File Transfer Governance? What’s that?

“File Transfer Governance” isn’t a term you hear very often.  But it relates to the kinds of rules you deal with in everyday life.

Rules are guiding principles for everything. There are rules to govern the way you conduct yourself at your job, at the gym, as you participate in hobbies and as a citizen. As you go about life, you ask yourself questions to determine if you’re complying with the rules.

The same is true in business. In respect to transferring files, it is critical that organizations are in compliance with the standards – or rules – of their company and any industry requirements. File transfer governance is about monitoring compliance with the policies your organization establishes that enforce those standards. Of course those policies and standards need to be in place first.  Is there a policy establishing the use of a standard for a secure file transfer protocol? Has that secure file transfer protocol standard first been established?

File Transfer Governance Questions to Ask Yourself

We thought it would be helpful to provide you with some quick questions to ask yourself to see where file transfer governance is relevant to your organization and if a managed file transfer (MFT) solution could be an option to help.

  1. Is there a corporate policy around encrypting sensitive data during transfer? Do you have procedures in place to ensure compliance with this policy?
    • MFT solutions support the secure file transfer protocols that encrypt files in transit. Additionally, they can bridge between insecure and secure protocols making a phased transition possible. MFT solutions often serve as a concentration point for external file transfers, providing file transfer governance by ensuring that no transfer is allowed to occur over an insecure protocol.
  2. Is your organization and its employees using multiple solutions for file transfers?
    • If yes, then it’s likely each solution has its own approach to configuring security and file transfer governance capabilities, and your team has to learn each one. Consider streamlining your organization’s file transfers with one MFT solution. This can help reduce cost, simplify file transfer governance, and keep the process consistent.
  3. Do you leverage “home-grown” applications built on FTP to transfer files?
    • This is not uncommon. If yes, look at the potential costs and problems associated with these solutions. Homegrown solutions are typically quite tactical and lack the file transfer governance capabilities built into commercial solutions. Using the insecure FTP protocol, your information could be at risk. This can open the company up to regulatory fines, damage to its image and an increase in business costs when trying to frantically remedy these vulnerabilities as part of a “fire drill” project.
  4. What regulatory requirements apply to your business as it relates to protecting data and breach notification? Any international regulations? Does your current solution support compliance with these requirements?
    • If your current solution does not support your security policies, then it will be hard-pressed to facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements faced by your organization. Take auditing for instance.  Keeping a record of the secure movement of sensitive files and being able to report in aggregate on file transfer activity over a period of time is a key security control prescribed by file transfer governance and delivered in MFT solutions.

Simplify File Transfer Governance

By leveraging a robust file transfer solution, such as FileXpress, you simplify file transfer governance through such things as consistency, secure protocols and centralized auditing. To help you search for an MFT solution, check out our previous blog post on research tools.

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