP address or sensitive client information of a business to untrustworthy external parties. Conclusion: Insider data breach is more common than what most businesses think. It is important therefore to enforce tighter policies governing file transfers. Secure networks, solid firewalls, and file protection need to be constantly reinforced. There are many applications and digital protection programs businesses can go to in order to help safeguard data transfer once the misconceptions about it have been exposed.

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