GDPR – What It Is & Why You Need To Be Prepared!

GDPR – What It Is & Why You Need To Be Prepared!

GDPR

As we all battle on with the day to day activities of our jobs, it can be challenging to ensure that we’re on top of changes to regulations that might affect us. This it seems is very much the case when it comes to the general awareness for the planned introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Having been in the European Commission’s think tank for nearly three years, GDPR is due to replace the outdated and somewhat limited EU Data Protection Directive.

GDPR EuropeLast month our vendor partner, Ipswitch File Transfer, announced the results of a European survey of IT professionals attitudes to regulations and compliance. The results indicated a shocking lack of awareness of GDPR across the board, and with the regulation due to come into effect late this year or early next; the clock is ticking.

GDPR is meant to unify and simplify data protection across 28 countries within the European Union (EU). Why should we be concerned? The range of its penalties are a little more extensive than the ICO monetary penalty maximum of £500,000 currently the most prolific threat to enterprises careless with their data. Under the GDPR, financial penalties of up to €100million (approximately £80m) or up to five percent of worldwide turnover, whichever is greater, for organisations that breach its rules.

Ipswitch’s survey highlighted some interesting statistics:

COMPLIANCE CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW GDPR OR ITS TIMING

  • 56% could not accurately identify what ‘GDPR’ means
  • 52% admitted they were not ready for GDPR
  • 35% confessed to not knowing whether their IT policies and process were up to the job
  • 12% percent of respondents felt ready for the change
  • 64% also conceded they had no idea when this regulation is due to come into effect
  • 14% could correctly identify that the GDPR is due to come into effect in late 2014/early 2015

 

SO, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU AND YOUR COMPANY?

The security of personally identifiable data has never been more important and you are accountable for it. Review your policies and procedures for data processing. How are you moving data? Who has access to it? Where is it stored and is it secure in transit and at rest? How long do you need to retain data for? Do you have strong audit and reporting capabilities for the lifetime of your data?

If your B2B, file based workflows are home-grown and lack the controls, security features, audit and reporting capabilities needed in light of changes to EU data protection changes, we can help. Our managed file transfer consultants can help you to review your data transfer requirements to ensure that your data is secure in transit and at rest, and that you have the right controls over your data. Call the team now on 0333 123 1240 for an initial no-obligation discussion to see how we can help you.

Alternatives To Rackspace For FTP File Transfer As The Costs Stack Up

Alternatives To Rackspace For FTP File Transfer As The Costs Stack Up

Well other than having a busy week last week we also had two existing Rackspace Enterprise customers contact us to discuss moving their FTP File Transfer to another solution. We wondered if there had been some changes to their terms and conditions or pricing but it appears that the reason that these accounts we’re looking for Rackspace alternatives was down to functionality, performance as well as price. Fanatical-Support

Rackspace has always been positioned as a premium priced supplier with a company mantra of providing fanatical support, however fanatical support isn’t enough these days to command a premium price, the product also needs to be fully featured. Lets be clear Rackspace is a great hosting provider and probably lots more but what we’re hearing is that when it comes to using them for SFTP file transfer they’re phenomenally expensive and don’t provide even some of the basic controls you’d expect. Additionally, but this probably isn’t all Rackspace’s fault, the latency experienced by FTP users trying to carry large data sets over long distances have irritated their customers.

The two Enterprise accounts we talked to want to take very different routes to addressing their file transfer concerns. One is bringing it in house, we’re supplying a file transfer solution on an appliance which we’ll manage and support, the other is moving to another hosted provider we work with who addresses the latency issue by carrying data over their own private network between their data centres, with the end user downloading files from their ‘local’ data centre using Geo-DNS to ensure the fastest possible connection speed.

I’ve no particular axe to grind with Rackspace, I know them as a reputable company and don’t really have a bad word to say about them. However charging Enterprise accounts, in this day and age, high costs for storage which lets be honest is as cheap as chips right now could be the catalyst for more Rackspace customers to call upon our services. If your company needs an Enterprise File Transfer solution, without the Enterprise price tag give our team of friendly consultants a call.

Mac FTP Server – Your options in 2015 from an Apple Solution Expert.

Mac FTP Server – Your options in 2015 from an Apple Solution Expert.

As Apple Solution Experts for Print & Publishing, Pro2col started out life in 2003 specialising in file transfer solutions for design agencies, publishers, printers and marketing departments. Back then many people were looking to make the move from ISDN to run on Apple hardware such as a Mac FTP Server or at least something which was friendly to Mac file resource forks. It would be fair to say that the choices were pretty limited and many people decided to switch on FTP services on their Mac OSX server, allowing customers direct access right onto, in many cases, their internal file server! Fast forward to today and I sincerely hope that with IT security so high on companies agenda that no-one is adopting this approach!!

apple-family1

Now in 2014 we’re still somewhat limited in the number of natively written Mac FTP Server applications but with other programming languages able to run across multiple platforms such as Java other options are available. The way in which users want to share and consume files has changed massively too. Users expect WeTransfer and DropBox capabilities from their file transfer solution, so no longer is a Mac FTP Server just that. Some of the solutions we have in our portfolio enable ‘ad-hoc’ file transfer whilst also providing ‘desktop sync clients’ like Dropbox.

If your business has a mixed OS environment of Mac’s and PC’s and you’re looking for a technology to appease all of your users then we’re well placed to help. Not only do we know the Mac FTP Server solutions themselves but we’re also Apple Solution Experts and understand mixed OS environments. I should also mention we’ve supplied and supported over 700 installations in 28 countries since we started out, with many of our original customers still with us.

Call Pro2col on 0333 123 1240 to talk to one of our Mac FTP Server specialists today.

 

What is File Transfer?

What is File Transfer?

When with friends I regularly get asked what my company does, when I reply ‘we specialise in file transfer technologies for businesses’ I usually get a rather blank expression, followed by the question; what is file transfer?

For their benefit I thought I’d write an explanation to share with them, feel free to share it too.

To understand what file transfer is, we need to define what a file is. Generally speaking a file is a electronic document, which could be stored on your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device. A file can be many different formats and sizes, e.g. PDF, XLSX, EPS, ZIP to name a few formats. The size depends upon the file type and content within it.

So, what is file transfer? Well quite simply its the process of moving a file from one location to another. It could be that you need to move if from your desktop to your laptop, or more commonly with the companies we work with, company A needs to share a file with company B. When this is the case a file is typically sent over the Internet or over a private network.

what-is-file-transfer

There are many different types of file transfer but there are two main ways in which files are transferred. Person to person (also called Ad Hoc File Transfer) or Business to Business (also called Managed File Transfer). I won’t go into the many ways in which these technologies work or the various vendors we work with, otherwise I’d be here all day.

Closely following the, ‘What is file transfer question?’, I get the ‘Why?’ question. Well, there are many reasons but in the most part it can be distilled down to two of the most important benefits, guaranteed deliverability and security. The exchange of information is key to the running of most businesses and a great deal of data that is exchanged is either sensitive or business critical, therefore ensuring that your information got to who or where it needed to be safely is key to enterprise file transfer solutions.

If following reading this you think you might need a file transfer solution, why not download our comparison guides for Ad Hoc or Managed File Transfer. If you’d like to speak with a specialist either in the UK or US, get in touch via our contact form or give us a call today.

Managed File Transfer & Gartner’s Application, Architecture, Development & Integration Summit.

Managed File Transfer & Gartner’s Application, Architecture, Development & Integration Summit.

I’ve long held the opinion that the marketplace for Managed File Transfer, as a standalone technology, was coming under pressure from many other technologies, so I jumped at the  opportunity to attend the Gartner Application, Architecture, Development & Integration Summit in London, courtesy of Thru Inc.

Gartner-Summit-200x77Attended by many of Europe’s largest Enterprises, Gartner’s AADI provided me with a unique insight into the challenges Enterprise Architects and CIO’s currently face, in integrating a wide variety of applications within their business.  Of course the main focus for the many sponsors of the event was API’s, what API’s they had, how they could be scaled, how they could be secured and so on.

Being at the show with Thru enabled me to have some interesting conversations, which went far deeper than our typical discussions about how file transfer automation, or how an ad hoc file transfer solution enable companies to meet their customers’ needs. The conversations we’ve had at this event have been much more focused on how Enterprise Applications can leverage APIs to provide Managed File Transfer and the subsequent governance and audit of the data.

Thru’s API differentiates them from many Ad Hoc File Transfer vendors and their wide range of current case uses support this.  For example, well known ISV’s use Thru’s platform to enable software and licence delivery, enabling customers to download large ISO’s or software packages, completely unaware that Thru is doing the grunt work behind the scene.

Thru don’t just have deep integration capabilities via their API, they also have connectors for Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Sharepoint and Salesforce.com.  Coupled with their Cloud, Hybrid or On Premises deployment options, they have a compelling offering to support the continuing drive to leveraging existing Enterprise Applications.

 To learn more about how API’s can ‘off load’ file transfer from your Enterprise Applications, call our consultants on 0333 123 1240.