File transfer is one of the most common and essential tasks in computer networks. Whether downloading files from the internet, uploading data to a cloud storage service or sending an attachment through email, file transfer is a critical component of most IT operations. However, for sensitive, business-critical file transfers, organizations require a more secure and reliable solution.
In the past, businesses have relied on free or inexpensive FTP-based file transfer solutions that do not provide sufficient security for their needs. These solutions do not allow for authentication, encryption or SSL/TLS. These weaknesses create serious vulnerabilities that can compromise sensitive data.
Many organizations have begun to utilize SFTP-based solutions to address these security concerns. This has resulted in a significant increase in the amount of data that is transmitted over these types of systems. Many of these transfers are critical to the operations of a business and require enterprise-grade security, visibility and automation.
Whether it’s transferring a batch of transactions to an outsourced payroll provider or transmitting digital video for a marketing campaign, companies need to be able to send large and varied files quickly and reliably. As data volume and transaction speed demands continue to rise, the need for secure, scalable, easy-to-use file transfer technology has never been greater.
FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is a standard communication protocol for transferring computer files between network systems. It uses TCP/IP to communicate with servers over the internet, but it is platform-independent and is compatible with computers of all operating systems.
The FTP protocol creates two different connections between hosts: the control connection and the data connection. The control connection allows the host to send and receive commands, such as user name and password, remote directory change requests, file retrieval instructions, and storage instructions. The data connection carries the actual transferred data.
Text files, such as a word document or spreadsheet, are sent in 8-bit ASCII format. Nontext data, such as compiled programs or images, are sent in binary form. The receiving host converts the data into an appropriate format for its hardware and software. Most FTP transfers are compressed, making the size of a file smaller.
Some file transfer protocols were designed specifically for EDI, such as OFTP and AS2. These protocols can handle both the bulk EDI transactions and the more detailed records that are typical of B2B files. Unlike FTP, these protocols do not suffer from the latency and packet loss that degrade network throughput in WAN environments. They also support electronic delivery receipts, making them an ideal choice for B2B file transfer. If you’re looking for an EDI-capable managed file transfer solution that includes both OFTP and AS2, try JSCAPE MFT Server. This fully-featured solution already includes both of these protocols, along with security and automation capabilities that make it an excellent option for business-critical file transfer. Request a free demo to see how JSCAPE can help your company meet its MFT requirements today.