Considering the Options

By Sandy Weil  |  Posted 2010-09-30 Print this article Print

Considering the options

Understanding that file transfer security is a critical component of a successful IT strategy is only the first step. It's also important to understand the different types of file transfer methods.

Physical methods

Physical methods such as media devices (for example, laptops, thumb drives, PDAs) and printed documents pose the greatest risk, as they can be easily lost or stolen. The security threat is proliferating as thousands of files can easily be stored on a 500MB USB drive. As these devices become ubiquitous, organizations need to account for the changing threats of moving physical files. Electronic file transfer can provide an audit trail and eliminate the "Where's my file?" confusion. While files moved virtually can be tracked easier than physical methods, this method can still be too problematic when trying to securely manage large amounts of data.

E-mail attachments

E-mail attachments are not a viable option because there are too many size, space, security and control issues. Generally, HTTP Secure (HTTPS) encryption is used when sending attachments via e-mail but it's simple and easy to crack. In addition, the risks escalate if a user downloads files at a coffee shop using public Internet access; the minute it's downloaded, the file is now wide open. Similarly, if e-mail is accessed via unprotected home WiFi networks, files are put at incredible risk. While a quick e-mail attachment might seem like the easiest way for employees and partners to exchange files, it can be detrimental to the organization if the proper restrictions and security measures aren't in place.

Sandy Weil is President of the Proginet Group at TIBCO. Before this, he was a Director, President and CEO at Proginet Corporation (acquired by TIBCO). At Proginet, Sandy was responsible for providing strategic leadership, direction and management. Sandy joined Proginet in the spring of 2008. Before that, Sandy served as a partner and senior executive at Accenture, one of the world's leading global management consulting and technology firms. During his 14-year tenure at Accenture, Sandy held senior management positions in the infrastructure outsourcing, business process outsourcing, and managed reference data service practices, with specific responsibility for sales, marketing, strategic alliances and general operations. He was made partner in the firm in 2003. Earlier in his career, Sandy gained experience in the technology industry at various enterprise software and hardware companies. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Hobart College. He can be reached at

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