What Is Secure File Transfer?
Secure file transfer is a way to protect data during transit using encryption, authentication, access controls and auditing when sharing files within or across networks. These features help businesses achieve compliance to industry standards and governance policies.
Share Files Using Secure File Transfer Protocols
Businesses share sensitive files using common protocols such as SFTP, FTPS and HTTPS. Therefore, a secure file transfer solution needs to be protocol-agnostic, meaning it can exchange a variety of files, internally or externally, regardless of protocol, file type or file size.
Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
SFTP is a network protocol that uses and relies on a secure channel such as SSH to provide secure file transfer capabilities. SFTP is one of the most used protocols for file transfers. Since Thru can act as a client or server, SFTP clients or servers can continue to be used as needed.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol over SSL (HTTPS)
HTTPS uses the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol to encrypt files. Recipients can download files directly from a web browser. HTTPS file transfers are handled by our Thru Node, which is a lightweight managed file transfer (MFT) agent.
File Transfer Protocol over SSL/TLS 1.2/1.3 (FTPS)
Like HTTPS, FTPS uses the TLS protocol to encrypt files. FTPS has two modes: one explicit and one implicit. Administrators choose between the modes based on their file security requirements and partners’ requirements.
Top Methods of Encrypting File Transfers
The best way to protect files is complete end-to-end encryption (E2EE): Files are encrypted at the file level in addition to using encrypted protocols during transit and storage encryption at rest.
File Payload Encryption
How are file payloads secured?
Encrypt files all the way to its destination using the OpenPGP standard, based on Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) software. Thru’s MFT solution supports customer creation, import and management of keys and tokens.
Data Encryption in Transit
How is data in transit secured?
Data Encryption at Rest
How is data at rest secured in the cloud?
All files stored in Thru cloud platform are encrypted by AES 256-bit FIPS-compliant encryption with redundant and transparent policy and cryptographic key management.
How SFTP and MFT Work Together to Deliver Files
SFTP Secures Files
SFTP has become synonymous with secure file transfer. SFTP servers are ubiquitously used by organizations to exchange files with partners. Relying just on SFTP alone may be adequate for some types of file transfers, but sensitive, business-critical file transactions require additional enterprise-grade protection, control and visibility.
MFT Adds Control to SFTP Transfers
An MFT solution enhances secure file sharing by providing this required functionality. MFT is a file transfer system that utilizes multiple protocols including SFTP and is able to act as a client or server to enable push or pull connectivity between the MFT system and its endpoints. Readily available capabilities of MFT include comprehensive end-to-end security; tracking, logging and retention settings; and high availability.
Monitoring, Alerts, Audit & Logging
Monitor the “who, what, where and when” of file transfers: Thru records granular details of all file transfer activity, user actions, metadata and any changes to records in the system.
Alerts are generated when issues are encountered. Users or administrators can elect to receive alerts and notifications.
An administrator can easily produce an audit trail for all files that pass through our secure file transfer solution. Current and historical alerts and logs can be viewed in dashboards, manually downloaded or consumed over APIs.
Compliance and Standards
As sharing data electronically continues to grow so does the number of regulations requiring stricter data security and privacy protection. Our MFT solution provides a proven means for businesses to achieve their goals of remaining compliant and strengthening data security. Corporate governance policies and industry security standards place additional requirements on data sharing and file transfers that our MFT service is designed to meet. Thru has several features to help achieve compliance, including
- Encryption in transit and at rest
- Role-based access controls
- Multi-level retention policies
- Audit and logging
Cloud & Application Security
To mitigate security breaches and protect file transfers from potential threats such as hackers and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, a zero trust approach across multiple levels of security is in place, including
- Antivirus scanning
- Access controls
How To Find Best File Sharing Solution
To find the best solution to securely transfer files, look for a comprehensive MFT solution with core functionality that includes
- End-to-end encryption to protect sensitive information.
- Advanced authentication to validate identities of users and connections—human, API, application and system.
- Role-based access controls (RBAC) to prevent unauthorized users from modifying endpoints or workflows.
- Multiple endpoints to programmatically transfer files.