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SECURE YOUR CLOUD DATA 

Whether you are already moving select pieces of your business to the cloud, just starting the cloud conversation, or are considering establishing a hybrid environment, you're in good company. Organisations move to the cloud in some fashion for its flexibility, scalability, and faster deployment.

However, there is still hesitancy in adapting cloud technology due to security concerns as well as compliance requirements, and a lack of visibility and control.

A 2023 Cloud Security Report, which surveyed the challenges and priorities of more than 750 cybersecurity professionals, found that 39% of respondents already have more than half of their workloads in the cloud, and 58% planned to get to that level in the next 12–18 months. However, Cloud security continues to be a significant concern, with 95% of surveyed organisations concerned about their security posture in public cloud environments.

In this article, we explore how a robust Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution can help protect your data transfers, in transit and at rest, without compromising the convenience or cost-effectiveness of moving your business to a cloud-based environment.

Cloud File Transfers

Most organisations oversee dozens (if not hundreds or thousands) of in-house file transfers a day. Whether it’s sending files to employees, transferring reports to trading partners, receiving data from third-party vendors, or collecting sensitive information from customers, it’s all part of the exchange of information that is regularly processed.

Where do cloud-based file transfers fit in?

Cloud infrastructure can give companies a lot of leeway. Some data can be managed in the cloud, or all of it can be — the choice is entirely up to you. Moving data to the cloud can be as simple as transferring files and folders to whatever storage platform you use with your provider. And with strong encryption and security policies in place, you can control who has access to that business-critical, sensitive data in the cloud.

Data that’s been entrusted to the cloud is kept in physical servers and data centres managed by cloud computing services. Almost all file movement between a business, its employees, its trading partners, and its remote locations can happen through the cloud.

Sensitive information can move quickly and efficiently between the business and wherever it’s stored (even on servers around the world), which gives organisations the ability to operate smoothly and access their data from anywhere. Because everything is stored off-site, local outages and user errors are minimised, bettering the chances that important, scheduled transfers will complete successfully.

The Current State of Cloud Data Security

For cloud computing platforms like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, security of customer data is one of their highest priorities. They have a variety of resources in place to protect their clients’ privacy, but despite their best attempts, these measures don’t always stop data loss, compromised information, or unexpected cloud server outages.

Cloud security is a two-way street. Researching each cloud provider’s cybersecurity methods and selecting the best one for your organisation is imperative — a positive step toward ensuring your data’s integrity. But it’s not the only step.

IT teams are just as responsible for the security of their sensitive business data as the cloud platforms that hold it.

Whether your organisation is thinking of deploying to the cloud or already has, you'll need to perform due diligence regarding your processes and policies. Start by asking questions like these:

  • What are our top security considerations?

  • How will our IT team processes change?

  • What vulnerabilities have been introduced or addressed from moving to the cloud?

  • Do we have points of failure that should be planned for?

  • Are cloud file transfers properly encrypted to minimise risk of data breaches?

 

Protecting Your File Transfers

Many of these questions are subjective, of course. Each IT team is likely to answer them in different ways, based on your company policies and processes. But to achieve the best possible cloud security, don’t overlook the current state of your file transfers.

Encryption is often the last line of defence between a malicious user or human error and sensitive information. If, however, data is properly secured with strong encryption protocols during transfers as well as when idle and sitting on a server, a cloud breach is far less likely to result in data exposure.

For those who must comply with regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, GLBA, PCI DSS, and SOX, following encryption requirements in the cloud comes with extra benefits — as long as the keys for encrypted data are safe, breached information can’t be read, preventing hackers from selling or otherwise exploiting your or your customers sensitive data.

File Transfers and the Cloud

When moving your data between your network and the cloud, it’s considered best practice to always encrypt your files and protect your communication using secure network protocols like SFTP, FTPS, or SCP. Your files, databases, and even entire folders should be encrypted at rest, too, whether or not the cloud platform you’ve chosen already secures it.

A common dated (and not recommended) approach to file transfers uses custom scripts created by internal programmers. The scripts often include commands for encryption, which may or may not be simple to modify, depending on your team's given skillset. While this file transfer process "can" work for a while, as it addresses basic company needs initially, as the number of file transfers rise, so does the difficulty of maintaining a  homegrown solution. And that’s not including other possible roadblocks, like an inability to handle logging capabilities or alerts when a file transfer fails.

Managed file transfer solutions provide organisations with helpful, robust features that enable them to grow with their data exchange requirements –– especially beneficial when moving to a cloud environment.

GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer

GoAnywhere MFT eliminates the need for homegrown scripts and multiple programs by streamlining the file transfer process. It can be installed in a cloud-based environment (single or multi) or on-premises via a variety of platforms, giving you full control of your deployment.

Transfers can be scheduled and automated with custom workflows (projects), and data can be sent securely between systems, employees, customers, and trading partners. Meanwhile, administrators are given a single point of control with extensive security settings, audit trails, and reports, greatly reducing the possibility of user errors and oversights.

GoAnywhere also provides high return on investment by reducing the time spent on manual labour, improving the quality of file transfers, making security more cost-effective, and helping organisations meet a variety of requirements including PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, and FISMA.

 

MFT Security and Encryption

All file transfers are protected with popular encryption protocols, including SFTP, FTPS, FTP, SCP, AS2, HTTPS, Open PGP, and ZIP with AES. In the GoAnywhere MFT solution. A built-in key manager allows administrators to create, import, export, and manage Open PGP keys, SSH keys, and SSL certificates.

And for those who must comply with FIPS 140-2, validated encryption ciphers can be enabled for SSL and SSH protocols. GoAnywhere offers connections to a variety of servers and guarantees file delivery by using connection retries and file auto-resume. Admins can monitor transfer success, review account activity, and authenticate user access from anywhere via GoAnywhere’s browser-based interface.

Beyond basic encryption practices and features, GoAnywhere also addresses several business requirements for the cloud.

 

 

 

 

GoAnywhere and Amazon EC2

For organisations that use AWS as their cloud provider, GoAnywhere MFT easily integrates with Amazon Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2). You can find, and quickly install, GoAnywhere MFT on Amazon's AWS Marketplace.

You can use GoAnywhere’s secure FTP technology to protect sensitive file transfers with strong encryption technology and modern authentication methods. This creates encrypted tunnels between client and server systems and provides confidentiality and integrity to critical transmissions. Secure FTP also protects any user credentials that flow over the connection.

Do you need to address high volumes of file transfers in your organisation? With GoAnywhere’s clustering technology, file transfers and other processes can be distributed across multiple Amazon EC2 instances for load balancing. And when an instance is taken offline, file transfers and jobs will be automatically routed to other installations in the cluster.

 

GoAnywhere and Microsoft Azure

For organisations that use Microsoft as their cloud provider, GoAnywhere integrates with Azure to provide IT teams with secure file transfers between all active parties.

Installing and running GoAnywhere MFT on Azure is an effortless process, as everything you need is included, reducing the need for additional third-party solutions. You can install GoAnywhere on your choice of Azure-supported Windows or Linux operating systems, then set up your trading partner accounts and file transfer processes.

GoAnywhere’s intuitive design and modular features allow you to be up and running on Azure quickly.

If you want to scale GoAnywhere on Azure, file transfers and other processes can be distributed across multiple Azure VM instances for load balancing. Connections to a variety of databases including Microsoft SQL Server through GoAnywhere, and user accounts can be authenticated against Microsoft Active Directory to simplify user management for your file collaboration needs.

 

Conclusion

Organisations worldwide have already, or soon will be turning their focus to the cloud. Yes, security will continue to be an issue in all configurations of technology on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid situations. And moving to the cloud isn't without risk. To help prevent data loss, IT teams must do due diligence and take steps to protect their data — starting with their cloud file transfer process and solutions.

Implementing a managed file transfer solution like GoAnywhere MFT enables businesses to control how their data is protected, in transit and at rest. Through strong encryption protocols, file monitoring, and integration with Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure, IT teams can rest assured that organisational and customer data is safe in a variety of environments without running outdated, unsecure expensive, time-consuming scripts and programs.

Is it time to enhance the security of YOUR cloud data?

If you’d like to discuss how GoAnywhere MFT can enhance the security of your organisation’s cloud data, please feel welcome to reach out to our Business Manager, Bradley Copson. 

He’s always happy to have an obligation-free discussion, explain how quickly and easily we can transition your organisation to the class-leading MFT solution, and offer you a zero-cost Proof of Concept.

At Generic Systems Australia, we’re your local experts in secure Managed File Transfer.

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