Posts tagged mft
The Imperative for Effective Data Flow Governance

This is a transcript of the Axway podcast of the same name.

ANDREWS: One of the things that really comes through is that status quo, while it being the easiest thing for IT organizations to deal with…it’s problematic. The reason why is we don’t see technology remaining status quo in any environment or any part of our life, so why should it be that way for IT departments?YouTube Preview Image

ANNOUNCER: From Phoenix, Arizona, this is The Axway Podcast. Here’s your host, Mike Pallagi.

PALLAGI: Recently, Axway and Ovum — a leading global technology research and advisory firm — announced the results of a global study that examined data security, governance, and integration challenges facing organizations. The study highlighted how the growing complexity of governance and compliance initiatives challenge IT integration and C-level executives, and how isolation between IT integration and corporate governance forms economic and reputational risks. Of the 450 respondents from North America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA, 23 percent said their company failed a security audit in the last three years, while 17 percent either didn’t believe or didn’t know if they would pass a compliance audit today. The study also revealed that the average overall cost of a data breach was $3 million. So to learn more about the significance of these numbers, I caught up with John Andrews, Axway’s Director of Solution Marketing for Managed File Transfer. Here’s John again.

ANDREWS: Business environments are changing, external threats are changing. If you don’t look at your key technology and adapt it to these upcoming threats in business environments, it exposes problems that may have already been there or it can show new problems that the changing environments have occurred. So what we really want people to look at is, using things like FTP and other traditional file transfer approaches, staying status quo, will ultimately lead to problems in their overall environment.

PALLAGI: The Ovum report pointed out that a comprehensive MFT solution is essential for meeting increasingly complex data security governance requirements.

ANDREWS: It used to be enough to just secure transfers, and what organizations worried about was the delivery. Now, that’s not enough. You have to be able to deliver, track, and audit every transfer that you make. And it has to be done securely, not only for the transport, but securely for the data as well. The only way you really can do this is by implementing a comprehensive governance solution that (not only) manages policies and configurations, but is also easy to manage with updates and changes based on the way that business environments and external threats change. So this ties into that initial point of “staying status quo doesn’t really help organizations.”

PALLAGI: And what about community management and how MFT simplifies it?

ANDREWS: This is probably one of the biggest challenges I think companies experience. It used to be that interactions were dealt with…just external partners, but only a handful of partners. You had key people that you worked with, and you worked with them consistently all year around. Again, with the way the business environments have changed, you still have your core partners, but you have seasonal partners or transitory partners. This is because of the diversification of the way that people are doing business, cost competition in supplying parts, and supplying a product that companies use. And sometimes it’s just timing.

PALLAGI: So, for example, your core partner may not have something that you need at the right time so you’ll engage for a short period of time with a new partner. The problem is that the onboarding process has always been somewhat complex and cumbersome, so if there’s a way to simplify that through a governance process, then THAT can create significant business opportunities for organizations by giving them flexibility on how they interact with different partners.

ANDREWS: Then the Ovum report moves on to talk about a consolidation strategy for file transfer infrastructure, used to reduce footprints and maintenance and support costs. What we’ve seen in the past two to three years is that IT budgets have rebounded somewhat, and because of the security concerns that have been raised through data breaches, the events like Target and most recently JP Morgan Chase have really exposed that there are security concerns. The problem is that money isn’t being thrown at these problems, so IT departments need to come up with cohesive and comprehensive strategy that allows them to address these security needs. And it’s key from when you dig into the facts that file transfer technology has to be part of this. Companies still using FTP are at greater risk of data breaches, and because of this, file transfer technology is probably even more crucial to businesses than it has been in the past.

PALLAGI: Also, the report indicated that there’s a transition going on from governance silos to a central governance layer.

ANDREWS: This is something that, at Axway, we’ve been talking about for a while in that companies need a comprehensive strategy for their file transfer technology. If you look at one of the aerospace companies that we work with, they have both military and civilian divisions. While a civilian divisions does not have the same kind of security requirements as the military divisions, they’re both within the same organization. And by one of the divisions having a more lax environment, it could cause trouble for the military division because they are interconnected.

PALLAGI: That organization took a centralized approach to the way that they do file transfers and made sure that each of the divisions actually adhered to the policies that they laid out.

ANDREWS: This centralized vision and control of information is then independent of the divisional silos, and it makes sure that the data that’s moving in and around the environment, and externally, is secured. Finally, the Ovum report identifies that there needs to be a more thought-out process to MFT, B2B integration, and API management solutions. The way I summarize this is, just like you don’t want corporate silos in your organization for IT, you don’t want technology silos within your IT organization. Meaning, you have a separate MFT group, a separate B2B group, and a separate API group. Those technologies, the technologies that span firewalls, need to be thought of more holistically in the way that they’re managed. This means that they need to have policies that can be applied across all the technologies with similar or the same level of security, and that you should be able to govern them centrally so that you can ensure that there’s consistency in the way that data is moved in and out your environments.

To review the whitepaper titled “The Imperative for Effective Data Flow Governance in Response to Data Security, Risk Mitigation, and Compliance Requirements,” please click here.

To listen to the podcast on YouTube (audio only), please click here.

Systematically protect data and explore private cloud solutions

Some commercially available cloud-based file exchange solutions can automatically enforce data protection policies – based on a combination of file type, keywords in subject lines or body text, and/or destination domain.

This kind of systematic method for identifying information about to exit the company can protect data by ensuring that the proper authorization and/or encryption are applied before it can be sent.

If you find the idea of any information being exchanged through a public cloud solution terrifying, you can explore an alternative private cloud solution that provides the same functionality without any shared infrastructure or co-mingling of files or data. For especially security-conscious organizations that want to provide employees with an easy-to-use, collaborative cloud-based file exchange capability, this is often the best option.

Today, you need to address security concerns stemming from ad hoc file exchange and unstructured collaboration in the cloud. Tomorrow, as more core business systems move to the cloud, more business services will be delivered by third-party providers in addition to in-house IT.

Learn more here.