Pro2col team raise over £6000 in 100km challenge

Pro2col team raise over £6000 in 100km challenge

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“We’re over the moon.” The words of Pro2col MD James Lewis on Sunday afternoon at the finish line of the Jurassic Coast 100km Ultra Challenge.

The celebration comes after three months of committed training and fundraising, during which Pro2col raised over £6000 to be shared between five great causes: The British Heart Foundation, a local MacmiIlan Cancer Unit, Crohns and Colitis UK, the Lewy Body Society and BIBS at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

“Saturday was just brutal,” James continued. “The high winds and huge hills were not a great combination. We climbed 2.66km, which is equivalent to climbing Britain’s tallest mountain Ben Nevis twice in a weekend.”

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Pictured: The challenging terrain of Flower’s Barrow near East Lulworth.

Starting in Poole on Saturday morning, they passed the picturesque Corfe Castle, traversed the steep terrain around Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, arriving in Weymouth on Saturday evening. On Sunday they moved further along the Jurassic coast to Chessil Beach and the famous sandstone cliffs of West Bay, arriving in Bridport on Sunday afternoon.

Four of the team completed the 100km course, and Ben Smith received the 50km medal, having been withdrawn by the medical team at 66 km with ligament damage and suspected stress fracture from an ankle injury sustained at 21 km.

“We only set out to complete it,” added James, “but we’re delighted to have three of the team inside the top 10% of quickest finishers. Plus we have raised more than £6k along the way. These are causes very close to our hearts and I’m really proud of the team and their dedication.”

The team are still taking donations and it’s not too late to contribute at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jurassic-pro2col

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Pictured L-R: Ailsa Gibbs, James Reynolds, Helen Gilbert, Ben Smith and James Lewis.

Pro2col are independent experts in secure data transfer, working with businesses to identify, implement and manage the right solution for their requirements. Since 2004 we have helped over 800 businesses, spanning 30+ countries and a range of industry sectors. Pro2col help transform an organisation’s infrastructure, streamlining processes, increasing productivity, collaboration, and data security.

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Secure file sharing: Don’t risk a breach from sharing personal data

Secure file sharing: Don’t risk a breach from sharing personal data

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When businesses think about cyber security, their thoughts usually jump to phishing scams, malware or other deliberate theft or sabotage. Yet every day businesses are breaching their own security policies and risking compliance. The cause is employees sharing personal data via email or consumer-grade file sharing apps. These aren’t the right tools for the job, so it’s essential to equip staff with secure file sharing technology and knowledge to protect your organisation’s data.

 

Email

Email is one of the biggest problems. Businesses rely on it so much to communicate back and forth, that employees often send things without thinking. Attaching a customer file or patient record is an easy mistake to make. But, in a typical email setup, the servers don’t encrypt the email attachment, so it is not secure. That may constitute a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the risk of a fine and damage to your reputation.

Email doesn’t provide any guarantee of delivery either, or visibility of the transfer, which is another must for compliance.

 

File sharing apps

If a member of staff needs to send a large file and it’s too big to attach to an email, they often jump onto a file sharing application like WeTransfer or Dropbox. But consumer-grade applications lack in-built security. Again, there’s no audit trail of the transfer and you end up with multiple versions of files sitting in various locations, which no one else can access to wipe if that member of staff leaves. Not all of these solutions will confirm where a file is held either so you may have data stored outside of the EU.

 

Secure file sharing

Anything including sensitive, personal or valuable data – like company IP – needs to be handled very carefully. Our advice is to add a secure file sharing solution to your IT infrastructure, to encrypt and securely transfer files. These are sometimes called secure email, ad hoc, or Electronic File Sync and Share (EFSS) solutions.

Most will provide a plug-in to your email client, which makes it easy to use and accessible. Some can be configured to automatically secure emails under certain conditions based on your IT security policy, so employees don’t even need to know it’s there. There are no file size limits either, and IT maintain a full audit trail. These solutions often support file collaboration between your employees and external partners too, which is an added bonus.

Full features of a secure file sharing solution include:

  • Access control / permissions
  • Secure data wiping
  • Secure protocols (HTTPS and sometimes SFTP & FTPS)
  • User authentication
  • Auditing and reporting
  • Encryption of files (PGP or AES)
  • Administrator overview
  • Data residency within the EU

Recommendations

If you think you need a secure file sharing solution, our free bespoke software comparison service will save you weeks of research time and identify the right solution for you. It is informed by over 15 years’ experience delivering secure file transfer solutions, a deep understanding of user needs and continuous review of the multiple vendors on the market.

You complete a series of questions about your current and future business requirements, and receive a bespoke report from our technical consultants recommending the best solution for your needs and budget. You can either complete the ad-hoc or Managed File Transfer (MFT) service, depending on what you need the solution to deliver.

 

Use this service if you are looking to address person-to-person file sharing only, as outlined in this blog.

 

Use this service if you also need to automate transfers and integrate between applications.

Need further expertise? Download our FREE resources

Predictions and reflections: A video with James Lewis

Predictions and reflections: A video with James Lewis

What can we expect from the MFT market place in the coming months and years? Pro2col Managing Director James Lewis gives his insight, and looks back at the last financial year for the business.

 

 

Pro2col are independent experts in secure data transfer, working with businesses to identify, implement and manage the right solution for their requirements. Since 2004 we have helped over 800 businesses, spanning 30+ countries and a range of industry sectors. We help transform an organisation’s infrastructure, streamlining processes, increasing productivity, collaboration, and data security.

Need further expertise? Download our FREE resources

Three big things wrong with the Software Reviews Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant

Three big things wrong with the Software Reviews Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant

There’s been a lot of talk in the Managed File Transfer (MFT) space about the recent Software Reviews Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant. The report claims to ‘provide a comprehensive evaluation of popular products in the Managed File Transfer market’.

As independent MFT experts with over 15 years’ experience reviewing products, we wanted to provide our take on this report. Our advice is very clear. This is not an accurate representation of the market, and here’s why.

 

Pictured: Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant, from HelpSystems website.
 

1. Definition of MFT

Info-Tech’s understanding of what constitutes MFT is fundamentally flawed. Of the ten products on the Data Quadrant, four aren’t actually MFT, so it’s not comparing like-for-like.

MFT solutions allow data to be transferred in a controlled, secure fashion, both inside and outside an organisation, between systems and / or users. This includes:

  • System-to-system transfers, such as automated batch transfers or workflows with a series of actions;
  • Transfers between people and systems, such as data capture forms with ongoing automated workflows;
  • Person-to-person or ‘ad hoc’ transfers.

The following four products are not MFT:

Accellion: This is a secure file sharing and collaboration solution only.

Adobe Send & Track: For ad hoc large files.

Citrix ShareFile: Electronic sync and share, for document collaboration.

LeapFile: For ad hoc person-to-person only.

2. Products missing from the Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant

Only vendors who have paid for the report are able to market what it says about them. This is not independent and it is not a review of the complete market place.

While we firmly agree with the placement of HelpSystems GoAnywhere MFT and Ipswitch MOVEit, who were acquired by Progress earlier this year, there are several other market leaders not included on the Data Quadrant:

Globalscape EFT Server would score highly on both the ‘Feature’ and ‘Vendor’ matrix.

Coviant Diplomat MFT is benefiting from a lot of development at the moment, making it a likely player in the ‘Product Innovator’ quadrant.

We would also recommend Cornerstone MFT from South River Technologies (SRT) as a very good budget solution.

Other credible vendors missing from the quadrant include Axway, Seeburger, Jscape, Cleo and more…

3. Niche or incompatible products

There are several products on the Data Quadrant that just aren’t viable products for the majority of businesses. That’s either because they lack the development, are not enterprise-ready, or are niche to specific industries:

Oracle MFT: Our most recent market research identified there were only around one hundred Oracle MFT customers worldwide. Most of these sales came about to prevent customers discontinuing with their middleware product. There has been little development recently and their roadmap is limited.

SolarWinds Serv-U: This is a budget solution and not something we would recommend for enterprises. Since its acquisition by SolarWinds, the technology hasn’t kept pace with technical innovation and is now a long way behind other vendors. By using a Java web browser plugin, the adoption and usability of their product – especially in risk adverse enterprise environments – will be compromised. This feature is well behind the curve.

FileCatalyst: This is primarily for use within the media industries, with an emphasis on fast file transfer. It doesn’t have the necessary breadth of file transfer protocols or automation options to make it a mainstream MFT player.

IBM Managed File Transfer: This is ensconced in the banking/finance industry, built around their own delivery protocol (NDM). It’s an expensive solution, without the breadth of delivery protocols to make it a mainstream MFT player.

NEXT STEPS

If you are looking for an MFT solution, we strongly advise against using the Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant for guidance.

Most MFT solutions have the same features but differ in the level of detail and complexity, and how they are delivered. The only way you will be able to identify the right one for your business is to fully scope your requirements. Make sure you look at the vendor closely too and see what their previous development release schedule is like from published release notes. These are the factors that will determine whether your implementation is a success and will ensure you back a vendor that should meet your future needs too.

If you need help, use our free comparison tool, which asks the right questions. You enter your requirements, giving as much detail as you can, and our experts will recommend the right solution for your current and future needs and budget. It’s completely free and there’s no obligation to buy through us.

Interested in a file transfer solution?

Digital transformation? Start by consolidating your data transfers

Digital transformation? Start by consolidating your data transfers

Starting your digital transformation is a daunting prospect. It is no secret that success is hard to achieve; researchers at the likes of MIT have proved it! Yet there is a simple starting point, which will get your project off on the right track. We recommend reviewing your data transfer processes and systems first. They tend to underpin most – if not all – of your operational processes, so you will quickly see opportunities to consolidate systems, whilst getting a great overview of what is in scope.

Your review should include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Existing FTP / SFTP servers;
  • Managed File Transfer solution;
  • Home grown solutions, particularly unmanaged scripts;
  • Ad hoc employee file sharing.

If you already have an MFT solution, we almost guarantee you will spot opportunities to consolidate many of these disparate systems and processes. And if you don’t have one, you will quickly start to see the benefit. There’s the immediate cost savings, plus many more opportunities for efficiencies in the long run. You will also benefit from increased security and visibility, with MFT providing a ‘single pane of glass’ view across all your incoming and outgoing file transfers, plus integration with other security tools such as AV and DLP.

MFT’s data integration capabilities allow you to extend the life of legacy systems, whilst integrating with new cloud-based applications. You keep your options open for future expansion, whilst facilitating the immediate benefits of digital transformation.

Here are the five top ways this technology will drive your digital transformation:

  • Empower employees with an accessible working environment;
  • Gain visibility of all data within and beyond the organisation, enabling data-driven decision making and easier governance;
  • Digitise your processes, including system-to-system, system-to-person, person-to-system and between people. This frees up time for employees to spend on value-add or mission critical work, whilst improving security;
  • You can select the best possible technology for each requirement then integrate between systems using APIs, rather than compromising on a product because it offers the out-of-the-box connectivity you need. You can also easily integrate new technologies as they become available;
  • Capitalise on the benefits of a cloud-based infrastructure, moving files to and from the cloud securely and integrating with applications to deliver onward business processes.

More on MFT and Digital Transformation

You can find out more about this technology in our White Paper, Enablers of Digital Transformation: MFT & Data Integration. You will get a clear understanding of the role Managed File Transfer plays in delivering all aspects of your data strategy, improving operational processes and security by integrating business applications.

Need further expertise? Download our FREE resources

Personal data transfers across international borders: What changes with Brexit?

Personal data transfers across international borders: What changes with Brexit?

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There’s a lot of uncertainty about how and when the UK will leave the EU. This blog and downloadable guide help businesses prepare for handling personal data in the event of a no deal.

Businesses moving personal data in or out of the UK currently do so under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK Data Protection Act 2018. The GDPR offers harmonised data protection rules, and regulates data transfers from the EU to the rest of the world.

If the UK leaves the EU without agreeing arrangements for data protection – ie: in a no deal Brexit – there would be no immediate change in the UK’s own data protection standards. This is because the Data Protection Act 2018 would remain in place and the EU Withdrawal Act would incorporate the GDPR into UK law to sit alongside it. However when organisations transfer data into the UK, there are some changes you need to be aware of.

We’ve been in contact with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and have produced a downloadable guide to help businesses prepare in the event of a no deal exit from the EU. The key points are summarised below.

Regardless of whether your business is affected, we would strongly urge you to review how you transfer personal data. Nearly one year on from when the GDPR came into force, there are still many businesses out there emailing personal data, using consumer grade transfer tools and other processes that risk a compliance breach.

Summary

  • The same stringent regulation will remain in place to protect UK residents’ personal data being transferred to the countries either within the European Economic Area (EEA) or beyond.
  • Organisations based in the EEA can transfer data to the UK, as long as they make alternative safeguards in line with GDPR.
  • Organisations elsewhere in the world will need to comply with their own data protection regulations in order to transfer data to the UK. Arrangements are being made with countries who have an EU adequacy agreement (deemed adequate), but if countries don’t deem the UK adequate by the time we leave the EU they will need to make use of alternative mechanisms in their own law in order to continue to transfer personal data to the UK.
  • There are specific recommendations for UK businesses providing goods or services in the EU/EEA but without a presence in an EU Member State, or with headquarters in the UK but with operations in the EU and processing personal data across EU/EEA borders.

For more information, download the resource – Data protection guidelines for businesses in a no-deal exit from the EU – from the Pro2col resource portal.

 

If you have any questions about how to transfer personal data, our experts can help you. Get in touch now to arrange a call. We have been providing secure data transfer solutions to businesses for over 15 years, transforming their infrastructure, increasing productivity, collaboration, data security and streamlining processes.

Need further expertise? Download our FREE resources