SFTP Basics  

SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol, and it is a secure way of transferring files. It adds a layer of security through secure shell encryption (SSH) for sending and receiving file transfers. This process ensures that sensitive data are not exposed to a third-party during data transfer. SFTP protects information from the organization as well as from the customer, specifically during data transfer.

Data is most vulnerable when transmitted, for instance, from one server to a computer. While a secure server verifies the computer that requests access to a file, anyone can intercept it while the server is sending it to the computer. SFTP, in essence, is a secure version of the standard FTP or file transfer protocol. With FTP, data sets are transferred in plain text, which means that data are susceptible to prying eyes from outside.

How then does secure file transfer protocol work? Think of SFTP as a highly intelligent, automated courier service. SFTP packs the data requested into an encrypted package. With encryption, anyone who tries to open the package will only discover gibberish. Thus, they will not be able to access valuable data.

SFTP requires an SFTP client software provider. Popular SFTP clients are FileZilla, WinSCP, psftp, and CoreFTP for Windows.

SFTP As A Solution For Different Industries

In today’s world, nearly everything has been digitized—from shopping and banking to healthcare and education. Even individuals who do not consider themselves tech-savvy have substantial information about themselves online. Anyone can be vulnerable to data theft. Thus, industries that deal with sensitive information would benefit from SFTP. Some of them are the following: 

Computer Software and Consulting Services (IT)

Organizations from different sectors rely on computer software and consulting services to establish and maintain their cybersecurity. They are the first line of defense for almost everyone against data breaches. If they become compromised, everyone else who relies on them is compromised as well. IT companies must protect their data so that all of their clients can keep their data security in check. 

Financial Services 

The financial services sector deals with a lot of sensitive information from their clients. Most attackers and scammers look for data that will lead them to people’s banking details. As such, the financial services sector is under a lot of pressure to protect their clients’ data. SFTP ensures that all file transfers between the financial institution, third party partners, and even clients are encrypted. 

Healthcare 

Health institutions are often targeted to gather financial information, personal details, and medical records of individuals. These are then used for fraud, theft, stalking, or blackmailing. Given that health institutions are entrusted with highly sensitive information, healthcare cybersecurity should be continuously improved. SFTP is one of the basic measures a healthcare institution can establish to protect itself and its patients from data breaches during file transfers. 

Education 

Education is not divorced from digitization. Nowadays, it is not just children’s and families’ data stored digitally—assignments and classes are also held online. As such, educational institutions must guard children against data breaches as well. SFTP will allow them to ensure that their database and platforms are safe whenever data is transferred via a flat-file. 

Business/Retail 

The business sector is perhaps one of the most rapidly digitized industries. A lot of the activities of those in the business sector involve customer data. Online selling allows them to access financial data and personal data, while their digital marketing efforts let them observe and interpret consumer online behavior. All of that information needs to be protected from all ends. A data breach in a company could mean lost trust and profits. With SFTP, businesses can ensure that their company data and their customers’ data are hidden from prying eyes during the file transfer process. 

Hotel Industry 

The hotel industry stores guests’ personal information, including passports and credit cards in their systems. Those are valuable to attackers, so hotels, especially high-end ones, must take extra precautions to keep their data secure. Since hotels also turn to online hotel booking solutions these days, they transfer and receive files more often than before. With SFTP, all those file transfer transactions become much safer. 

Final Words 

Since the world has become highly digitized, more and more of our data and activities online have become vulnerable to a data breach. Regardless of the sector, you are part of; it is your responsibility as a business owner to secure your data for your employees, clientele, and your enterprise’s well-being. 

Conducting your business using regular File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is simply unsafe. When transferring files and sensitive data is a big part of your business, you need to comply with Data Privacy Laws that require businesses to take the appropriate measure to protect their clients’ data. Thorn Technologies provides SFTP Gateway, which will allow you to conveniently and efficiently transfer your files to the cloud without being intercepted by outside parties.

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