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Managed File Transfer is for SMB’s too

Recent research suggests that the SMB sector is coming under an increasing number of cyber attacks from hackers and cyber criminals.  Figures published by Symantec revealed that the number of attacks on companies with fewer than 250 staff had doubled in the six months to June 2012.  Similarly AVG reported that it was predicting an increase on the £3.37 million of damage inflicted on UK SMB’s last year.  Verizon confirmed that the majority of 855 data breaches analysed in their Data Breach Investigation Report had been inflicted upon SMB’s.

The question is; why are SMB’s being targeted?  It would appear that the modest budgets available to small companies make them easier targets, Small Businessgiventhe lower level of expenditure on information security technologies.  Especially since SMB’s frequently work as suppliers for larger organisations, making them a more attractive proposition to hackers than the more conventional direct attack on the corporate target.

What does this have to do with managed file transfer I hear you ask?  MFT has generally been considered a technology more appropriate to corporate organisation’s – with its big price tag and grand title.  Times are changing for the MFT marketplace and there are now some very comprehensive solutions available at really competitive prices.  For those SMB’s considering how they should secure data transfers with their larger corporate customers, technologies exist at around the £4,000 mark which provide an equal amount of functionality as many corporate companies have.

To discuss your file transfer requirements, whether you’re an SMB or multi-national organisation, get in touch with Pro2col or give us a call on 0333 123 1240.

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Globalscape Hosted FTP Offering Goes Live in the UK

We’re very pleased to announce that Pro2col has been selected by GlobalSCAPE as their key partner to launch their secure hosted FTP solution - Hosted EFT Server here in the UK.  Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been finalising the offering, so I thought we would give you a quick insight into what’s available.

Hosted EFT provides you with your own hosted version of Globalscape’s award winning EFT Server.  Deployed at Peer1′s world class UK data centers,Hosted FTP Server we have multiple hosted FTP instances set up and ready to go.  There are various options on disk space and bandwidth, along with a range of additional modules available including High Security, Auditing & Reporting and Web Transfer Clients for multi Gigabyte uploads.  This means your company can benefit from the features of EFT Server, without the upfront costs of infrastructure and licence costs.  We’ll provide you with your own dedicated IP address and help you to take advantage of the numerous branding options – all with an unlimited number of users.

If you’d like to take advantage of Globalscape’s Hosted EFT Server provided by Pro2col, then get in touch for a no obligation demonstration or free 30-day evaluation.  We’ll show you just how easy it is to be up and running in a couple of minutes so you can start simply and securely exchanging files with your trading partners and customers.

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Ad Hoc Managed File Transfer – Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes but nothing for Apple Mac?

It would be fair to say that a clear majority of the IT professionals we speak to on a weekly basis want to regain some control over the data that their employees send.  In the past, many IT administrators would start with the customary approach of limiting the size of email attachments that could be sent via the email server. However, this only resulted in employees searching for alternative ways of sending files – frequently the choice was a SaaS/Cloud based, consumer grade solutions such as YouSendit, Mailbigfile, Dropbox, the list goes on!

In general employees intentions are honourable but when they need to ‘get the job done’, they adopt for the path of least resistance i.e quick and easy solutions that they can sign up to for free.  This however creates a minefield for the IT and Compliance departments who tackle a daily myriad of issues around tracking, governance and security of corporate data. With no online service completely immune from attack (take the recent announcements around LinkedIn and Yahoo) the issue is very real and pressing.

Inevitably the bottom line is that the business needs to invest in an ad hoc file transfer solution that enables employees to send files on an ad hoc basis.  Fortunately for businesses this issue has existed for some time, and a number of the managed file transfer vendors we work with offer solutions to these problems.  Selecting the right solution depends upon the number of users, security requirements, size of the data sets, preferred deployment option (on-site/hosted/SaaS), specific functionality required and budget – but that’s where we come in to help you through the vendor selection process.

Finally let’s not forget that there are a wide variety of email clients used in today’s businesses.  The most dominant – Microsoft Outlook has been well addressed by the majority of managed file transfer vendors.  Lotus Notes on the other hand hasn’t received the same time and attention but there are a couple of options out there, I guess this is down to size of their shrinking market share.  When it comes to Apple however everyone falls short.  This has little to do with the developers ability – more with the architecture of Apple Mail, Microsoft Entourage or Outlook for Mac, none of which support plugin’s in the same way.  Still, all of the vendors provide a webmail facility if you need to support Mac OS users.

For further assistance in selecting the most appropriate ad hoc file transfer solution for your business please get in touch with the UK’s leading MFT experts on 0333 123 1240.

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Managed File Transfer – Remote Access Removed or Remote File Termination?

Managed file transfer solutions are the ideal technology to share files securely with remote trading partners and customers.  This is what they were designed to do and in the most part, they all provide a simple interface to achieve this.  Some provide a web browser facility, whilst others offer additional plugins such as a Microsoft Outlook Plugin or less conventionally, a Lotus Notes Plugin.  However the one common way in which the majority of these technologies work is for the file to remain on a web server, to be collected by the intended recipient.  This then provides the system with an audit trail of when the file was downloaded and in most cases, to which IP address – confirming the users location.

This is great in most instances but imagine a situation where you’ve sent an email using the plugin within your email client of choice, only to later find that pull back emailyou’ve attached the wrong document.  Worse than that, it contains sensitive customer or financial data – what then?  You make a frantic call to your IT Help Desk asking them to delete the file or remove access to it.  You then get confirmation from the kind Support Desk person to say that they’ve action your request.  Great, you’re in the clear…. but upon returning to your email you see that your customer has already downloaded the file and you have the email notification to prove it.  Where you usually greet the notification with a shrug of the shoulders in the knowledge that the managed file transfer solution has once again done its job, this time it leaves you cold!

Fortunately not all managed file transfer solutions are built the same.  Some have DLP capabilities ensuring that sensitive data is quarantined whilst one vendor we work with provides a very unique capability, remote file termination.  How is this done I hear you ask, well give us a call and we’ll tell you!  Suffice to say, this type of technology provides the highest levels of security available therefore isn’t pitched at your general ad hoc file transfer users.  It’s more appropriate for those companies dealing with extremely sensitive data, e.g. data needing to be exchanged between board members, patent information, IPO, MBO, acquisitions and mergers information and so on.

If your business has a requirement to move data in a more secure manner than your existing file transfer technology allows, speak to Pro2col as we’ve got technologies that can handle the most sensitive of data.

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A Secure Alternative to Dropbox – Welcome to Managed File Transfer

Once again here we are discussing Dropbox as they attempt to minimise the damage to the company brand following the latest reports announcing a further security breach.

Dropbox announced yesterday on their blog that after hiring some “outside experts” to investigate why certain Dropbox users were getting spam to their non-public Dropbox email addresses, the experts concluded that a Dropbox employee’s account was hacked and the details were lifted from a project document.  No details were provided on the numbers of users affected, what other information was compromised or why account details were stored in an unencrypted document.

Dropbox Spamming

Ordinarily we’re singing the praise of managed file transfer solutions as an alternative to custom built, cumbersome, unsupported, legacy FTP servers. However, a quick search on Google this morning showed me that perhaps more people are now searching the internet for a secure alternative to Dropbox, likely due to the broadcast of recent security issues.

Dropbox Alternative

 

 

A business’ decision to select Dropbox or any other cloud based technology for storing and sharing company data, should be taken with caution.  Cloud based solutions in general offer significantly more advanced features than your average in house managed file transfer solution, which end users have grown accustomed to.  Why?  Because they’re developing for a single, controlled environment over which the vendor has complete control whereas a managed file transfer vendor has to develop for multiple server based operating systems and the QA process can be lengthy, thus inhibiting progress of a product.

There are however a number of reasons why a greater degree of security can be achieved by deploying an in house managed file transfer solution, here are four of them:

  1. It’s not a big Cloud brand target with hundreds and thousands of users
  2. Data is stored local to you and you have complete control over the security policies
  3. Access is securely controlled by AD/LDAP and other user group contained within corporate authentication tools
  4. Reporting and blacklisting tools mean that hackers can be monitored and banned very quickly

If you are concerned about the lack security, control, auditing and governance of your business data then speak to Pro2col.  We can help to analyse your requirements, select the most appropriate vendors and assist right through the evaluation process and beyond.  Managed File Transfer is fast becoming a necessary business tool and is certainly a more than adequate alternative to Dropbox.

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Dropbox or MFT – that is the question…

Once again the spotlight has been turned on Dropbox following their recent investigation into irregularities in their service.  This latest occurrence appears as though it will conclude with Dropbox announcing that a number of their European users email address or account details have been compromised, we’ll watch with anticipation for the outcome.

Whilst cloud solutions certainly offer users with a raft of features currently not offered by other proprietary software vendors, they tend to lend themselves to being targets for hackers due to their high profile and wide adoption.  It begs the question, “Should consumer grade cloud based technologies be allowed within the enterprise at all?”Dropbox Technologies

Managed file transfer vendors are fast catching up with the cloud based solutions, adding Dropbox like features to provide users with the simple way of working to which they’ve become accustomed.   Whilst also adding new features such as mobile file sharing capabilities to cover off the BYOD angle, never before have MFT vendors being trying so hard to keep up with the contemporary features that users are demanding.

There are many benefits associated with implementing an in-house managed file transfer solution.  Possibly one of the most important in terms of security (taking into consideration the above) is the fact that they don’t become a high profile, data centre target.  Taking the understated, in-house deployment may well help you to slip under the radar whilst also providing a range of security features.

If your company is using Dropbox to share data then Pro2col can help.  We’ve worked with various companies across a range of industry sectors to replace consumer grade file sharing technologies.  Call one of our sales consultants on 0333 123 1240.

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Award for the Best Managed File Transfer Vendor goes to…

According to a recent study of managed file transfer vendors undertaken by the Info-Tech Research Group, one of our key vendors GlobalSCAPE received the highest praise and was afforded the award of best managed file transfer vendor.  As GlobalSCAPE’s Master Partner here in the UK, we’re very pleased with the high praise and we concur with the assessment that GlobalSCAPE… “has an extensive feature set, solid price point, and clear strategy. Meeting advanced security requirements with extensive security modules combined with anti-flooding and auto-ban features, GlobalSCAPE offers 24 x7 support to quickly respond to any potential problems that occur.”

In addition Ipswitch File Transfer were also recognised as a Champion in the study impressing the analysts with a strong, well rounded product portfolio.  Again, as Ipswitch’s Elite Partner here in the UK we recognise the value that Ipswitch’s MOVEit range of technologies provide, accompanied by a strong feature set.

InfotechWith the sunsetting on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant back in 2010, there has certainly been space for an analyst report on managed file transfer vendors and solutions.  I think that the Info-Tech report has a little way to go to reach the breadth of MFT industry content that Gartner achieved but it shows that we’ve chosen well in selecting the best vendors to work with.

If you’d like to discuss how either GlobalSCAPE or Ipswitch’s Managed File Transfer solutions could help your business, we’re perfectly placed to assist you in helping you to select the right MFT solution for your needs.  Please get in touch on 0333 123 1240.

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Free managed file transfer software: Is open source really an option?

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve spoken with a number of companies who’ve wanted to implement a managed file transfer solution but haven’t had the budget to implement something from one of our vendors.  With more than a couple of these companies I was asked the question – do you know of any free managed file transfer solutions, you know something open source, something we can deploy on Linux?

Given that our business focuses on selling file transfer technologies and ‘free’ doesn’t quite pay the bills, I was somewhat surprised to be asked this question. However, as I’m a bit of a file transfer geek I had in fact researched this in the past I knew that there were not – the best I could find was a couple of Sourceforge FTP server projects.

I completely understand a company wanting to keep the cost of their technologies down, preferring to deploy on a Linux platform.  We’re no different and

Open Source

run a number of our mission critical systems on various flavours of Linux and have been deploying Linux solutions for about 8 years now. There are several vendors with great technologies which can be deployed on Linux – Linoma and Axway and a quick look at the price tag would confirm that these solutions certainly aren’t open source.

It got me thinking whether the open source route was something which could be explored in the same way other technologies have, but I concluded that we’ve got enough on our plate at the moment servicing the needs of our existing clients and those willing to pay for software.  Whilst open source works in some aspects of business, companies needing to move mission critical data want a structured development roadmap and enterprise level support too.

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Managed File Transfer news & updates

With the economy showing no signs of improvement Pro2col is bucking the trend with May 2012 being our best month of trading ever, in fact 2012 has showed great promise.  Our selection of managed file transfer vendors is paying dividends as we strengthen our relationships and knowledge of their technology moving us into the key supplier for several vendors.  Additionally our work with the reseller channel is seeing growth as we provide our expertise to the general reseller channel.

Recent Managed File Transfer News includes:

  • File TransferGlobalSCAPE’s achieved one of the highest ratings in the latest Managed File Transfer (MFT) Vendor Landscape Report from Info-Tech Research Group released this week.
  • Linoma Software gains FIPS 140-2 accreditation for their GoAnywhere software, achieving the benchmark required by many organisations in the public and private sectors.
  • Biscom’s BDS continues to gain traction in the legal sector with a number of new customers following their recently released version 4.2 which provides secure collaboration and an iPad app.
  • FileCatalyst have been busy with their recently released FileCatalyst Central for managing and monitoring multiple servers.  Additionally performance has been improved to 10Gbps and an iOS app is now available.

If you’re considering implementing a managed file transfer solution why not get in touch with us at Pro2col and let us take the hard work out of selecting and evaluating vendors.  Speak to one of our solution specialists on 0333 123 1240

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Enabling the mobile workforce with Managed File Transfer

The proliferation of mobile devices within the enterprise is undeniable with tablets and smart phones becoming key tools for employees looking to ‘get the job done’.  Many CIO’s and IT Directors know they have a problem with ensuring the secure and controlled mobile access to data, but what’s the solution?

Should access be restricted completely and a ban be placed on BYOD (Bringing Your Own Device) to work?  Or should your staff use internal tools such as Sharepoint, live with its inadequacies and struggle on with their limitations knowing that its not specifically built for the job?  Or do you take on the challenge of choosing the right tool for the job?  Realistically the choice is already made as there’s no easy way in which to stop people using mobile devices.  The most effective route is to provide them with the right tools to be successful in their jobs, whilst giving IT and security teams the tools that they need to manage users, set security policy and privileges.

Some key thoughts you should consider when selecting a mobile enabled managed file transfer solution are:

Mobile File Sharing

  • What mobile / tablet platforms do you need to support?
  • Is there a business need for a mobile application or will a browser based interface suffice?
  • How many users do you intend on providing the technology to?
  • How will you restrict access to data, e.g. users home folders only?

At Pro2col we’ve been helping companies to secure their data since 2003 and securing the mobile workforce isn’t a great deal different.  Of course there are a few different considerations to take into account, but that’s all part of what we do.  We work with a wide range of managed file transfer vendors, not all of whom want to be listed on our web site but who are taking the secure exchange of data with the mobile workforce very seriously.  Different vendors take different approaches to addressing the problem.  We work with vendors who have approached mobile file sharing from very different perspectives, which might form another blog item.

The experience we’ve gained in helping other enterprises address their mobile file sharing problems can help your business too.  Overcoming the challenge of securely exchanging data with remote workers across a range of mobile or tablet platforms, doesn’t need to be a hassle.  Get in touch with our team of technical specialists on 0333 123 1240 to work out what’s most suitable for you.

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