MFT Latest Support Trends and Challenges

Based on insights from Pro2col's FY2023-24

When it comes to Managed File Transfer (MFT), the fundamental questions stay the same. Questions around authentication, certificates, firewalls, encryption, the list goes on and on! We are, however, starting to see a shift in some of the enquiries we are receiving in the technical department here at Pro2col. A cautious customer is emerging. One that is focused on implementing the concept of Zero Trust within their file transfer environment. These clients are not necessarily focused on resolving a problem, but more interested in understanding the status quo of MFT solutions.


How secure is "secure" and can it be even more secure? Why did the developers make certain changes or create specific features and how can I make the most of them. And how can I obtain more visibility of my data transfers?

We see it as crucial that we be in the know when it comes to the solutions we provide. This allows us to rapidly respond to customer requests without relying on vendors for the large majority of our support tickets. It also means that we are in a fantastic position to see the trends emerging in the support and requests we are receiving from customers. I am going to be exploring these trends in detail in this article.


Key Findings:

  • Key decision makers are more aware of the use of MFT in their business.

  • MFT Administrators are expressing the need to understand their MFT solution.

  • More upgrades are being performed as a knee-jerk reaction to previous concerns around vulnerabilities.

  • A skills gap exists within larger IT departments.

  • More visibility into the activity within MFT platforms is required.

Support Trends in Managed File Transfer



2023 was a tough year for MFT, multiple vulnerabilities wreaking havoc in the world of MFT brought dated platforms into the eyeline of decision makers, and subsequently forced the hand of many companies to upgrade their systems. Over the past year we have seen a 230% increase in time spent performing upgrades and migrations. That’s not a typo, 230%!

Migrations to an alternative MFT solution

With the above in mind, we have also seen an increase in people looking for support in evaluating alternative solutions or reviewing their current solution from a functionality and security perspective. Whether it is due to vulnerabilities or in an effort to save the pennies, businesses have become more aware of the use of MFT underpinning their BAU processes, and therefore seem to be ensuring it is providing maximum value to their company. We have also seen this in the huge increase for due diligence questionnaires we have been requested to review for customers when evaluating their current MFT product.

Need for business as usual (BAU) support

A critical and easily missed trend we have seen this year is the need for BAU support. We have seen a very large number of requests coming in covering things like SSL certificate replacements, user account management, and P4/P5 requests for product capability information. As security has eclipsed a lot of IT department’s other strategic plans, putting the brakes on many creative and modernisation objectives, the need to ensure current systems are configured and secured to best practices have highlighted the need to gain more understanding of the functionality of internal systems.

Expansion and ROI

And finally, we have seen an increase in the utilisation of MFT platforms within companies. With the challenges of 2023, we would have expected companies to have looked at alternative solutions for reducing the impact of MFT within their business, however the opposite has been seen. We are receiving managed services requests to expand the usage of existing software to include AS2 functionality, Integration through API, SharePoint access, and additional workflows to automate processes currently seen as more manual. This is potentially as an attempt to save money on labour costs and improve accuracy by eliminating human interaction to processes, but we believe in a lot of cases increased communication of MFT functionality to decision makers in companies, has opened a previously hidden world of opportunity to enhance business efficiency. 


Managed File Transfer Support Challenges

The technical department here at Pro2col have certainly done a fantastic job at navigating through a year of change, a year where they have been tested on their knowledge, a year where their focus has been directed towards supporting our customers, nurturing and guiding them through new challenges. We have seen a shift in the issues faced by support, and appropriately pivoted to ensure we continue to offer a world-class service. We can, however, see a set of common challenges faced by customers;

  1. IT Department Skills Gap
  2. Upgrade Complications 
  3. Visibility 
  4. Staying in the Know

1. IT Department Skills Gap

We see a lot of requests coming in regarding BAU tasks, which have previously been undertaken by internal departments, but now are requested of our support team. In many cases we cover this through our Managed Services, but we have also been providing training to our customers to ensure they are skilled up in their MFT platform. We are also seeing a lot more interest in our Certified File Transfer Professional (CFTP) offering, which is a certified accreditation offering training on the key components of file transfer.

2. Upgrade complications

With an increase in us performing upgrades for our customers, also comes an increase in customers performing their own upgrades. In some cases customers are finding that there are complications post-upgrade. A huge amount of support requests are coming in around cipher availability. Particularly in the financial and healthcare industries we are finding that the depreciation of older cyphers in newer versions of MFT platforms can cause issues when communicating with older internal or third party systems. Urging financial institutions to move away from antiquated endpoints that have worked for the last 25 years is like getting grandad to trust a self-driving car.

3. Visibility

Previously when working with file transfer solutions, companies have been happy to react to issues as they come in and trust that the MFT platform is doing what it is supposed to do. With announcements from major well-known companies circulating in the media around data breaches, companies are no longer trusting that the small spike in transfer activity they saw on their firewalls is nothing to worry about. Instead we are seeing requests for better visibility of MFT platforms, and requests for additional reporting. For this we have ensured that we have up to date knowledge and training for our MFT dashboarding solution, Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), which can provide an overview of your MFT platform.

If you're interested in learning more about BAM or would like a demonstration, please get in touch with our team. 

4. Staying in the know

It seems like MFT solutions have been discovered as Aladdin’s cave when it comes to ransomware gangs, and Cl0p have been less “Diamond in the rough”, more “Thorn in my side”. With businesses still weathering the aftershock of the breaches (claimed by Cl0p), there is, at least a small silver lining. Many MFT developers have spent the last year hardening their MFT systems and developing strategies to minimise the risk of future zero-day attacks. This has come with a swathe of new updates and remediations, and much more regular patch releases.

From many of our customers, we are seeing more requests to be informed of vulnerabilities as they are detected, or updates as they are released. This has prompted developers to ensure that contact information they have for customers is up to date, as many companies have had the same contact email address on record with their vendor for 10+ years. At Pro2col, we fully recommend logging into your vendor support platform, and ensuring you sign up for their relevant notification platform. We can help with this. We also recommend subscribing to a reputable vulnerability alert platform available online.


With the above being written in black and white, we can see that though the industry has been under unprecedented scrutiny this past year, it's come out the other side in a stronger and more modern form of its previous self. Not only that, but visibility, impact, and the urge to learn about MFT within their own businesses has become a talking point across companies globally, and our team have seen a drive to understand the alternative products available in the marketplace and how far they can be pushed.

At Pro2col we help organisations large and small to find the MFT product that best fits requirements, and stay ahead of the curve to ensure information is accurate and up to date, consistently evaluating the marketplace and making the choice easier for you. Get in touch with our team today


About the Author



Dave Hendley is the Head of Technical at Pro2col. Dave comes from a wealth of technical experience scoping appropriate solutions for customers and managing projects from conception to completion. He oversees the Technical Department, ensuring projects and managed services are delivered to the highest standard. Outside of work, he considers himself a dad first type of guy and loves to spend as much time as he can with his wife and daughter.