Learn what secure file transfer is and how a secure file transfer solution can benefit your organization

Secure File Transfer Definition

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Secure file transfer is data sharing via a secure, reliable delivery method. It is used to safeguard proprietary and personal data in transit and at rest. Most secure file sharing methods use standard protocols that provide encrypted file transfer. These include:

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

SFTP transfers files with the Secure Shell (SSH) connection. SFTP is an encrypted file transfer network protocol that can enable a remote login to operate over a network that lacks security. SFTP offers encryption of commands and data and prevents passwords and sensitive information from open transmission over the network.

File Transfer Protocol – Secure (FTPS)

FTPS (short for File Transfer Protocol Over SSL/TLS) offers encryption and uses an application layer wrapper, known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to enable secure and private communications across a network. Like SFTP, FTPS uses strong encryption algorithms (like AES and Triple DES) to safeguard data exchange.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol – Secure (HTTPS)

HTTPS secures websites when users are providing sensitive information like credit card numbers or other personal information. The protocol offers multiple layers of data protection including data integrity, encryption, and authentication.

Applicability Statement 2 (AS2)

AS2 is a standard used to transfer Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) messages and other data in real time. The AS2 protocol facilitates the ability to exchange AS2 EDI messages and other types of data over the HTTP or HTTPS protocol.


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Using a secure file transfer service, such as an MFT solution, is an essential part of data security best practices. The right solution will provide:

  • Encryption for data in motion and at rest
  • Protection from unauthorized data modifications
  • Strong authentication methods
  • Virus scanning and DLP
  • Reporting and Logging capabilities
  • Automation capabilities

Why You Need A Secure File Transfer Service

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Data Security

Left unprotected, data in transit or at rest can be a huge risk for a breach. Using encrypted file transfer and secure file transfer protocols safeguards sensitive information and helps avoid data breaches. A secure file transfer service ensures that your files are guarded at rest and in motion and arrive at their destination unscathed.


Automated Processes

File transfer automation helps ensure accuracy and saves time, eliminating the reliance on less accurate and time-consuming manual file transfers. When you automate your file transfers, you can schedule your encrypted file transfers, manage recurring transfers, and more.



Many organizations must meet government and industry-regulated compliance requirements such as HIPAA, HITECH, PCI, SOX, GDPR, and more. A secure data transfer solution makes facilitating and maintaining compliance easier by providing security monitoring and controls, auditing and reporting capabilities, and more.

Safely and securely exchange files with clients, business partners, and more

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Secure Web Transfers

Globalscape also offers the Web Transfer Client (WTC), a powerful yet user-friendly file transfer client that provides broad compatibility with diverse trading partners. This secure file transfer website facilitates safe file sharing among your clients, business partners, and branch offices.

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Secure File Transfer FAQs

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What is secure file transfer?

Secure file transfer is a data sharing method that uses secure protocols and encryption to safeguard data in transit. Most secure file sharing solutions use industry-standard protocols that provide encrypted file transfer, such as SFTP, FTPS, HTTPS, and AS2, among others. 

Why use secure file transfer?

Thanks to many different security threats and a highly competitive and fast-moving environment, businesses today need a secure file transfer system to protect and reliably transfer their sensitive, business-critical data. Solutions like Globalscape EFT streamline and secure everyday file transfers by bringing controls and visibility into a single product that provides high-level overviews of data transfers, user activity, and business connections.

How does secure file transfer benefit enterprise file sharing?

Secure file transfer solutions help to move data securely and efficiently, regardless of file size, file transfer volume, or complexity. Solutions like Globalscape EFT simplify and streamline everyday file transfers by bringing controls and visibility into a single product that provides high-level overviews of data transfers, user activity, and business connections. These benefits allow IT administrators to quickly view and update transfer activity, and free up time for other business-critical activities. 

What are the top secure file transfer protocols?

Top secure file transfer protocols include SFTP, FTPS, and AS2. Each of these offers stronger encryption than standard FTP, as well as additional safeguards, including keys, passwords, and certificates to authenticate users or connections. MFT (managed file transfer) is a type of solution that typically offers multiple secure file transfer protocols within one interface for the best in flexibility and security.

Is MFT a secure file transfer solution?

MFT is a secure file transfer solution that provides a single location from which to create, monitor, and secure all aspects of file transfer. This includes, but is not limited to, encrypting data, automating recurring transfers, viewing user logs, and auditing file transfer actions. 

Get Started with a Secure File Transfer Solution Today

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Tell us about your unique business needs and we'll tell you how an MFT solution can help!