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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Is your data transfer solution flexible?

Category:   Secure File Transfer

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We live in an extremely data-centric world. Businesses in virtually every industry have become utterly dependent on data to survive and thrive. Firms not only depend upon data to make informed decisions, but also must store and transfer information regularly for a wide range of purposes.

These needs can create a major challenge for companies. At all times, information must be kept completely secure. The consequences of failure in this regard can be devastating.

Aware of these risks, many firms invest in various data protection solutions, such as secure managed file transfer options. This is undoubtedly a wise, even necessary, step to take, as only by adopting advanced tactics can an organization satisfactorily protect its data, as well as its clients' information.

However, not all managed file transfer solutions are created equal. They vary tremendously in a number of areas. Perhaps the most significant of these, and the one which firms should pay the most attention to when selecting a solution, is flexibility.

The need to adapt
Flexibility is critical for successful managed file transfer tools for several reasons. The biggest and most obvious is the simple fact that the types and amounts of data that require transfer can differ greatly from one firm to the next, and therefore the tools used must reflect these distinctions. A company that transfers a huge number of medium-sized files every day will have different security concerns and logistical challenges than an organization that sends a smaller number of gigantic files once a week. The recipient of these transfers also may have an impact on the ideal method used.

Yet many managed file transfer solutions are, essentially, cookie-cutter. Providers offer a single solution for all of their clients, regardless of that client's specific needs. This can lead to inefficiencies or, even worse, a lack of security for the data being transferred.

A data breach can be an absolutely devastating event for a firm. When this happens, the company may gain a reputation for being ineffective at protecting client data, which can result in a loss of business opportunities.

Additionally, depending on its particular industry, a company that experiences such a data breach may be subject to fines and other sanctions from regulatory commissions.

Industry matters
This last point speaks to the one of the most significant reasons why firms need to pursue customized, adaptable managed file transfer solutions. Different industries have different standards when it comes to security requirements for data storage and movement. If a firm relies on a vendor that offers only cookie cutter solutions, it is unlikely that the tools used will sufficiently meet standards established as part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Data Protection Act (DPA) and many other general and industry-specific pieces of legislation.

To remain compliant and secure, companies dealing with large data sets need to prioritize flexible, customizable options when it comes to managed file transfer solutions.