10 Tips for Making Managed File Transfers Less Stressful

1 - 10 Tips for Making Managed File Transfers Less Stressful
2 - Automate
3 - Maintain Compliance
4 - Take Control
5 - Collaborate
6 - Go Mobile
7 - Educate
8 - Act Quickly
9 - Protect and Prevent
10 - Unify
11 - Grow
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10 Tips for Making Managed File Transfers Less Stressful

by Chris Preimesberger

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Automated file-based business processes that power daily tasks help eliminate IT stress. Managed file-transfer (MFT) systems can automate the transfer of files between systems and business partners, as well as handle the processing of files to achieve business goals.

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Maintain Compliance

File transfers must incorporate various control and security measures to meet service-level agreements (SLAs) and compliance requirements. For example, in the health care industry, the path toward compliance starts with performing a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Security Rule assessment, which can be performed internally or by an independent, third party assessor. Having a compliant, cloud-based file-transfer solution in place eliminates extensive manual oversight and evaluation—and the anxiety that often comes along with it.

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Take Control

IT departments need to keep business processes smooth and secure, yet they have little control over file movements across an organization. Identify an automated managed file-transfer solution that strengthens IT processes through scalability, reliability, failover and disaster recovery. In fact, organizations with MFT solutions resolve errors on average five times faster than those without them.

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File-based business processes connect systems and people via email, the Web and mobile devices. Consider the example of manufacturing or oil and gas research; with the right technology, engineers can be anywhere in the world and securely access and edit shared, large unstructured data files such as geophysical information, equipment specifications or designs. Organizations can even make sure that files automatically delete on a pre-determined expiration date to keep remote access secure.

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Go Mobile

By extending MFT to mobile devices, a sales rep at a customer site can generate and deliver an approved price quote document, initiating the process from his tablet. Once approved, the price quote is automatically and securely delivered to the customer and internal business systems are updated with information from the quote. The automated process streamlines quote generation and approval and ensures that sensitive pricing and customer information is protected during the process.

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Unfortunately, shadow IT practices are abundant in most organizations, particularly when various desktop and mobile apps offer easy-to-use, quick solutions for moving large data. These unauthorized file-transfer tools come with an increased risk for non-compliance, security breaches and a host of other problems. Employees need to know that there is a secure and compliant MFT system in place that provides the same flexibility and simplicity as unapproved applications—and how to use it.

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Act Quickly

While file-transfer security features such as end-to-end encryption and antivirus support are critical, IT leaders also need to be able to respond to events in real time if and when they occur. To do so, IT administrators must monitor file-transfer activity between users and have highly advanced security protection and processes, such as hardened server settings and OS-independent security, FIPS 140-2 cryptography, and vulnerability protection accessible to prevent a breach.

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Protect and Prevent

IT professionals must take a preventative approach to incidents; after all, security isn't maintained by only reacting quickly to a breach. Therefore, it's important to protect the server itself by running frequent penetration tests, vulnerability scans, static code analysis, and encrypting storing files so they cannot be easily executed in the server's host OS.

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Many businesses today are transferring files using many different systems and with different partners. This causes confusion for employees and even encourages them to use unsecure applications. A unified MFT system alleviates the headache and stress of maintaining multiple systems and provisioning partners, giving IT departments the ability to manage all file-transfer processes from a central location.

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Businesses regularly talk about the ability to scale, but most of the time, it's not discussed in the context of the file-transfer process, and it should be. Companies of all sizes and industries are quickly realizing their file-transfer requirements are growing well beyond their IT team's ability to keep up. IT departments should implement a system that scales with their needs to give the organization the flexibility to grow without restraints from increased traffic and data.

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