Monday, July 2, 2012
At one time, file transfer protocol (FTP) was equipped to handle all of the collaboration needs of a company and its employees. However, as the enterprise sector began putting more value on information, it became clear that traditional FTP simply was no longer enough. The lack of security measures placed mission-critical data at risk.
As time went on, innovations were made to ensure that FTP was better able to protect the files sent and received between clients and FTP servers. One such development came in the form of SSH FTP, otherwise known as SFTP. This newer protocol differs from traditional FTP, as it leverages a secure FTP server to send and receive information.
SFTP is built on an extension of the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol version two, which was developed after the initial release of FTP by an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) working group. So far there have been six versions of SSH FTP developed, with the most recent released in 2006.
Setting up a secure FTP server: A real pain
Just like setting up a computer to serve as a traditional FTP server, there are numerous steps involved with configuring a device for secure FTP. Even then, the security capabilities of SFTP can be deceiving as there are still instances when a user's files may be placed at risk.
While it's true that files sent using a secure FTP server are protected while they are in transit between the client and the server, there are other times when the information is vulnerable. For example, files can still be breached while they reside at the Internet-facing final stage of a network receiving them.
And depending on Internet bandwidth and the size of the file being shared, this vulnerable time can be excruciatingly long. That's because a recipient's program or script has to wait for a download to be completed before security measures can be applied within the firewall.
Wouldn’t it be better to go to the cloud?
Having information secured only some of the time is not acceptable for most professionals today. That's why many have sought out an FTP replacement. Fortunately, they don't have to look much farther than the cloud computing services of YouSendIt.
In the cloud, encryption and other security measures are applied throughout the process, not only when files are in transit. Because everything is stored in YouSendIt's data center while at rest, it will be afforded robust features that keep out cybercriminals and all prying eyes.
What's more, the cloud doesn't require the intricate and tedious setup that users must complete for secure FTP. All one has to do is sign up for YouSendIt's service, upload any type of digital content — including files, video, music and photographs — and allow YouSendIt to take care of the rest. That's why the cloud is your best bet for replacing FTP.
SSL provides robust security
YouSendIt's cloud-based service makes use of secure socket layer (SSL) encryption, which can protect information even if it's lost or stolen in transit. Encryption scrambles information and replaces it with a series of numbers that on their own are useless to whoever may have breached the information. Only with the appropriate key can the code be deciphered.
In fact, YouSendIt leverages 128-bit SSL encryption with Class 3 certificates and Server-Gated Cryptography to protect information during file transfer, online payments and user registration. SSL will even protect data while it's at rest and housed in YouSendIt's cloud storage platform.
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