8 secure file transfer services for the enterprise

The means to securely share and synchronize information throughout techniques is a cornerstone of enterprise IT. Millions of transfers happen day-after-day, involving information of all kinds, sizes and buildings.

At its most elementary, file transfer know-how strikes information from one system to a different system over a community. Unfortunately, legacy file transfer mechanisms, akin to e mail and FTP, have traditionally lacked built-in security features.

Today’s organizations want confidence that file transfers is not going to compromise their information’s confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA), the main necessities of data safety. The stakes are particularly excessive in large-scale enterprises, the place large quantities of probably delicate data continually transfer amongst inner and exterior customers and techniques. Secure file transfer services purpose to guard a company’s information whereas shifting it from level A to level B.

How secure file transfer works

Secure file transfer services all have a typical method to defending information: access control.

How this entry management is achieved might range extensively amongst lessons of merchandise, to not point out particular person merchandise inside every class. But the fundamental concept is that there’s some type of shared secret between the sender and the recipient. It might be so simple as a hard-to-guess URL transferred through e mail or an agreed-upon password. Or it might be as advanced as integration with an enterprise identity and access management system. This shared secret is used to encrypt the file earlier than it’s transferred from the sender to the recipient. After getting the encrypted file, the recipient’s pc makes use of the shared secret to decrypt the file.

To meet the CIA necessities of as we speak’s enterprises, secure file transfer services want a two-pronged method:

  1. Secure information. The information itself ought to have embedded safety. Encryption, for instance, ensures nobody else on a community can entry, learn or modify the contents of a file because it strikes between techniques.
  2. Secure supply. Secure file transfer additionally entails some type of dependable supply, even when it is simply supplied by TCP/IP Secure file transfer services use quite a lot of protocols and requirements, starting from established ones, akin to Secure FTP (SFTP) and AES, to vendor-specific proprietary protocols.

Types of secure file transfer services

The most elementary secure file transfer services, akin to these based mostly on Secure Copy Protocol (SCP), have command-line interfaces solely, making them greatest suited for IT quite than finish customers. They supply few options however are comparatively cheap to arrange and use, in comparison with different lessons of file transfer techniques. Some take into account this kind of transfer advantageous as a result of the group maintains full management, with no third-party — e.g., cloud supplier — involvement.

Secure file transfer services based mostly on SFTP are sometimes extra feature-rich than these based mostly on SCP. SFTP-based file transfers typically have GUIs out there, which make them simpler to make use of. In basic, nevertheless, each SCP- and SFTP-based techniques lack lots of the options of extra subtle file transfer techniques.

Another IT system that allows file transfer safety is the file internet hosting service. Originally supposed for end-user collaboration, file hosting services additionally sometimes supply entry management and encryption options that allow a consumer to e mail a hyperlink to an individual that grants them secure entry to a file hosted on the service.

The most superior sort of file transfer platform as we speak is managed file transfer (MFT). Secure file transfers sometimes work straight between a sender and a recipient. In distinction, MFT gives an middleman system, which can be a devoted server inside the group’s amenities or a cloud-provided service. The file travels from the sender to the MFT repository, the place it’s strictly protected via entry management measures, together with encryption of the saved file. The transfer to the recipient from the MFT repository happens at a later time. This isolates the sender’s system from the recipient’s system and in addition permits simpler monitoring and monitoring of repository and transfer utilization by all events.

Email additionally gives fundamental file transfer capabilities and may, subsequently, be encrypted for safety. Email encryption products can help giant file transfers via e mail messages.

Secure file transfer service options

Organizations investing in secure file transfer services ought to take into account whether or not they want the following superior options, that are sometimes out there with MFT offerings and, typically, from different sorts of file transfer services as properly:

  • Auditing. Audit logs present detailed exercise and efficiency information that organizations can use to display compliance with information privateness requirements and rules. This is very essential if personally identifiable data, akin to monetary or well being information, is in play.

    Legacy file transfer strategies, akin to SCP, have traditionally lacked auditing options. File internet hosting services sometimes supply at the very least some file transfer auditing capabilities, whereas most MFT platforms present complete audit logs.

  • Automated scheduling. Secure file transfer services supply a variety of scheduling capabilities. Basic performance would possibly imply a consumer can schedule the transfer of a sure file for a selected time.

    More subtle techniques may also intelligently stagger the transfer of information that aren’t time-critical to scale back calls for on bandwidth or processing. By managing useful resource use, this clever scheduling can save the group cash and stop inadvertent denials of service.

8 enterprise-level secure file transfer services

The following part lists eight of the prime enterprise-level secure file transfer services. These merchandise supply quite a lot of options, starting from fundamental to superior.

1. Box Business

Box product page

Type: File internet hosting service

Delivery: SaaS. Accessible through a browser-based UI; non-obligatory native software obtain for desktops and cellular gadgets.

OSes: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows

Protocols and requirements supported: TLS, passive FTP/FTP Secure/Explicit FTPS (Business and Enterprise tiers solely; vendor doesn’t advocate FTP/FTPS/FTPES as main entry methodology). Active FTP will not be supported.

Features: Active Directory (AD) and single sign-on (SSO); audit logging; cloud storage; enterprise-friendly design; file synchronization and versioning; HIPAA and FedRAMP compliance (Enterprise tier); integrations with Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Slack and 1,500+ different enterprise apps; menace detection (Enterprise Plus tier); workflow automation.

Max file dimension: 150 GB (Enterprise Plus tier)

2. Citrix ShareFile

Citrix product page

Type: MFT

Delivery: SaaS. Accessible through a browser-based UI; non-obligatory native software obtain for desktops and cellular gadgets.

OSes: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows

Protocols and requirements supported: TLS/SSL, FTP/FTPS.

Features: AD integration; SSO; exercise logging; superior safety features, together with distant gadget lock and wipe choices; cloud access security broker integration for data loss prevention; centralized administration platform; encrypted e mail (Advanced+ tiers); enterprise-friendly design; file synchronization and versioning; integration with Microsoft 365; HIPAA compliance configuration (Premium tier); plugins for Gmail and Outlook (Advanced+ tiers); limitless cloud storage.

Max file dimension: 100 GB (Advanced and Premium tiers)

3. IBM Sterling Secure File Transfer

IBM product page

Type: MFT

Delivery: Containerized software program. Deployed on enterprise-grade servers, both on premises, in the cloud or hybrid.

OSes: Linux, Linux on IBM Z, macOS, a number of Unix platforms, Windows

Protocols and requirements supported: Applicability Statement 2 (AS2), FTP, FTPS, Odette FTP 2 (OFTP2), Pretty Good Privacy, SFTP

Features: Automated inbound and outbound file transfers that work throughout protocols; file synchronization; clever, centralized administration platform; RESTful APIs that help third-party integrations; scalable providing that helps a variety of B2B file transfer necessities, for small companies, midsize companies and enormous enterprises.

Max file dimension: Depends on the protocol: AS2 (2 GB), FTP (10 GB), FTPS (10 GB), OFTP2 (5 GB), SFTP (10 GB)

4. pCloud Business

pCloud product page

Type: File internet hosting service

Delivery: SaaS. Accessible through a browser-based UI; non-obligatory native software obtain for desktops and cellular gadgets.

OSes: Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows

Protocols and requirements supported: TLS/SSL, AES-256; non-obligatory extra encryption makes use of 4,096-bit RSA for customers’ personal keys and 256-bit AES for per-file and per-folder keys

Features: Activity logging; cost-effective; help for enterprise-scale necessities; non-obligatory zero-knowledge client-side encryption; choice to encrypt or not encrypt particular person information; file sharing, synchronization and versioning; information backups; digital asset administration; team-by-team and user-by-user entry management; limitless cloud storage.

Max file dimension: No restrict

5. Peer Global File Service

Peer product page

Type: Cloud-based distributed file management service

Delivery: SaaS. Management hub is accessible through native software or browser. Software set up required for each administration hub and brokers.

OSes: Linux, Windows

  • Management hub — Linux or Windows devoted server
  • Agents — Windows file servers

Protocols and requirements supported: TCP/IP, TLS/SSL

Features: Automated giant file transfers; help for multisite file sharing throughout cloud, hybrid and on-premises environments; integrations with all main storage platforms; central administration console; complete exercise logs; AD integration; file synchronization; anomalous event detection.

Max file dimension: No restrict

6. Resilio Connect

Resilio product page

Type: Peer-to-peer (P2P) file transfer and synchronization service

Delivery: SaaS. Software set up required for each administration console and endpoint brokers. Browser-based UI.


  • Management console — CentOS, Linux, macOS, Ubuntu, Unix, Windows
  • Agents — Android, FreeBSD, Linux, macOS, Windows

Protocols and requirements supported: Proprietary P2P protocol based mostly on BitTorrent

Features: Audit logging; help for transferring or replicating hundreds of thousands of information throughout a number of areas and various networks and techniques; automated, clever scheduling; central administration console; integrations with different enterprise IT instruments; file sharing, synchronization and versioning; job prioritization; cloud storage help; distant endpoint agent upgrades; efficient for giant, multilocation enterprises; can scale to help 1000’s of endpoints and hundreds of thousands of information.

Max file dimension: No restrict

7. SpiderOak CrossClave

SpiderOak product page

Type: File internet hosting service

Delivery: Hosted and on-premises choices. Local software set up required. Browser-based entry out there however discouraged by the vendor for security reasons.

OSes: Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows

Protocols and requirements supported: Private blockchain platform working on proprietary distributed ledger technology; Commercial National Security Algorithm Suite

Features (Pro tier): Zero-knowledge end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in desktop and cellular apps however not browser-based internet entry; HIPAA-compliant; cost-effective; cloud storage; file sharing and versioning; information backups; point-in-time restoration; help for enterprise purposes.

Max file dimension: No onerous restrict on file dimension when sharing, backing up or syncing. The vendor recommends limiting particular person information to 10 GB or much less for backup and three GB or much less when synchronizing, nevertheless.

8. Tresorit

Tresorit product page

Type*: Cloud storage and file internet hosting service

Delivery: SaaS. Accessible through desktop software, cellular software and a browser-based UI.

OSes: Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows

Protocols and requirements supported: TLS; proprietary cryptography protocols; AES-256

Features: Zero-knowledge E2EE, together with browser-based entry; Gmail and Outlook integrations; enterprise software help; file synchronizing and versioning; encrypted cloud storage; compliant with HIPAA and GDPR (Business Plus and Enterprise tiers).

Max file dimension: 20 GB (Enterprise tier)

*Tresorit has a free, standalone file transfer app referred to as Tresorit Send, which incorporates E2EE. Users can add as much as 100 information at a time, so long as they do not exceed 5 GB. Recipients can obtain a shared file solely 10 occasions, in complete.

Each of the above secure file transfer services gives a variety of options. Pricing varies, with tiered choices starting from single consumer to multilocation enterprise.

How to decide on a secure file transfer service

The following listing presents steerage on deciding on the applicable system for file transfer necessities:

  1. Review enterprise necessities. Data management groups ought to periodically focus on know-how necessities with enterprise unit leaders and senior administration. This helps establish doable developments and put together IT for any particular occasions, akin to mergers.
  2. Review historic efficiency information. Analyze information from present file transfer techniques to flag metrics and establish developments which may inform the choice course of.
  3. Prepare forecasts of file transfer and different IT developments. Use historic efficiency information to generate forecasts, which will be invaluable when making ready for a change in a serious IT system. Compelling forecast information may also help justify expensive future investments.
  4. Discuss secure file transfer services with different IT leaders. It is beneficial to talk with IT leaders in different organizations to see what they use for file transfers and the way their experiences have been.
  5. Research and look at out there techniques. Vet appropriate file transfer system candidates, together with present distributors.
  6. Prepare a request for proposal (RFP). If a aggressive bid is advisable, put together a proper RFP that specifies the group’s present file transfer actions, plus short-, medium- and long-term wants. The RFP ought to embody the necessities for a service-level settlement.
  7. Send out the RFP, and take into account having a bidders’ convention. It is typically helpful to assemble bidders in individual or by video convention to debate the RFP and to get a really feel for every vendor and its dedication to service and help.
  8. Select the greatest product, and provoke a venture plan. Once the new or up to date system has been chosen, full the essential paperwork, and put together a venture plan to facilitate the set up, testing, acceptance and rollout of the new system.
  9. Organize and conduct consumer coaching. Working with the vendor, put together and ship coaching to all staff on the new system.
  10. Complete acceptance testing previous to official rollout. This ensures that the new system performs as acknowledged and that customers are snug with it.

Use the software development lifecycle as a framework for deciding on and implementing a brand new file transfer system. Once the system is in manufacturing, set common occasions to evaluate and audit the system’s efficiency, and transient administration on the findings.


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