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The four most common workflow automation use cases

The four most common workflow automation use cases

This year alone we’ve helped countless businesses with workflow automation use cases – sourcing the right solution and building their workflows. In this blog we’ve summarised four of the most common examples we’ve delivered in recent months.

Business growth is hindered by manual processes or outdated, inefficient scripts. They are time intensive, costly and more susceptible to human error. Ultimately these processes generate little job satisfaction and employees’ time could be much better spent on tasks that add more value to their customers or service users.

Sophisticated automated file transfer is far more efficient in comparison. The quicker response times can give organisations the competitive edge, reducing costs and increasing margins.

Most common workflow automation use cases

We asked the Pro2col technical team to tell us the most common automation use cases they see, working with organisations from all industry sectors.

1. Securely pushing and pulling files to and from S3 and blob storage.

We’ve recently set this up for a customer for long-term archiving of financial data, and for a healthcare organisations for simple retrieval of patient data held across multiple disparate systems. This functionality is either enabled via an additional cloud connector module, or through capabilities native to your file transfer solution.

2. Collecting files from a defined location, extracting data from Excel and inputting it into a database.

We set this up for an insurance broker recently, who wanted to automate policy updates between their customer and the insurer. This is delivered using advanced workflow capabilities with conditional logic.

3. Extracting files and converting them into different data formats.

This is another common insurance use case. The workflow would pull customer information from a CRM system (eg: Salesforce) into a JSON file, move it to a secure folder location, convert it to a CSV file then email it to a specific person or department. When someone makes an insurance claim, this process is executed to provide the claims handler with the complete customer record. This is delivered using a Salesforce cloud connector, a secure folder module, folder monitoring and advanced workflow capabilities.

4. Integration with cloud-based applications (eg: ServiceNow, Jenkins).

We’ve recently worked with a help desk to replace an outdated script with seamless integration with ServiceNow via a cloud connector. ServiceNow is a ticketing / job management tool. When an email request is submitted to a defined inbox, the automated workflow executes. It collects the email, converts the content into a ServiceNow ticket and sends an automated email back to the sender with a ticket number.
As you’ll see from these examples, automation can take different forms: System-to-system automation, triggering regular batch transfers and onward data gathering processes; person-to-system automation, such as web form data capture or order management with automate onward processes; and system-to-person automation which can manage the secure distribution of data. Whichever use case fits your business, we guarantee you will soon reap the benefits.

Benefits automation

  • Security: Workflow automation will encrypt and transfer data between systems and endpoints, eliminating the need for manual processing, scripts and multiple FTP servers.
  • Save time: Time-intensive manual processes and managing multiple outdated scripts both take up a lot of time. Automation allows businesses to re-invest team resources in order to focus on higher priority responsibilities.
  • Cost savings: As well as saved staff time, automation helps prevent financial penalties associated with SLAs and data protection regulation violations.
  • Visibility: Workflow automation is managed through a centralised platform, giving full control and operational visibility of all data transfer activity. This level of reporting is invaluable for compliance with regulations like the GDPR.
  • Ease of use: Most automation solutions have an easy-to-use tool to build and schedule workflows. For example, monitoring folders to execute workflows when new or changed files appear. A scheduler allows you to set specific times to execute workflows, such as night time to minimise load on the server, or delay sending if users are on leave or absent.
  • Scalability: This technology is scalable, meaning you can add additional modules or workflows as your business requirements grow. This future-proofs your solution.
  • Accuracy: Maintaining multiple scripts written by different employees in different scripting languages introduces complexity and reduces your ability to scale file transfer activities. Automated file transfer solutions helps take the ‘human error’ out of this process.

We are currently offering up to a 10% discount on modules that address these or other automation use cases. Please get in touch to discuss your particular use case. Alternatively if you need help building your workflows, download our template. Our expert engineers have put this together to help you organise your file transfer automation workflows and file recipients before building or moving legacy workflows across.

3 Powerful Examples of MFT and DLP Paired in Action

Three Powerful Examples of MFT and DLP Paired in Action

This guest blog from HelpSystems outlines how you can maximise the power of MFT by pairing it with a DLP solution

On paper, combining two robust software products to form a more complete solution is a no-brainer. But how does it actually work? First, let’s take a look at what the two solutions – adaptive data loss protection (A-DLP) and managed file transfer (MFT) – each offer users. Then, we’ll highlight a few specific use cases where the combination of DLP and MFT elevates an organisation’s cybersecurity position, better than each solution could alone.

DLP offers content inspection:

  • Replacing sensitive text – including PII, PCI, and HIPAA – with asterisks.
  • Detecting and redacting text contained in images, even scanned ones.
  • Redacting text but allowing for files to still be delivered, minus offending content.

MFT delivers secure file transfers:

  • Dashboard-friendly, centralised control
  • Auditing and reporting
  • Advanced workflow automation
  • Document collaboration
  • File transfer security

What Level of Data Security do DLP and MFT Provide Together?

  • With MFT in place, the movement of files inside and outside of your organisation is secure and automated, with the collaboration and data tracking functionality not available with DLP alone.
  • MFT securely transfers attachments between organisations and trading partners
  • The ICAP Gateway intercepts content when threat protection and DLP requirements exist
  • ICAP runs rule sets (keyword search, executable renaming, script removal, etc.).
  • If the content can be sanitised the transmission is allowed and continues
  • If content cannot be sanitised the transmission is blocked

Together, HelpSystems’ Clearswift A-DLP solution and MFT provide a layered, unified, and web-based solution – from the content contained, to the secure data transfer of the content. Both solutions are trusted worldwide for their ability to provide enterprise-level protection against data breaches. When software is paired from a single provider, it provides stability and superior customer service.

MFT and DLP Use Cases: Combined for End-to-End Security

Use Case #1: Defence sector vendor needs to transfer attachments between employees and trading partners.

Originally, this vendor used MFT to securely transfer the attachments sent between its employees and partners. They decided to also add deep content inspection to these file transfers by integrating their MFT with Secure ICAP Gateway, adding Structural Sanitisation and Anti-Virus for additional layers of security. With both solutions in place, the vendor can:

  • Intercept content when threat protection and DLP requirements exit.
  • Run the proper rule sets (keyword search, executable renaming, script removal, etc.).
  • Control whether content is allowed or blocked. If content can be sanitised, then transmission continues. However, if content cannot be sanitised then the transmission is blocked.

Use Case #2: A credit card vendor needed insight into when customer, employee and/or patient records in a file were being uploaded to MFT.

This credit card vendor needed to detect when records contained in files (for employees and/or patients) were being uploaded to MFT. They also needed to be able to count the records and maintain an audit log showing what data was being shared and with whom, and to have the ability to corroborate files from a single record. The vendor was able to do all of this by integrating the secure ICAP Gateway with MFT. In addition, with this combination of solutions, they can take advantage of Lexical Expression Qualifiers and trigger different actions based on the number of records detected – actions such as an audit, refer to sender, redaction or block).

Use Case #3: Government agency needed same level of security from uploads received as they got from their MFT transactions.

This government agency regularly needs to accept file uploads from partners and the public. However, because this action can be exploited to deliver active content or even viruses and malware, they knew they needed to achieve comparable threat protection to what they had in place with their MFT file transfers. The agency integrated the Secure ICAP Gateway with their MFT for a combined, secure solution. Now, any file can be scanned before it is either passed or accepted and infected content is then destroyed or redacted. They also have the choice of triple-AV (Kaspersky/Sophos/Avira) and constant Active Content Protection in place.

Get in touch today to learn more about how your business will benefit from integrating MFT with a DLP solution.

Alternatively, reserve your place to see a live demo via our webinar below.

Clearswift A-DLP with Managed File Transfer

29/9/202010:30pm BST30 minutes
Join us for a short webinar demo showing how Clearswift ICAP integrates with your MFT solution. This will extend your security, whilst minimising the impact on business processes. The demo will be led by Clearswift Engineer Steve Jeffery.

$40,000 of free training

$40,000 OF FREE TRAINING

Helping businesses adapt to the increased demand for secure remote working and workflow automation

As COVID-19 took a hold on the world, businesses everywhere were forced to switch their offices for home studies, and their board meetings for zoom calls. Behind the scenes, we recognised the growing need for secure file transfer and business process automation. So we embarked upon a plan to give away our Certified File Transfer Professional (CFTP) training programme, completely free of charge.

Over 136 engineers signed up and completed the course – which equates to over $40,000 of free training!

Thanks to this offer, a huge group of employees have been able to continue developing their careers in lockdown, and are now better equipped to tackle the lingering economic challenges of COVID-19.

Managing Director James Lewis says, “I am delighted with the success of this promotion and the positive impact it will have on so many businesses, both now and in the future.”

Although the course is no longer available for free, there are still a whole host of reasons why the CFTP is a fantastic investment for IT professionals wanting to learn new skills or certify their knowledge:

1. The CFTP certifies your existing file transfer knowledge
Adding this to your CV will make you stand out ahead of your next promotion. It will help you work more efficiently as demand for remote working and automation continues to ramp up. The certification is CPD accredited, so employers know it’s a reputable qualification from a trusted provider.

2. Learn new knowledge that’s transferable across vendors
It’s vendor-independent – the only course that is in fact – so what you learn is applicable across all Managed File Transfer solutions.

3. Learn safely from your own home at your own pace
There’s no need to go to an exam centre or classes. It’s all online and you can do it at any time to fit it around child care or other work and family commitments.

4. Maintain full lifetime access to the resources once you’ve finished
The video lessons and study guide are there for you to refer to whenever you need, even after completion.

5. It’s available for just £240!

Enrolling couldn’t be easier – just visit the CFTP training programme and add it to your basket. We’ll set you up with your unique learning profile so you can get started straight away.

Pro2col also run and host product-based training tailored to your Managed File Transfer solution and requirement. As experts solely focused on this niche, we are perfectly placed to ensure your staff are fully trained to be able to use and support your software. Find out about other training options.

Managed File Transfer software comparison

Enterprise Managed File Transfer Software Comparison

We review the MFT vendor landscape for 2020-21

There are a lot of out of date or inaccurate comparisons of enterprise Managed File Transfer (MFT) vendors online. People still use the Garter MFT Vendors Magic Quadrant, for example, but it’s over ten years old. And there are other comparisons from so called ‘experts’ who only sell one product – so of course they will say it’s the best.

So, why should you listen to us? At Pro2col, we are independent experts and have worked with secure and Managed File Transfer for over 15 years. In fact we’re often asked to assist vendors with product research and development. We are also providers and developers of the only vendor-independent training programme: The Certified File Transfer Professional (CFTP).

We’ve distilled this knowledge to create a top five Enterprise Managed File Transfer comparison, and give you an overview of the rest of the marketplace.

All the products in our top five support the major transfer protocols, deliver high security with PGP encryption and other measures. They all have sophisticated enterprise schedulers, workflow triggers and cloud connectivity, plus excellent visibility / SLA monitoring capabilities.

All these vendors bring out regular releases and are responsive to any issues. That is ultimately why they have made the list.

These are in alphabetical order – we haven’t listed them by which is best. They are all strong products and the right one will depend entirely on your business and budget. For example, do you need enterprise Managed File Transfer or have smaller requirements? Ultimately, there is no ‘best Managed File Transfer’, but the best fit for you.

I hope this Enterprise Managed File Transfer Software Comparison helps you.

James Lewis

Managing Director, Pro2col Ltd

Enterprise Managed File Transfer comparison top five

Coviant Software – Diplomat MFT 

Coviant Software - Diplomat MFT

Diplomat MFT is one of our top five solutions because it has particular areas of strength and is really good value for money.

It has always been strong on efficiency and versatility, but it solves some specific problems very well in a rapidly changing space; especially enterprise integration for cloud storage, web services and it is platform independent.

Diplomat MFT has an increasing number of application and cloud integration points. The product is benefiting from a new lease of life under Greg Hoffer, the recently appointed CEO. He is working directly with users to understand their specific requirements and extend the product capabilities. 

But Diplomat’s USP is definitely its value for money. The product is considered by the analysts as the value player in the market.

The company was formed in 2004 and is based in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Globalscape Software – EFT Server

Globalscape Software - EFT Server

No MFT comparison would be complete without including Globalscape EFT Server. It has been a cornerstone of the MFT marketplace for well over a decade. It has always been a strong automation platform for Windows and they bring out a major new release each year.

There are three versions of Globalscape EFT, which stands for Enhanced File Transfer. They are EFT Express for smaller to medium-sized businesses or tactical deployments; EFT Enterprise for enterprise Managed File Transfer incorporating the whole infrastructure; and their cloud-based solution EFT Arcus.

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Managed File Transfer software comparison

EFT has a modular structure, so organisations can easily scale their solution by adding new features.

Globalscape has recently realigned their business strategy and the release of EFT 2020 (version 8) includes some very advanced new functionality.  The privacy and compliance features are ideal for supporting GDPR or other regulations. This is – without a doubt – now the product’s USP. It includes settings which map to the sections of the GDPR, a built in risk assessment report to identify compliance fails, the ability to assign tasks to Data Protection Officer (DPO) and a lot more!

The CEO is Robert Alpert, Globalscape is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the organisation is based in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

HelpSystems – GoAnywhere MFT

Helpsystems - GoAnywhere MFT

The original developers Linoma were acquired a few years back, bringing GoAnywhere MFT under the HelpSystems umbrella. Since this acquisition, they have continued to prove to be an innovative vendor.

GoAnywhere MFT is a cross-platform application and very strong on cloud connectivity. HelpSystems have put a considerable focus on out-of-the-box cloud connectors. We’ve seen how this has simplified cloud strategies for a lot of business – both global enterprises and small businesses.

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Managed File Transfer software comparison

They bring out a major new release each year, and are continually adding new cloud connectors to their portfolio. GoAnywhere MFT is another easily scalable solution and a big advantage is its seamless operation with other HelpSystems products. GoAnywhere MFT, for example, works together with their RPA solution, Automate. Combined, the two products enhance efficiency within a business processes, with the potential to add more processes when required. This and the product’s cloud connectivity are the big strengths for GoAnywhere MFT.

The standout feature of GoAnywhere MFT, however, is the Secure Forms module. This enables you to securely collect data in multiple formats (including drag and drop for images), then automatically process the data using complex, logic-based automated workflows.

The recently promoted CEO is Kate Bolseth and the organisation is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Progress formerly Ipswitch  – MOVEit

Progress formerly Ipswitch - MOVEit

The MOVEit product suite includes four solutions:

  • MOVEit Transfer for tactical deployments.
  • MOVEit Automation for complete Managed File Transfer. Users can chooose either the Corporate or Enterprise tier – the latter providing more extensive functionality.
  • MOVEit Cloud, which is self-explanatory.

MOVEit has been known and loved for many years. It is very well established and has a loyal customer base. People trust it because it has always had a strong reputation for security. Its multitenancy capabilities for example, are among the most secure on the market.

MOVEit can work out more cost effective for users needing multiple agents because there is a considerable volume discount. Another plus is that MOVEit Automation (Enterprise) users can automate the movement of files between unlimited servers

Managed File Transfer software comparison

In all honesty, we’ve observed a lack of development in the last couple of years. But the vendor Ipswitch was acquired by Progress in 2019 for +$200m and it is rapidly gaining pace. Recent developments, for example, includes API enhancements and Powershell for custom scripts.

Ipswitch was formed in 1991 and the CEO is Michael Grossi and the organisation is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, USA.

Thru

Progress formerly Ipswitch - MOVEit

Thru is probably the only cloud-native MFT product, so it’s a common choice for enterprises wanting to move from an on-prem to a cloud solution. They have cloud data centres in the UK, USA, Germany and Australia, currently supported by AWS and Azure. Or alternatively, enterprises have the option to deploy Thru in their VPC (Virtual Private Cloud).

What differentiates Thru, however, is its connectivity with integration platforms. It provides the file transfer gateway to the iPaaS marketplace, with connectors for the leading solutions. This allows file exchanges to very simply integrate with any number of other applications. The no code set-up simplifies and speeds up integrations. It allows a ‘citizen integrator’ – someone without niche scripting skills – to integrate internal and external systems within hours rather than weeks.

Thru was founded by Chief Executive Officer Lee Harrison in 2002.

Enterprise Managed File Transfer comparison: The rest of the market

Of course, there are many other solutions on the market that haven’t made our top four. So here’s a brief explanation of some of the other products you’re likely to come across in your Managed File Transfer comparison, again in alphabetical order:

Attunity Managed File Transfer

Attunity Managed File Transfer

Since acquiring the technology from Repliweb in 2011 there appears to have been little focus on this product.

Axway Secure Transport

Axway - Secure Transport

Axway acquired Tumbleweed, the developer of SecureTransport, in 2008 and has since made numerous further additions to their portfolio. Whilst still a significant player in the MFT industry their products are largely disparate. The biggest concern we hear is the extensive professional service costs to implement and upgrade versions.

Cleo Harmony

Cleo - Harmony

Harmony doesn’t make our top four, but would make our top five. A solid managed file transfer solution, providing integration capabilities through the acquisition of Extol a number of years ago. Cleo is led by a very impressive leadership team and it only doesn’t make our top four because of the way in which it’s priced.

JScape MFT Server

JScape MFT Server

Another good Managed File Transfer product which has stood the test of time. A java application providing cross platform server installations, JScape has extensive functionality. The only downside users report to us is that the interface isn’t intuitive.

Oracle Managed File Transfer

Oracle Managed File Transfer

Oracle MFT has limited features and capabilities. It was developed to protect their SOA/B2B install base and has been in maintenance mode for some years, with the focus shifting to the Oracle Integration Cloud.

Seeburger

Seeburger

Still an active MFT vendor with a major focus on their home market of Germany. We don’t know of any company in the UK that runs it and haven’t had any exposure to it so could not comment on either product or company.

Solar Winds Serv-U

Solarwinds - Serv-U

On the face of it Serv-U has all the features that define enterprise Managed File Transfer, but the product is lacking in a modern browser-based file transfer mechanism, still relying on a java applet for file transfers. Customer support is only by email and some customers report difficulties accessing it. Support is, of course, just as important as the product itself. This product has no ongoing development and is in maintenance mode.

South River Technologies – Cornerstone

South River Technologies - Cornerstone

SRT continues to develop Cornerstone, which is a modular solution at a significantly more competitive price than other options. An extension of their industry leading Titan SFTP server, Cornerstone provides a lot of functionality for its price.

Enterprise Managed File Transfer FAQS

Which is the best Managed File Transfer vendor?

As independent experts with over 15 years’ experience working with MFT, we’ve whittled it down to the four best (in alphabetical order).

  • Coviant Software – Diplomat MFT
  • Globalscape Software – EFT Server
  • HelpSystems – GoAnywhere MFT
  • Progress  – MOVEit MFT

Who are the Enterprise Managed File Transfer vendors?

Our top four are:

  • Coviant Software – Diplomat MFT
  • Globalscape Software – EFT Server
  • HelpSystems – GoAnywhere MFT
  • Progress  – MOVEit MFT

But there are over forty on the market including:

  • Attunity
  • Axway
  • Cleo

See full list here…

How do I compare Managed File Transfer software?

Online comparison articles can only tell you so much. The right solution is going to depend entirely on your unique business requirements. Our free comparison tool will identify the right solution for you.

Backing up Cisco Unified Communications Manager through SFTP

Backing up your Cisco Unified Communications Manager through SFTP

Backing up and Restoring CUCM

 

The Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) is in use at many organisations to integrate data, voice and video applications.  It’s a nice product which provides a good balance between security and functionality.

As is often the case however, this sort of product very quickly becomes a critical piece of the infrastructure and consequently needs to be treated as such.  It’s therefore important to ensure that the configuration is routinely backed up in a secure fashion in order to recover your system should the need arise.

CUCM allows you to backup the configuration to a location on your network; because there will be credentials contained within the backup, it requires that you transfer the backup using a secure mechanism – SFTP.

Any file transfer server that provides the SFTP protocol is fine to use – some file transfer vendors even publish simple guides on how to configure for their specific software, however the steps to successful implementation are straightforward.

CUCM Backup: SFTP Server Configuration

 

  1. Create an account on the SFTP server that you will use to receive the backup and set up a folder for it.
  2.  

  3. You must create a user that has the ability to connect using just a password. Even though CUCM allows the use of SFTP, it does not permit connection using an SSH key. If your SFTP server has the ability to automatically forward on files to another location, you may wish to set this up at this time.
  4.  

  5. Next, go to CUCM and log into the Disaster Recovery System.  From here, select Backup, then Backup Device.  This is where you provide the details of your SFTP server.
  6.  

  7. Click on “Add New” and provide a friendly name for your SFTP server.  Beneath this, there is an area marked “Select Destination” – here you can enter the SFTP server details, path and credentials.  You can also select how many backups you want to keep in the SFTP server – handy if your SFTP server lacks automation capabilities.
  8.  

  9. Once you have done this, you can schedule the backup.  Go to Backup, the Scheduler and click “Add New” to create a new schedule.  As you might expect, you can now add the frequency that you want to send the backup to the SFTP server, including the day of the week and time of day.  Finally, save the schedule and click on “Enable Schedule”.

 

Et Voila!  Your CUCM configuration is now being securely backed up to your SFTP server.

Pro2col file transfer experts recommend the following Cisco-certified FTP servers:

Titan FTP Server

 Choose Titan FTP Server if you need a cost-effective solution for a tactical implementation

X Don’t choose this if you need to support additional protocols and use cases in the future. Titan FTP Server has limited scope for growth.

 

Discounted Price $1249 $1124

Globalscape EFT server

 This is a scalable solution. Choose Globalscape EFT Server if you want to support additional protocols and use cases in the future.

X Don’t choose this if you just need a single tactical implementation. Globalscape EFT Server won’t be the most cost-effective.

Discounted Price $2238 $2014

CUCM Backup FAQ’S

HOW TO BACKUP CUCM USING SFTP

CISCO has recommended some SFTP servers that they certify to use for backing up CUCM. These include Titan FTP Server and Globalscape EFT server. You can see how to configure these solutions in our step by step guide here.

CISCO CUCM BACKUP BEST PRACTICES

Cisco recommends SFTP servers that have been tested internally and jointly supported by TAC. Cisco does not support using the SFTP product freeFTPd. This is because of the 1 GB file size limit on this SFTP product.
Two supported SFTP servers can be found and downloaded for a trial here.

FTPS vs SFTP?

SFTP vs FTPS?

Nine facts to determine which protocol is right for your requirements

To determine the difference between FTPS and SFTP, let’s first look at the technology behind each protocol, then the strengths and limitations.

What is FTPS?

So what does FTPS stand for? File Transfer Protocol Secure.  FTP was around first – but not in a secured state initially. FTPS uses either the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols to provide connection security through encryption. This is provided by the FTPS servers x.509 format public key certificate. The certificate may be trusted (provided by a trusted certification authority), or else self-signed. Using a self-signed certificate does not mean the level of encryption is any less, just that you have to be sure that the host is who they say they are. FTPS connections are made secure either implicitly or explicitly. FTPS servers generally listen for implicit connections on port 990 and explicit connections on port 21 – although of course the server administrator may choose to use different ports if they desire.

How does FTPS work?

An implicit connection starts with the client issuing a TLS “Client Hello” message. This message implies that the connection should be secure and if the server doesn’t receive it, the connection is immediately dropped. If however the server does receive the “Client Hello” message, it will send the server certificate to the client, which will authenticate it and use it to encrypt a session key which it then sends back to the server to encrypt the session with.

In the case of explicit FTPS, the client explicitly requests security by sending an “AUTH TLS” (or AUTH SSL) command straight after the connection is made. If the AUTH command is not sent, the FTPS server will treat the client connection as a ‘regular’ non-secure FTP session instead.

Interestingly, implicit connections are not listed in RFC 2228 (the FTPS documentation), only explicit connections.

In either case, once the session has started, the client will need to authenticate to the FTPS server – normally this will be by userid and password, but may also include client certificates if required. All FTP commands are quite naturally passed along the control channel (normally 21 for explicit or 990 for implicit), but FTPS then needs a separate channel for data communications (the actual sending of files or directory lists). The data channels are by default port 20 for explicit FTPS and port 989 for implicit FTPS. Data channels are opened as they are required, then immediately closed again (the control channel remains open for the duration of the session).

What is SFTP?

SFTP is not a form of FTP. In fact, FTPS and SFTP are completely unrelated and bear only a passing resemblance in the structure of many commands. SFTP is not FTP over an SSH connection, rather a distinct protocol in its own right which makes use of the underlying SSH protocol to provide connection security and authentication. Because it is using the underlying SSH protocol, it is normal to use the SSH port (generally port 22).

With SFTP we move away from using certificates for encryption and instead use public/private key pairs, which are not signed by trusted authorities. Like an FTPS self-signed certificate, the only area of doubt is that the SFTP server is who it professes to be – once you are confident that you have connected to the right server, you simply accept the server key and proceed to exchange files over an encrypted session.

The most important difference between FTPS and SFTP is that an SFTP server requires just one port to operate on – there is not a separate data and control channel to take care of.

In contrast to FTPS where clients occasionally provide a certificate for authentication, it is common practice for SFTP batch clients to authenticate by key only to avoid the need to store and maintain passwords.

When comparing SFTP vs FTPS speed, SFTP can be slower because there are more steps to secure the transfer.

SFTP vs FTPS: Nine differences

So having considered some basics of both FTPS and SFTP, let’s look at the difference between FTPS and SFTP. Mostly speaking, what one can do the other can too – there are a few exceptions though:
  1. FTPS will allow you to create custom commands
  2. SFTP has better control of file permissions, ownership and properties
  3. FTPS allows use of Trusted x.509 certificates
  4. An SFTP server only requires a single port to be open on the firewall
  5. FTPS supports EBCDIC transfers
  6. SFTP allows creation of symbolic links
  7. Windows servers and clients don’t natively support SFTP
  8. SFTP is simple to install and manage on Linux and Unix servers
  9. SFTP will be slower than FTPS because there are more steps to secure the transfer
Mostly the decision on which protocol to use comes down to the requirements of the organisation. If there is a prevalence of linux/unix servers in a network, SFTP may be the better choice. However, for Windows server SFTP is not the answer. It would require SFTP clients to be installed everywhere.

In addition, some firewall administrators would be happier to use SFTP with its single port, while some server administrators may not want SSH access to their servers enabled.

Otherwise it makes sense where possible to invest in file transfer server software that supports both protocols and leave the choice up to the clients.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is FTPS secure enough?

Yes, both FTPS and SFTP are considered secure because they provide connection security through encryption. There are nine main difference between the two and the right one for you will depend on your requirements. Read more…

What does FTPS mean?

FTPS stands for File Transfer Protocol Secure. It uses either the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols to provide connection security through encryption. Read more…

Which is faster SFTP or FTPS?

FTPS is usually faster than SFTP because there are fewer steps to secure the transfer. Read more….

What is the difference between SFTP vs FTPS?

There are nine key differences:

  1. FTPS will allow you to create custom commands
  2. SFTP has better control of file permissions, ownership and properties
  3. FTPS allows use of Trusted x.509 certificates
  4. An SFTP server only requires a single port to be open on the firewall
    Read more…