Which Secure File Transfer Solution Is Right for You?

Which Secure File Transfer Solution Is Right for You?

Posted on October 15, 2018 0 Comments

You likely already realize that file transfers using the file transfer protocol (FTP) expose your sensitive data to high risks.

Along the file-sharing transfer journey, there’s a lot that can go wrong:

  • Personal data stored in files is often left unencrypted.
  • Out-of-date security patches provide easy access to cybercriminals.
  • Desktop users often circumvent IT and send personal data over unsecured connections.
  • No control over permissions exposes user credentials.
  • Lack of tamper-evident audit logs creates risks of unauthorized transfers going unnoticed.

When using FTP, data in transit is always data at risk while data in transmission presents an opportunity for interception. Unauthorized access can also occur when data is stored for download onto a transfer server. And there’s always the chance of files being delivered to an unintended recipient or mishandled by end users that receive the files. An added layer of management and security controls needs to be added to FTP systems before you can safely use them to exchange sensitive data.

So now that you’re ready to deploy a secure file transfer solution, the question becomes…which one?

Ipswitch offers several secure file transfer solutions, and in this blog we highlight WS_FTP Server vs. MOVEit Transfer. We will demonstrate the strengths of each solution to help you decide which is best for your situation.

Ipswitch WS_FTP Server Overview

FTP Server

With a 20+ years proven track record for reliably transferring and protecting confidential information in security-sensitive industries, Ipswitch WS_FTP Server has become the trusted choice for file transfer for many of our customers. The software, which is deployed internally behind firewalls, is easy-to-use and secures data in transit while integrating programmable methodologies that simplify file transfer tasks and improve efficiency.

Your IT team can improve their control and visibility over end-user file transfer activities by implementing safeguards against information leaks and data breaches, and they can easily add servers to your network as capacity requirements increase. IT can also secure the company’s most sensitive data by leveraging a wide range of enhanced security measures:

  • SHA-2
  • FIPS-140-2
  • SCP2
  • 256-bit AES encryption over SSL
  • OpenSSL 1.0.2k
  • TLS 1.2 

Your end users will also appreciate WS_FTP Server for its ability to improve their productivity when sharing files with colleagues, customers and business partners. Intuitive ad-hoc and web transfer modules provide a simple workflow for sharing files through email, instant messenger and thumb drives. The solution also ensures uninterrupted file transfer service through increased uptime and performance reliability.

Ipswitch MOVEit Transfer Overview

Managed File Transfer

If you are looking at serious volumes of bulk data transfers as an integral part of a critical business process – you may need to focus on our MOVEit product line. Ipswitch MOVEit is a managed file transfer solution that adds additional layers of reliability, tracking, security and auditability that let you sleep easy knowing that mission critical transfers are being delivered when they are supposed to be and are secure. MOVEit gives you the option of deploying secure file transfer services in the cloud or on-premises—either outside your firewall for added network protection or inside your firewall if you need to integrate with a file transfer gateway. In addition to the same security features that WS_FTP Server provides, MOVEit Transfer logs activities in a tamper-evident database. This streamlines the process for complying with major regulations, standards and data privacy laws:

  •  ISO 27001
  • GDPR
  • SOX
  • FIPS
  • GLBA
  • ITAR

Ipswitch has also built in additional features to support your security and compliance efforts. For example, user access can be securely controlled via multi-factor authentication and user-class password expiration policies. MOVEit Transfer also supports secure folder sharing, making it simple for internal and external users to safely collaborate while the system maintains a complete audit trail.

From an integration perspective, MOVEit Transfer can connect to your data loss prevention, anti-virus, identity access, and SIEM systems. You can also integrate the software with Active Directory and LDAP services.

Additionally MOVEit Transfer offers API interfaces (including REST) for integration with other third-party applications. The flexible architecture supports scalability and availability demands with a web farm implementation, and domain-based or username multi-tenancy configurations are also supported.

End users also receive additional benefits—through a broad range of access options, including mobile, Web and Outlook. They can also execute simple drag-and-drop desktop transfers from Windows and Mac devices.

Side-by-Side Comparison of WS_FTP Server and MOVEit Transfer Comparison


          WS_FTP Server


           MOVEit Transfer


Solution Type

·  Deployed internally (behind firewall)

·  On-premise and SaaS (cloud) deployment options

·  Deploy externally (outside firewall) for added network protection

·  Deploy internally (inside firewall) when integrated with gateway

Transfer Volume

·  Large # of transfers           

·  Large volumes with no file size limits


·  Secure email and web access

·  Data encryption for files in-motion     

·  Securely encrypt data at rest/in motion

·  Ensures no data in DMZ

·  Integrates with anti-virus, DLP, SIEM

Audit Support for Compliance

·  N/A

·  Tamper-evident logs

·  Consistent reporting format across all FTP systems

·  Compliance with data protection regulations (HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR)

Control and Visibility

·  AD and LDAP integration

·  Server logs capture all file activity

·  Automatic alerts and notifications

·  Granular access controls (i.e. role-based access control)

·  Track where files are

·  Robust reporting and dashboards


·  Reliable delivery

·  Failover configuration for high availability

·  Guaranteed delivery

·  File integrity checks and non-repudiation

·  Automatically re-send failed transfers

·  High availability for improved performance

·  Failover for disaster recovery

Making the Choice

For your organization, the choice of WS_FTP Server or MOVEit Transfer will likely come down to three key factors:

  • Do you need file transfer audit trails for proving compliance with regulations?
  • Do you have a significant volume of mission critical file transfers with external partners?
  • Do you have multiple locations so that giving users access to secure file transfer via the cloud would be more practicable?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then MOVEit Transfer is likely the better choice. But with either WS_FTP Server vs. MOVEit Transfer, you can rest assured that your end users can move files securely and reliably so that they can work more efficiently while also protecting your digital assets.

If you would like to try both solutions to be certain of the right choice, WS_FTP Server and MOVEit Transfer are both available for free trials. And for more information, be sure to visit our website. We also invite you to see what one of our strategic partners has to say on the 5 Reasons to Consider Moving From WS_FTP Server to MOVEit?

Kevin Conklin

Kevin joined Ipswitch in 2015 and leads the company’s product and content marketing practices. He is widely recognized for his product marketing accomplishments in information technologies. He is a serial startup executive having played instrumental roles in the success of such companies as for Prelert, VKernel, Mazu Networks and Smarts, Inc. and has been instrumental to the success of these IT management technology companies. Kevin is also the co-host of the PICNIC Podcast live show (https://picnic-podcast.com/), sharing experiences and best practices, providing a voice of expertise, and educating IT professionals with the latest technology challenges.


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