A Secure Alternative to Dropbox – Welcome to Managed File Transfer

A Secure Alternative to Dropbox – Welcome to Managed File Transfer

Once again here we are discussing Dropbox as they attempt to minimise the damage to the company brand following the latest reports announcing a further security breach.

Dropbox announced yesterday on their blog that after hiring some “outside experts” to investigate why certain Dropbox users were getting spam to their non-public Dropbox email addresses, the experts concluded that a Dropbox employee’s account was hacked and the details were lifted from a project document.  No details were provided on the numbers of users affected, what other information was compromised or why account details were stored in an unencrypted document.

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Ordinarily we’re singing the praise of managed file transfer solutions as an alternative to custom built, cumbersome, unsupported, legacy FTP servers. However, a quick search on Google this morning showed me that perhaps more people are now searching the internet for a secure alternative to Dropbox, likely due to the broadcast of recent security issues.

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A business’ decision to select Dropbox or any other cloud based technology for storing and sharing company data, should be taken with caution.  Cloud based solutions in general offer significantly more advanced features than your average in house managed file transfer solution, which end users have grown accustomed to.  Why?  Because they’re developing for a single, controlled environment over which the vendor has complete control whereas a managed file transfer vendor has to develop for multiple server based operating systems and the QA process can be lengthy, thus inhibiting progress of a product.

There are however a number of reasons why a greater degree of security can be achieved by deploying an in house managed file transfer solution, here are four of them:

  1. It’s not a big Cloud brand target with hundreds and thousands of users
  2. Data is stored local to you and you have complete control over the security policies
  3. Access is securely controlled by AD/LDAP and other user group contained within corporate authentication tools
  4. Reporting and blacklisting tools mean that hackers can be monitored and banned very quickly

If you are concerned about the lack security, control, auditing and governance of your business data then speak to Pro2col.  We can help to analyse your requirements, select the most appropriate vendors and assist right through the evaluation process and beyond.  Managed File Transfer is fast becoming a necessary business tool and is certainly a more than adequate alternative to Dropbox.

Globalscape Secures New US Army Contract

Globalscape Secures New US Army Contract

Globalscape have just announced their latest deal with the US Army.  Supporting the Standard Army Maintenance System-Enhanced (SAMS-E) logistics program, this is the fourth US Army contract that Globalscape have won since 2005.

This new contract has the potential to be the company’s largest single deployment if it continues over the next 3 years.

“More than 30,000 Army and DoD licenses are used to support various military operations and humanitarian efforts around the world,” said Bill Buie, Globalscape executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We provide mission-critical software solutions, for securely sharing digital files, to thousands of commercial companies and government organisations worldwide. We are particularly proud that the US Army uses our secure file transfer solutions for their logistical and supply needs.”

Globalscape solutions enable the SAMS-E program to maintain compliance with federal and US Army and information security regulations. The company’s leading product certifications, such as Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS 140-2) and the US Army Certificate of Networthiness (CoN), give Globalscape a distinct advantage when competing for mission-critical and time-sensitive projects.

For more information regarding Globalscape solutions in the UK, contact Pro2col on 0333 123 1240. And don’t hesitate to request a copy of this case study.

 

New data protection rules could come into force as soon as 2013!

New data protection rules could come into force as soon as 2013!

We’ve been aware for a while that EU Data Protection laws were under review. The latest news implies that business may have less time than they think before a new data protection framework is introduced. According to an article published in Computer Weekly, “While negotiations continue in Brussels, compliance and risk managers have no time to waste in preparing for the new rules that could come into force as soon as 2013.”

The impending release of this new data protection legislation puts increased pressure on businesses to ensure that they have the right measures in place to protect internal data. Especially since one of the change could potential involve the need to disclose data breach incidents within 24 hours of their discovery. data_protectionDespite the controversy surrounding this specific part of the proposal, it seems European businesses will almost certainly join their peers in most US states in having to comply with mandatory breach disclosure.

Bearing this in mind, the requirement to secure business data will be making it’s way to the top of many companies priority lists. Brand protection and company reputation are invaluable in today’s competitive marketplace and in order to protect this, you’re going to have to protect your data. This can seem like a daunting task, but there are regulations such as ISO 27001 and PCI DSS that provide a framework and a very good set of controls to work with. Although this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll meet the new EU regulations 100%, it gives you a good chance of be close to compliance.

At Pro2col, we provide a range of secure file transfer solutions that meet whole range of security legislation such as PCI DSS, ISO 27001, HIPAA, SOX and many more. So if you’re looking to take the next step when it comes to your data security, please contact us on 0333 123 1240.

Hosted v’s On Premise Managed File Transfer

Hosted v’s On Premise Managed File Transfer

Over the past couple of years there has been considerable hype around saas, hosted or cloud based solutions – the managed file transfer marketplace has been no different.  We speak to many businesses on a daily basis about their file transfer requirements and inevitably, a number of them ask for a cloud based solution. So we’ve been speaking to a range of our vendors, natural leaders in the software field, but many of them seem unwilling to step out of their traditional marketplace and into the cloud space.  There are of course good reasons for this.  For example, the impact on existing software sales, the responsibility that goes with managing other peoples data and probably most importantly, the size of the market. According to Gartner only 10% of the managed file transfer marketplace actually relies upon a cloud based solution.  With the managed file transfer sector experiencing +20% growth year on year and the shift to cloud solutions not likely to slow any time soon, transition to cloud services could become the next major battlefield for vendors. However as it stands, this certainly isn’t reflected in the managed file transfer marketplace as there are many more software vendors than service providers.

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If you’re thinking about implementing a hosted or on-premise managed file transfer solution, there are a number key points to consider.  Here are a few to start you off:

Cost of Ownership

Cost is the number one factor influencing the choice of managed file transfer solution for most businesses.  Implementing and managing an on-premise MFT solution can be pricey, some of the costs to consider are:

Software – The initial software purchase price can range from £5,000 to in excess of £50,000 but once this has been paid, the solution is yours.  Although hosted services appear cheaper in the short term, ongoing subscriptions can be costly in the long term.

Hardware – Providing an environment to install and run the MFT solution can also add up, especially when you take into account disaster recovery or high availability.

Infrastructure – Hosting files on your own server can prove a problem, bear in mind the impact on your Internet connection when a 1Gb file is shared with 50 or more external users!

Support & Management

Another point to take into account after the initial go-live of a managed file transfer solution are the costs associated with ongoing support and management. Specifically:

Internal Support – If you deploy an MFT solution, the responsibility of support and management falls on internal team members, whereas with a hosted solution much of the ongoing support is outsourced to the service provider.

Availability – Generally hosted services run in high availability data centers.  Therefore, they offer guaranteed uptime with load-balanced solutions as the norm and include SLA’s.

Scalability – In a hosted environment, scalability of your product is generally available on demand or at the touch of a button.  It’s not always quite so simple with an on-premise MFT solution.

Back-up/disaster recovery – Usually provided as part of the service by hosting providers, back up and disaster recovery can be costly when purchased as part of a solution package.

Deployment

Bringing an on-premise managed file transfer solution online has its challenges. Ports need opening on firewalls, rules need setting up, plus there are considerations about the design of the solution and how it will sit within the corporate infrastructure.  Hosted solutions are incredibly fast to deploy given that much of the above doesn’t come into play.

Functionality & workflow

Typically, functionality and workflow features are key drivers in the decision making process. On-premise managed file transfer solutions offer far more in the way of a comprehensive feature set:

Bottlenecks – Having files local to you, when you need them can save a considerable amount of time in terms of loss of productivity, especially for larger enterprise deployments.  Pushing data to remote services can impact upon an end users time or can delay internal processes.

Integration – More often than not, hosted solutions are somewhat limited in the level of integration capabilities they offer.  This is an important factor to take into consideration as lack of integration reduces the potential to automate tasks and minimise the man hours wasted on routine tasks.  There are of course exceptions to the rule as there are some very capable hosted technologies.

These are just some of the key areas to be mindful of if you’re weighing up the pros and cons of hosted vs on premise managed file transfer solutions.  Ultimately, the decision will be fueled by the scope of your requirements and the size of your budget.  Whatever these may be, there is a managed file transfer solution out there to fit your business needs.  If you want some help pinpointing the right solution for you, please contact Pro2col on 0333 123 1240.

Box, DropBox, YouSendit vs Managed File Transfer: How secure is your data?

Box, DropBox, YouSendit vs Managed File Transfer: How secure is your data?

File sharing applications are often free or at least cheap, simple to use and very often difficult for an IT department to trace.  This presents a major problem for the enterprise as highlighted in a recent study by Palo Alto Networks which showed that of the 1,636 enterprises surveyed, a staggering 92% of companies had an average of 13 different browser based file sharing applications in use within their network.

With recent announcements such as the DropBox security loophole and the MegaUpload service being taken down, the net is closing in on file sharing applications and services, and rightly so.  Pretty much all businesses need to share files with colleagues, customers and trading partners, but at what cost? Recent studies by the Ponemon Institute found that the average data breach costs UK firms £1.9m prompting the question, “what would be the impact of a data breach on your company”?

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Figure 1 – Most frequently detected browser based file sharing apps

Over burdened IT departments throughout the UK are faced with the challenge of enabling their users to carry out day to day tasks, whilst ensuring that their activities don’t compromise the very future of the business they work for.  With legislation surrounding data breaches putting increasing pressure on IT departments and data controllers, the implementation of a secure, managed file transfer solution has never had a higher priority.

When it comes to providing users with a simple, secure file transfer solution, we can help.  Pro2col represents a number of managed file transfer vendors here in the UK and has 10 years experience in finding the right solution for businesses.  Whether its providing cross platform applications for Windows, Mac, Linux or Unix, mobile application integration for iPhone, Android, Blackberry or the iPad or email integration with Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes, we have the solution to fit.

If your company is still using online file sharing technologies ask yourself this question – which is right for my business?  A technology over which I have no control or visibility or a secure, managed file transfer solution providing guaranteed delivery, auditing and reporting capabilities and complete control.

For a free consultation contact Pro2col on 0333 123 1240 and speak to a managed file transfer specialist with no obligation.

EU Data Breach Laws Set to Toughen

EU Data Breach Laws Set to Toughen

Businesses will be required to inform authorities within 24 hours of a serious data breach according to tough new data protection rules announced during a press conference in Brussels yesterday.

data_protection“Companies and organisations must notify [authorities] of serious data breaches as soon as possible — and to me, that means within 24 hours,” said Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding.

Under the proposed law companies would also be obliged to inform all affected individuals of any data security breach, including unauthorised destruction or loss.

Under the Commission’s proposed changes to the 1995 Data Protection Directive, companies can be fined up to €1m (£830,000), or two percent of global turnover, for serious violations of the regulations. In an attempt to provide businesses with much simpler data protection administration throughout Europe, National data authorities will become the primary point of contact for companies dealing with Europe-wide data questions, and the legislation aims to provide a single set of rules for data protection across Europe.

The rules need to be approved by the EU’s member states and ratified by the European Parliament before they can come into effect.