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Five File Transfer Pain Points

In a normal day, companies and individuals must transfer files containing many different types of sensitive and mission-critical information across systems, businesses and departments – everything from legal documents to X-rays to credit card statements. In an effort to get work done, employees will often skirt the rules of IT and turn to readily available file-sharing options outside the corporate IT structure. This opens the company up to a host of liabilities from security, visibility and control to inaccurate information being transferred within systems. Jeff Whitney, from Ipswitch File Transfer, has identified the top five IT pain points associated with file transfers.

  • Complexity

File sharing solutions are often complex and do not provide a unified standard for the business to automate processes.  As file sharing has been core to business process for quite some time, there are often legacy systems in place with layers of homegrown tools and scripts, as well as products from multiple vendors.

  • Limited Visibility & Control

Businesses, especially in regulated industries like health care and financial services, need to have the ability to track the movement of files. IT teams often talk about “flying blind” when they don’t have visibility into where files are or proof that they’ve been delivered.

  • Employeees Circumvent IT

Without a centralized file transfer system in place, employees will often bypass IT and use a commodity file-sharing product, subjecting the organization to added security risks. This is an escalating issue with the proliferation of consumer-based sharing applications, like Google Drive.

  • Ensuring Security

Security is always a top priority for IT teams, but there is often little insight into the way that businesses transfer critical data.  When issues do occur, IT is often blind to them since they lack general oversight of the file transfer process.

  • Insufficient Resources

The IT department, like many others within organizations, is constantly being asked to do more work with less resources. Companies are creating and transferring documents at an exponential rate and IT must find a way to scale current systems, processes and resources to meet these increasing demands.

 

How can you remedy these pain points?

Forward-thinking IT teams are adopting or looking into managed file transfer (MFT) solutions to free-up resources to focus on other critical business needs. These teams are finding that an MFT strategy allows automation and auditability of file movement.

 

About us
As the UK’s leading independent experts in managed file transfer, Pro2col is well positioned to help you to assess your requirements, identify potential solutions, demonstrate the leading contenders and help you to evaluate those that fit best.  We’ve worked with over 600 companies in 28 countries to address their file transfer challenges and we’d very much like to help you with your file transfer project.  To get started download some of the free resources or contact our file transfer specialists on 0333 123 1240.

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Most UK firms lack data transfer visibility, Ipswitch study shows

In a recent article from Computer Weekly.com, Rich Kennelly, president of Ipswitch’s File Transfer division discussed the key findings of a recent study relating to the visibility of data movement in UK businesses. Needless to say, the stats were concerning to say the least…

Four out of five UK companies have little or no visibility of data movement, a study has revealed.

Half of more than 100 firms polled by Ipswitch File Transfer admitted they have no visibility of files being transferred within and outside their organisation.Magnifying Glass

A further 30% said they have only limited visibility, despite 64% of respondents saying secure file-sharing was vital to the security of the company data.

“A high level of visibility is critical for any organisation that is serious about protecting its most valuable asset – information,” said Rich Kennelly, president of Ipswitch’s File Transfer division.

“The ability to know who is moving data, where, when, how and why across an enterprise, is crucial, not only for data security,” he said.

Kennelly said data management and visibility is also important for streamlined workflows that improve productivity, and meeting compliance requirements.

Regarding who should be blamed if valuable or confidential company data file are sent or shared unsecured, 52% of respondents said it was a collective responsibility.

More than a third said accountability should lie with the employees; 7% said management should be blamed for not having robust policies in place; and just 3% said IT departments were to blame.

“We’re seeing a real shift in attitude, understanding and acceptance of managed file transfer technologies,” said Kennelly.

“Users know that information is at the core of their business and crucial to its existence, competitive advantage and longevity.”

The survey shows there is now greater understanding that efficient data security demands collective responsibility.

However, Kennelly said users cannot play their part unless the business provides easy-to-use, accessible and simple solutions that make their jobs easier.

The survey reveals that moving sensitive information by email is most prevalent, with 44% admitting to sending classified or confidential materials by email at least once a day.

Almost half admitted to using personal email accounts to send company files, with 21% blaming the slowness of work email, difficulties in connecting and limited file sizes.

Some 11% said they used personal email because their company did not monitor what they send and 8% admitted keeping business documents to use at their next place of work.

More than a quarter of respondents admitted using unsecured file-sharing websites and cloud services to share work-related files, while almost two-thirds confess to using USB drives, smartphones, tablets and other personal devices for backing up corporate files.

About Us

Pro2col are a Certified Ipswitch Elite Reseller based in the UK.  Since 2003 we have been helping companies of all shapes and sizes to tackle their data transfer challenges and maximise their investment in secure managed file transfer products.  If you’d like to know more about how to attain full visibility and control over the data moving into, out of and around your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0333 123 1240.

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Five things every business manager should know about file sharing practices

A blog written by Jeff Whitney, vice president of marketing for Ipswitch File Transfer

Businesses face a real threat – their employees. That’s right, increasingly tech-savvy employees have turned to a diverse range of file transfer tools that are beyond the sight of IT management.

Employee File Sharing FactsEmployees see webmail, file sharing services, cloud storage, USB sticks and smart devices as easier to use than traditional corporate tools to transfer files. But this trend ignores the security risks and regulatory implications of using file transfer methods entirely outside of corporate control.

Here’s five things you should know about your employees’ habits and the need for secure file transfer technology:

1. Insecure means are used to send confidential files.  Recent surveys we have run to monitor user behaviour found that a vast majority (84%) of respondents send classified or confidential information through corporate email attachments. Of those, 72% do this at least weekly and 52% daily. That means employees are using unsanctioned tools in record numbers, resulting in a lack of visibility and control.

2. Many employees use personal email to send company documents and data.  Users may think they can’t afford delays or slowdowns associated with jumping through perceived hoops to send out information and files that keep business humming. And if the business doesn’t provide the tools they need to send large and confidential attachments, or if the processes and technologies are too difficult to use, then users will take matters into their own hands – and their own email.

3. Employees are using consumer-grade file transfer services for business purposes.  If the corporate email system limits the size of file attachments or if IT vetoes service requests, resourceful employees don’t throw up their hands in resignation: they look for workarounds. And the growing popularity of file transfer sites and cloud services aimed at consumers is making it easier for business users to sidestep IT. More than half of the users we surveyed admitted they use these services.

4. Risk of data theft is high.  When business users aren’t turning to personal email accounts or free file-sharing services, they may be putting files on USB thumb drives, smartphones or other external devices. Unfortunately, our market research shows that almost one-third of users had lost a USB device, smartphone or other external device containing business or personal information – a tremendous risk for any organisation.

5. IT Management Visibility into Data Management is Low, Putting Businesses at Risk.  Most companies create and maintain policies that mandate the use of approved tools for moving and sharing information. However, our research shows fewer than 32% strictly enforce these policies, making these mandates largely meaningless. No visibility means no compliance with internal policies or external regulations and laws.

The file sharing habits of employees can be risky but is driven by their desire to get work done. The business need and IT desire to control file sharing is equally important. Fortunately, companies don’t have to choose between risky behaviour and productivity. Using secure file transfer technology, employees can get the convenience, ease-of-use, and speed they need while IT and the business get the control, visibility, security and compliance they need.

Click here to download a free report, published by Ipswitch File Transfer that provides insights into causes and trends in risky data and file sharing, ways in which IT has fallen behind in safeguarding information, plus the associated dangers and proven means to safeguard corporate data without impeding user productivity.

Pro2col are a certified Ipswitch File Transfer Elite Reseller and have been working with Ipswitch since 2010 to supply, deploy and support their range of managed file transfer solutions to UK businesses.  If you like more information on secure managed file transfer, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

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Ipswitch MOVEit Ad Hoc shortlisted for SC Magazine Technology Award

Ipswitch File Transfer MOVEit Ad Hoc has been shortlisted by SC Magazine for a Technology Award in the category of ‘Best SME Security Solution’. Our secure person-to-person file transfer solution has been recognised among the most innovative products addressing the security demands of smaller enterprises today. Winners will be announced at the SC Magazine Europe Awards on 23 April, to be held at London’s Hilton Park Lane.

MOVEit Ad Hoc ensures secure sending and receiving of sensitive files and messages between individuals and groups. It provides peace of mind for businessesSC Awards sharing mission critical digital information with their employees, partners and customers using Outlook or any simple browser interface. A recent Ipswitch study reveals that more than a third of people sharing information are doing so insecurely, through personal email or consumer file-sharing sites. MOVEit Ad Hoc provides a simple yet secure solution to sharing files which avoids this increasingly prevalent risky behaviour.

For over 20 years Ipswitch has been a leader in providing secure Managed File Transfer solutions. So it is an honour to be recognised by SC Magazine, not just for ourselves, but on behalf of the many businesses and industries that already depend upon Ipswitch File Transfer to protect their most valuable and sensitive information. It’s also particularly rewarding for MOVEit Ad Hoc to be recognised on the heels of our recent launch – our easy-to-use, IT-approved, person to person file transfer solution.

SC Magazine is the world’s largest dedicated IT security publication, serving the industry for over 15 years. The SC Awards Europe is among the most coveted and prestigious accolades for the information security industry, honouring vendors that deliver the most innovative security technologies.

A panel of industry judges from the information security profession will now pass judgement on the products and services put before them, including Ipswitch File Transfer MOVEit Ad Hoc. Review the shortlist for every category here. Read the latest awards build-up and coverage here. Book tickets for the event here, and find out more about MOVEit Ad Hoc here.

Guest Blog by Jeff  Whitney, Vice President of MarketingIpswitch File Transfer

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Are Employees Putting Your Company’s Data at Risk?

One of our key vendors, Ipswitch File Transfer conducted a survey of over 200 IT leaders and practitioners with security responsibilities about person-to-person file-sharing practices.  From the results that they gathered, this is what they found…

These results should alarm IT and security professionals.  Findings show that employees are circumventing IT staff by sending confidential and highly sensitive company files via means that are insecure and lack auditability. The results serve as a graphic reminder that when company systems hinder employee productivity, it’s both a security risk and bad for business.

There’s no way to sugarcoat the results of the survey, the highlights of which you can see in the Infographic below. Click here to register to receive the full research report results and recommendations.

 

Ipswitch File Transfer Survey Results - Person to Person File Sharing Risks

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Personal File Sharing in the Business: The Risks

It may be a new year, but we’re still facing the same old challenges on our return to the working world.  Personal file sharing is one of those challenges.  If employees are left to their own devices, the chances are they will turn to familiar consumer grade technologies such as Dropbox that were just not designed to adequately secure business data.

Micheal Osterman of Osterman Research succinctly summarises some of the key issues surrounding personal file sharing in his white paper, “Business-Class File Sharing Best Practices”.  Here is an excerpt from the paper:

Excerpted from “Business-Class File Sharing Best Practices”

The Status Quo Doesn’t Work

Business-Class File Sharing

  • Users are stymied because company email systems often do not permit file attachments of more than 10 to 20 megabytes to be sent, and it is not efficient at sending more than a few files at a time. Moreover, email doesn’t typically include a return receipt so the sender can know if the recipient ever received the email. Also, when email is used for file transfer, it imposes increased storage and bandwidth costs, slow message delivery, long backups, long restores, high IT management costs.
  • Many users will turn to their personal Webmail account because of their ability to send very large files through these systems. However, when users do so there is no IT visibility into the sent or received content, no tracking, no auditability, and no archiving. Moreover, corporate content can reside in personal Webmail repositories for many years, long after an employee may have left the company. While this makes life easier for users, it increases the risk to the organisation.
  • USB sticks, tablets and smartphones create the same problems: lack of security, higher costs, their likelihood of being lost or stolen, and the potential for content on them to be accessed by unauthorised parties.
  • Dropbox-like file sharing tools and cloud services can be effective, but they do not permit IT management or governance of content. And, they often are individual accounts and not under the sanction of IT which means that IT doesn’t have the visibility or insight into what is being transferred, nor does IT maintain any type of audit trail for this content.
  • SharePoint and similar tools are useful for sharing information if both senders and recipients are using it. However, SharePoint require the deployment of a dedicated infrastructure and training for end users, and it is not always easily accessible by remote workers or people external to an organisation.
  • Basic FTP client-server systems, while useful, require both the sender and recipient to have access to the FTP server to share information, which can be an ongoing provisioning burden for IT.
  • Physical delivery of information – such as CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs that are burned and sent through overnight services – is expensive and the speed of delivery is slow

If you’d like to learn more about secure file sharing practices, you can access the full Osterman whitepaper here.  Alternatively, if you’d like to discuss your specific file sharing challenges with one of our managed file transfer experts, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0333 123 1240.

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Socitm 2012: Managed File Transfer for Councils

We’ve been working closely with councils throughout the UK to simplify, secure and streamline their file transfer, so we couldn’t miss the opportunity to attend Socitm 2012; the No. 1 UK ICT event for councils.  The conference has kicked off today (here’s a breakdown of the programme) and the Pro2col team are ready and waiting to share the knowledge and experience that we have gained from working with councils to secure person-to-person file transfers and automate the movement of sensitive data into and out of the organisation.

Pro2col Managed File Transfer at Socitm 2012

On a similar note, this is the ideal moment to publically release our lastest e-book: The Council’s Guide to Secure Managed File Transfer, which is now available for download.  It covers a range of issues surrounding the secure movement within councils including:

  • How to eliminate the problems caused when employees resort to insecure, non-compliant file transfer methods such as email.
  • Ensuring you meet with UK data security and compliance legislation including The Data Protection Act and PCI DSS.
  • Providing your employees with a quick and simple way to send and receive sensitive files both internally and with third parties.
  • Automating the transfer of files, saving time and money.
  • How to regain control over file transfer processes and user access.

If you’re at the conference and would like to speak to one of our managed file transfer experts, drop by stand 8 (piccy attached) – we’re always happy to help.  If you’ve not been able to make it this year and you’d like to talk to us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the office on 0333 123 1240.

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Managed File Transfer in Action – Part 1

A well known utilities company in Yorkshire were using multiple legacy systems and 2 disparate FTP solutions to move data into, out of and around their organisation.  These systems had grown organically over time to tackle isolated file sharing issues when they arose.  As it transpired, this approach left the company with an ungovernable mix of system to system and FTP solutions that required manual interventions and the ongoing revision of batch scripts.

Utility Bill

The mounting costs generated by work duplication and management overheads, accompanied by the risk associated with the absence of failover was becoming a genuine concern.  Bearing in mind that these systems were executing business critical processes such as billing, debt management, banking and delivering mission dependent data to employees in the field – recreating these undocumented workflows in the event of a disaster would be costly.  Considering the sensitive nature of certain pieces of data moving through these workflows, securing data was also a priority.

Pro2col worked alongside the customer to develop an understanding of their processes and document their key requirements.  Armed with this information, we were able to identify the technologies that would meet these requirements, and help them through the selection and evaluation process.  Specifically, the company were looking to:

  1. Secure the sending and receipt of confidential business and customer data
  2. To further automate the retrieval of time sensitive data from remote systems to provide realtime updates of vital information to their workforce at regular intervals throughout the day.

In terms of features, the company were looking for:

  • A solution that would support FTP, SFTP/FTPS, HTTP/HTTPS.
  • A user-friendly GUI for administration and configuration as apposed to CLI and scripts.
  • The ability to schedule time or event driven actions.
  • Pre and post processing ability i.e.; archiving, moving, deleting files that have been processed.
  • The capability to report failed transfers and system problems.
  • Potential to integrate with HP OpenView for system reporting.
  • Ability to perform ad hoc file transfers manually and simply via web browser or email plugin.
  • Ability to run concurrent processes.
  • Automatic fail over to a backup system.
  • Compatibility with Windows 2008 R2.
  • Integration with Microsoft Active Directory.

Based upon the information we gathered through the consultancy process, we were able to recommend the most suitable solution to meet their objectives – in this case, a combination of Ipswitch MOVEit Central and MOVEit DMZ with the Ad Hoc Module.  MOVEit Central was specifically designed to automate a wide range of mission critical file transfers, enabling the company to automatically “pull, process, and push” all files to any platform, including network architectures, operating systems, and protocols.  It would integrate directly into their existing data workflows, consolidating their automated file transfer tasks and allowing IT staff to create/administer them via a user friendly GUI interface.  For the ad hoc aspect of their file transfer requirements, MOVEit DMZ with the ad hoc module provided a secure, end to end solution for employees to send and receive mission critical files.

This just gives you an idea of the potential of these solutions and the levels of automation that can be achieved.  Within an enterprise environment such as a large utility company, an managed file transfer solution can save hours of manual processing and ensure that all the information is where they need it, when they need it.  As with all of our customers, we’ll be working with this organisation in the months and years to come, and look forward to helping them achieve their maximum ROI.

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Planning Considerations for Managed File Transfer in 2011

If you’re considering implementing a managed file transfer solution during 2011 then you’re in luck.  Pro2col has been lobbying Ipswitch’s marketing team to provide a web cast specifically for the UK marketplace to address the considerations that should be taken into account when planning the implementation of a managed file transfer solution.

We’re very pleased to announce that Jonathan Lampe, Vice President of Product Management at Ipswitch File Transfer will be hosting a webinar titled, “Learn how and why MFT should fit into your IT structure, as well as insights into top security, compliance and data breach concerns.”  Jonathan will also be discussing;

  • Smart steps to lower your data breach risk
  • Tips on the “person-to-person” aspect of Managed File Transfer
  • How to evaluate, select, and implement a MFT solution with rapid time-to-value and a positive ROI
  • Strategic approach to MFT project planning

The webinar will take place on Wednesday 26th January at 3.00 pm.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED.

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Ipswitch MOVEit DMZ Managed File Transfer Review

SC Magazine have reviewed a number of managed file transfer solutions available in the marketplace – Ipswitch MOVEit DMZ being one of them. This managed file transfer server software helps secure data in transit by encrypting various transfer protocols using industry standards.

After reviewing product attributes such as features, ease of use, performance, documentation, support and value for money, Ipswitch MOVEit DMZ was award a full 5 stars in every category and labelled as one of SC Magazine’s ‘Best Buys’. Stating no possible negative points against the solution, the overall verdict deemed MOVEit DMZ a “A flexible, web-based product which allows tight control over end-to-end file transfer security.”Ipswitch MOVEit SC Magazine Review

See here for full details of the SC Magazine review or for more information regarding the Ipswitch File Transfer product range. Please also feel free to contact Pro2col on 0333 123 1240 to speak to one of our consultants.

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