Data breach after data breach has rightly spurred a reaction from the business community. As organisations look to mitigate these concerns by investing in more security tools they will inevitably struggle to make sense of an increasingly competitive and varied market. Handling sensitive data while trying to facilitate compliance and maintain security is a top priority for many. Ultimately every organisation that manages sensitive data faces the same concern: keeping it safe.
Managing file transfers is just one aspect to security and compliance, but can go a long way to keep sensitive data safe. Whether organisations choose a cloud, on premise, or hybrid solution, the end result is more security and less chance of data being breached in transit. On-premise deployment models appeal to some because of added confidence in security and compliance; data lives in-house, whereas cloud solutions are often easier to scale and more appealing in the face of budget constraints and manpower limitations.
No matter how your organisation operates, determining your file transfer needs is critical to ensuring you pick the right solution and ultimately the most security. Here are five steps to help make the right choice.
Identify the why
Before committing to a managed file transfer deployment model, it is important to define the business needs and priorities.
Examples of questions that should be asked in an organisation include :
- What processes or departments will use the managed file transfer solution?
- How many files are being transferred on any given day?
- Are there peak periods when an organization would transfer more data than normal?
Determining these specific needs will allow an organisation to evaluate the capacity they require and support necessary to allow for the safe passage of information. It is equally important that any deployment model integrates effectively with other software and processes. If a tool is not easy to use and integrated, your staff won’t use it.
Rank your data
Ranking data helps to understand the level of security necessary to protect particular aspects of an enterprise. For example, there’s little point spending £100 protecting £10 worth of data. Maybe there are particular departments in your organisation, such as finance, that require greater security than others?
The process of ranking data involves matching the purpose of file transfer technology (e.g. it will be used to share sales documents with remote workers in the field) with the types of data that will be transferred. Consider what permissions are necessary for everyday business processes, and how much of that data is sensitive in nature. The process will make clearer how to approach tightening data security across an organisation.
Compliance can’t be ignored
One inherent benefit to deploying managed file transfer solutions, whether deployed on-premise, via the cloud, or both, is the ability to better meet compliance directives and regulations. However, different organisations and industries are required to meet separate sets of standards, therefore, it is essential to explore security features and capabilities of your chosen solution or solutions in depth. Organisations must confirm whether products are capable of providing the right level of security and compliance coverage at the same time.
Address level of security required
As with any security product, controls are built into file transfer technology, but it’s important to understand the specific level of features offered.
For organisations operating in highly regulated industries, or those looking to have a strong security infrastructure in place to mitigate against threats, additional security may be required. Different options meet different requirements. There is little point in purchasing a product that isn’t going to be secure enough.
Prepare for cloud based file transfers
Even if a cloud managed file transfer deployment isn’t something that your organisation is considering at this time, it is important to understand the benefits that the cloud offers. Mixing a cloud with an existing on-premise deployment may give you the best of both worlds: the accessibility and cost efficiency of the cloud, with the security and control of on-premise.
In addition, it is highly likely that other businesses, service providers and customers you work alongside are going to be using cloud based solutions, so being able to meet their demands in order to foster collaboration is critical.
IT security is becoming more complicated, but breaking it down and establishing exact requirements can simplify the whole process of determining needs and choosing providers. Taking these steps and working to build up your knowledge will make it considerably easier to make decisions on the tools right for you, and in the long run make you more secure.