What is Cloud Managed File Transfer (MFT), and 12 Reasons You Should Care About the Answer

What is Cloud Managed File Transfer (MFT), and 12 Reasons You Should Care About the Answer

Posted on April 06, 2022 0 Comments

Complex applications have proven to work superbly well in the cloud. After all, just ask Salesforce. Likewise, your file transfer system can adapt to the cloud, reap the benefits of less IT work and, no matter where they are, simply reach end users.

Managed File Transfer solutions can be had as on-premises or a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). With the SaaS approach, IT has all the features of on-premises, without almost none of the IT hassles or infrastructure costs such as servers and in-house storage devices.

Why Managed File Transfer?

Before we jump into cloud, let us first justify the value of Managed File Transfer itself. Every organization the least bit modern must transfer files, which happens amongst users, corporate locations, customers, clients and partners, suppliers and myriad others.

Many of these file transfers are core to a central operational process. Think of a law firm sharing legal documents with clients, opposing counsel and the court system itself. Others have high-volume transfers of confidential information such as when a bank processes checks. These processes benefit from the efficiency and bulletproof nature of automated transfers.

Organizations with large volume demands gravitate towards two different types of solutions: traditional FTP servers and Managed File Transfer.

FTP solutions have been around for decades, tend to be inexpensive, but invariably lack security features and controls to meet operational or regulatory compliance requirements. Learn more in our What is Managed File Transfer? blog.

Managed File Transfer solutions overcome all of FTP’s weak spots, and are far more robust, secure, scalable and capable—the ideal solution for shops needing compliant, efficient and foolproof file transfers.

12 Reasons Why Managed File Transfer in the Cloud Rules

In the case of Managed File Transfer, the cloud makes a good thing even better. Here are a dozen key benefits of  managed file transfer cloud:

  1. Faster Rollout – With the cloud, IT experiences instant gratification and immediate productivity without having to buy and provision servers and install software. Instead, your entire shop simply turns on a service with little to no setup and deployment.
  2. Scalable, Adaptable and Flexible – The cloud can handle your shop’s needs as they grow and change. What if a new business takes off, or you automate more file transfers and suddenly your transfer volume multiplies? No problem. You simply add more capacity on demand. Compared to on-premises, Cloud MFT offers near-immediate scalability.
  3. Pay for What You Use – On-premises applications require hardware acquisition, set up, maintenance and licenses for operating systems and application software. This is a big capital expense, and the servers and other bits of hardware depreciate as soon as they come off the truck. Contrast that with a Cloud MFT service, with a predictable monthly bill and effortless scaling. Cloud MFT eliminates all those in-house infrastructure costs and gives your IT staff time to devote to projects offering strategic and competitive benefits. And those capital expenses are replaced with predictable pay-as-you-go operating expenses.
  4. Reliability, Uptime and Peace of Mind – On-premises applications can have high availability if you have reliable hardware and failover capabilities. Otherwise, you risk troubling downtime. The cloud can be far more reliable, especially if you have a quality network and a vendor with uptime guarantees. For file transfer, an application core to your business, you should demand an SLA guaranteeing at least 99% availability—or higher. For instance,  MOVEit Cloud has a 99.9% uptime guarantee thanks to high levels of redundancy.
  5. File and Data Security – Hackers love to crack files, after all, they contain the majority of an enterprise’s confidential data. That is where a cloud-based MFT comes in. Top cloud providers have invested for years to ensure their platforms are secure and private. At the same time, these providers’ data centers must meet a growing set of international and industry-specific compliance standards and regulations such as GDPR, ISO 27001, HIPAA and PCI. Does your IT infrastructure have the same level of certification and credentials?
  6. Move to a Single Platform – Consolidating your file transfer tools into one trusted solution has never been easier, thanks to the cloud. IT teams can streamline all file transfer activities onto a single platform and achieve superior management and control over core file transfer processes.
  7. Cloud Cuts File Transfer Operational Costs – IT can reduce file transfer operating costs by 15% to 40% with Cloud Managed File Transfer. Let’s face it, it takes a fortune in capital and fixed costs to buy, install and managed servers, storage, networking, operating systems and software for a single application. That is not even counting the amount of time and effort your in-house IT team is required to spend in order to maintain and manage it all.
  8. Rapid Provisioning – With Cloud MFT, you can roll out new file transfer related business services up to 60% faster. IT can use these solutions and shrink new service provisioning lead times from months mere days—making Line of Business owners dreams come true. New services can be built quickly to serve customers, partners, service providers and supplier data exchange needs.
  9. Performance Your Company Can Depend on – Unless your file transfer servers are set up for high availability and failover, you can’t guarantee top performance or service levels. In contrast, Cloud Managed File Transfer solutions can come with strong SLAs guaranteeing availability thanks to the provider’s high-availability and failover through both primary and secondary data center hosting.
  10. Ensure Regulatory Compliance – A Cloud Managed File Transfer solution can scale to meet the diverse data transfers your business undertakes while ensuring compliance with data privacy laws such as GDPR, HIPAA and PCI.
  11. Drive Business Growth – After deploying Cloud Managed File Transfer solution, users have faster access to newly-released features and capabilities which enables you to launch new or improved services for your end customers.
  12. Streamline File Transfers – Through this single MFT solution, IT consolidates all file transfer activities onto one platform to ensure efficient management control over core business processes. Also, cloud managed file transfers enable IT to meet SLAs and cut file transfer costs while gaining end-to-end visibility, reporting and audit trails.

What to Look for in a Cloud Managed File Transfer Solution

If you are looking for a Cloud MFT, here are six must-haves for your solution:

  • Encryption in transit and at rest – Data encryption isn’t just a huge safety feature; it is a compliance requirement. When it comes to MFT, look for FIPS 140-2 validated encryption. ‘Validation’ is key. A solution may be called ‘compliant’ but hasn’t been validated by the Federal Information Processing Standards.
  • Access Control – Without access control, you can’t keep hackers from cracking a newly-purchased Managed File Transfer solution to keep those files secure in the first place. The key is a solution that offers full control over user access, permissions and centralized user authentication. Even better is having multi-factor authentication for added security and single sign-on for end user convenience.
  • Integrity Checking – Be confident that all transferred files arrive in the exact same condition as the original.
  • Intrusion Detection – If a file is compromised, you want to know immediately so, an uncorrupted version can be resent. A proper Cloud MFT solution should promptly flag changed files and report unauthorized access or login attempts.
  • Audit trails – Hackers don’t just break in; they cause all kinds of trouble once they get there. Audit trails display what an authorized user has been up to. This is ideal for forensics, and a must for compliance.
  • Reporting – File transfer visibility is vital for managing the application, achieving a high level of safety and compliance. That is why it is an absolute requirement for your MFT solution to have reporting, logging, auditing and data retention abilities. Usage reports should include bandwidth and storage for IT operations teams, bill back features for accounting including tracking usage consumed by user groups so you can allocate costs internally and online audit log retention for security forensics.

Finally, with a good Cloud MFT solution you can:

  • Do away with IT spending (or wasting) valuable time performing software and security updates.
  • Integrate MFT with in-house applications and provisioning services.
  • Adopt encryption through PCI DSS 3.1 Level 1, and use a solution certified for HIPAA, HITECH, HIPAA Omnibus compliant, and GDPR ready.

Learn More

Learn more about how MOVEit Cloud Managed File Transfer as a Service can ease the burden placed on IT while being more secure.

Doug Barney

Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.


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