Secure file transfer solutions needed to ensure compliance

Oct 01st, 2013 / Category: Managed File Transfer

Data security is a critical consideration for businesses in every industry, for several reasons. Obviously, an organization that cannot protect its digital data will be at risk of losing or exposing valuable information that may be used by industry rivals to undermine the company's efforts. Additionally, a business that cannot protect client data will likely lose the public's trust, hurting its ability to attract new customers or retain existing ones.

Yet perhaps the most direct and, in some cases, damaging consequence of a data breach is the financial penalty these incidents often lead to. Virtually every industry is regulated by federal and state government agencies which are tasked with ensuring compliance with all relevant data security measures. These agencies can and will levy fines and other sanctions when organizations fail to abide by these compliance standards.

To achieve this level of compliance and minimize the risk of facing damaging fines, firms should invest in high-end data protection solutions. Secure file transfer tools can play a key role in this regard.

Securing files
Compliance regulations vary from industry to industry. As a general rule, the more sensitive the information handled by firms in that industry, the more strict the monitoring and harsher the consequences. Among the sectors that face such a level of scrutiny are financial services and healthcare providers.

For such organizations, it is imperative to develop robust data protection strategies that can reliably protect consumer and employee information at all times, no matter how it is being utilized.

Decision-makers, well aware of the need for this level of data security, will frequently invest significant resources in programs and tools for these purposes. Unfortunately, such efforts are often incomplete. Executives and IT leaders may establish firewalls, anti-malware and antivirus programs, and all of these initiatives are valuable tools for protecting the organization's network and the sensitive data stored therein.

But these efforts are not enough to fully protect consumer data, and consequently reliance on these measures alone may result in a failure to achieve compliance standards.

To truly achieve data compliance and protect all sensitive information, it is essential that firms pay attention to data that is at rest, being analyzed and, critically, in transit.

This is the area which many organizations underappreciate. Yet data movement is vital to virtually every firm operating today. Employees need to be able to access information that is relevant to their jobs at any time and from any location. If data security measures are not in place which take these behaviors into account, a breach becomes a very real threat.

This is especially true because of the simple fact that most employees are not as concerned with abstract notions of data security as they are with performing their job responsibilities as efficiently as possible. If left to their own in this regard, most employees will turn to free, consumer-grade file sharing options, such as Dropbox and conventional email programs, when the need arises to send or receive information. These tools are easy to use, but they do not feature sufficient security safeguards to meet most industry's data compliance regulations. Consequently, organizations that allow workers to use these solutions will potentially find themselves in violation of these security standards.

Secure file transfer technology can minimize this risk by ensuring that employees are able to send and receive data easily and quickly without compromising integrity. This allows the organization to maximize productivity and reliability without risk of facing severe fines and other sanctions for failure to abide by relevant compliance standards.