What does there and back transfer mean

What is Managed File Transfer (MFT)?

Secure and reliable electronic transmission of data

Managed File Transfer (MFT) definition

Managed file transfer is a technology that is offered as a software platform, but is also available as a cloud service. It enables organizations to securely and reliably exchange (often sensitive) data of any size electronically. MFT comprises software technologies that secure, control, document and automate the entire process of electronic data exchange. These file transfers can take place inside or outside a company. MFT enables the transmission of structured or unstructured data of various types, including sensitive, compliance-related or even very large amounts of data.

MFT enables organizations to replace insecure methods of file transfer such as standard file transfer protocol (FTP), email, or popular but often insecure Internet file sharing services.

Overview of managed file transfer

Unstructured data exchange without MFT technology

Without MFT software, you have neither overview nor control when exchanging unstructured data such as contracts, drawings, reports, employee information, project data, customer and supplier data, etc., which harbors high security and compliance risks.

Organizations still use FTP or email far too often to transfer sensitive files. Our blog, Risks and Side Effects of FTP and Email for Transferring Sensitive Files, explains why you should absolutely avoid this.

In the past few years, file sharing services for personal use have become very popular. Find out in our blog "File sharing services - file security is only half the battle ..." why they are not up to the file transfer requirements in companies.

Secure and consolidated data exchange with MFT technology

By using MFT, companies can consolidate all data transfers on a central, monitored communication platform. MFT enables the secure exchange of critical business data with business partners, systems and applications - and all of this with an audit trail. This effectively prevents data manipulation and loss, which is particularly important for unstructured business data (e.g. contracts, drawings, reports, employee information, project data, customer and supplier data, etc.).

With MFT, companies can not only eliminate the risks of insecure and inefficient data transmission. You can also reduce your operating costs by using a single central solution. At the same time, the MFT solution provides an overview of which potentially sensitive data has been forwarded to where or to whom, internally or externally - whether intentionally or not - and thus enables an appropriate and timely response.

MFT also supports companies in complying with their own data protection regulations (company guidelines) as well as industry-specific compliance requirements. These include, for example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) for financial data and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for health data in the United States and also the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a regulation in EU law on data protection and to protect privacy in the European Union (EU) and in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Learn more about the importance of security and compliance in these blogs:

Protection of personal data - even the most trustworthy companies and authorities fail

One year General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - interim balance sheet for secure B2B data exchange


The benefits of managed file transfer

Many business processes involve the electronic exchange of business information, i.e. information that is exchanged either within the company or with business partners such as customers, suppliers or service providers.

Reliable and secure electronic transmission of sensitive data is critical to business success. Safe MFT solutions offer the following advantages:

  • Efficiency
    Faster and more efficient transmission of any structured or unstructured data of any size with guaranteed delivery, regardless of country or industry-specific standards.
  • security
    Comprehensive end-to-end encryption for data in transit and at rest.
  • authenticity
    The electronic signature ensures the authenticity of the sender and the integrity of the transmission.
  • control
    Central management and access control: data transfers are centrally managed, including automation, monitoring and management of access rights. Any unauthorized access to electronic files is prevented by the assignment of roles and access rights and user authentication.
  • Legal Compliance
    Enables the company-wide implementation of data protection and security guidelines as well as compliance with all legal and industry-specific regulations such as B. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), Basel II, Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and others.
  • visibility
    File activities such as data movement and access are always transparent and traceable so that companies can anticipate risks and initiate proactive problem solving.

Learn more about the business benefits of MFT in the following blogs:

5 ways secure managed file transfer can improve your business

Certainly compliant - IT security that pays off

The correct use of managed file transfer in the company

Beyond SFTP: 5 Ways Secure Managed File Transfer Can Improve Your Business.

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Scenario 1: internal file transfer, secure distribution of sensitive files "system to people"

Instead of investing in a digital payroll solution just to distribute payroll information to employees, an MFT solution can do this job, ensuring process automation, secure communication and compliance.

Scenario 2: External file transfer, secure distribution of sensitive files "system to people"

The best and most efficient way for an electronic order process is still in most cases the structured B2B / EDI data exchange. However, smaller providers are often reluctant to invest in such technologies. With MFT, companies can also establish an electronic ordering process with very small suppliers without them having to invest in new technologies.

An MFT-based solution automates the ordering process, offers a high level of transparency, allows necessary additional documents (e.g. sensitive technical files) and integrates the applications involved (here ERP and archive applications).

Do you want to find out more? Check out our blogs covering many more use cases:

Product development - protecting your intellectual property (IP) right from the start

Engineering: Collaborative product development and data exchange in mechanical engineering and other technical industries

Key criteria when choosing an MFT solution

Most of the products or cloud services on the market today support MFT core functions. However, to get the full benefit from MFT, organizations should carefully review the supported "enterprise functions" as detailed below.

The key requirements for an MFT solution

A managed file transfer solution should meet the following key requirements:

  • reliability
    Outdated solutions like FTP, which were developed around 40 years ago, are unable to deal with the changing / dynamic modern IT environments that we use today - modern MFT solutions can.
  • security
    E-mail and unsecured FTP channels send data unencrypted and can therefore be compromised, as can physical media in the mail - MFT solutions cannot.
  • Efficiency
    What is the best way to organize the multitude of secure file transfer requirements from different business units? Certainly not by giving these areas the freedom to choose "their" software tool themselves. A central MFT solution ensures transparency, compliance and self-service options for all business areas.

Choose MFT solutions that also support enterprise MFT functions:

When selecting a new MFT solution for widespread use within an organization, the following points should also be taken into account in addition to these core requirements. Let us take a closer look at the requirements that are really necessary to solve the overall problem (far more than just file transfer). A comprehensive solution must also address the following questions:

MFT requirement for companiesWhy is that important?
Seamless integration into internal systems / applicationsTypically, companies have various internal systems and applications in which their MFT data needs to go back and forth. A wide range of ERP / API / EAI adapters can then ensure that all can be integrated smoothly.
Minimize the effort involved in integrating a large number of external partners that are to be connected.A large number of external partners often have to send / receive sensitive MFT data. Without the right tool, onboarding would take a lot of effort and time. An onboarding portal solves this problem.
Self-service capabilities for specialist departments and external partnersSelf-service capabilities for internal departments and for external partners (for onboarding and for changes that are necessary later) not only minimize the effort, but also accelerate the processes.
Secure connections to systems that do not have modern interfaces.Not all internal systems / applications have directly accessible interfaces. In such cases, the MFT solutions must provide such communication endpoints.
Ensure governance and compliance for all confidential data transfersOnly a comprehensive enterprise MFT platform ensures that it is transparent who did what and when. The use of isolated "island solutions" for each new MFT requirement requires "a further integration layer"

Therefore, when choosing a new MFT solution, companies should prefer a comprehensive integration platform. Solutions such as the MFT solution from SEEBURGER are part of a comprehensive, comprehensive integration platform: the SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite.

Find out more about how SEEBURGER Enterprise solves MFT requirements and how you can ensure the secure transfer of sensitive files with the help of processes and automation.

SEEBURGER MFT ensures full integration with all your internal and external data sources, systems and applications - customers, suppliers, partners, service providers and other endpoints that you need to connect to move your business forward. With more than 70 supported protocols, the SEEBURGER MFT solution ensures that you can replace your various FTP servers, older file transfer systems and individual solutions with a single platform.

Modernize your data transfer with SEEBURGER MFT - available as a software solution or as a complete cloud service. This gives you support for multiple file transfer patterns - automated between systems and ad hoc file transfer - on a centralized file transfer technology.

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