Sharing and receiving files, data, and documents is an essential part of doing business. In fact, it’s such a present, everyday need that many businesses turn to the most convenient and affordable option they can find – often that means using free File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers. Although FTP is widely available and fairly easy to use, it comes with noteworthy drawbacks. FTP technology dates back to the 1970s and in today’s digital and mobile world, can’t be relied upon to handle sensitive data and file sharing.
Here are five reasons why you should consider an alternative to FTP file sharing:
1. FTP is not secure
The threats facing businesses today are bigger than ever. Between ransomware attacks and increasingly common corporate data breaches, every company should be concerned about data security. FTP servers offer no data encryption in transit or at rest, potentially leaving all the confidential information being shared exposed. Unfortunately, this risk is built into the structure of FTP servers. To increase convenience and collaboration, data on FTP can be accessed with any FTP client, which makes it virtually impossible to secure both ends.
2. FTP is cumbersome
To send and share files with a new contact, a new FTP account needs to be set up. Complicating things further, most users won’t normally have access to FTP server administration and managing FTP processes is far from user-friendly. As a result, companies relying on FTP need to turn to an IT administrator to create new accounts, retrieve forgotten passwords and remove accounts for those who no longer require access. Inevitably, this leads to user accounts that are left activated for too long, and in users sharing accounts to avoid waiting on IT for access. Both of these scenarios put the safety, security, and privacy of your business data at risk.
3. FTP management tools are complicated
FTP sharing doesn’t allow users or administrators to set policies regarding automatic file access expiration or deletion. Every file ever sent to or from an FTP server remains on the server until an IT administrator manually deletes it – a tedious, time-consuming chore that more often than not gets ignored – leading to yet another needless security vulnerability.
4. FTP lacks adequate auditing tools
FTP provides limited file transfer tracking capabilities to companies. Who sent what, to whom, and when goes untraced in most cases. In the wake of an attack on the FTP server, or the use of FTP to leak sensitive information, this means companies can’t track, diagnose, report on, or conduct forensics on the security breach. Without the ability to provide an audit trail, FTP file sharing makes it difficult for companies to take the necessary steps to prevent subsequent breaches, and to achieve regulatory compliance.
5. FTP doesn’t confirm successful transfers
When sending a file via an FTP server, the sender has no way to verify whether the recipient successfully received or downloaded the file. If an error occurs during the transfer, the sender is not notified. Without external verification (e.g., email, text, or voice call), it’s difficult to know whether or not a successful FTP file transfer has been made.
It’s Time for FTP Replacement
Companies can no longer afford to be using FTP for file sharing and collaboration. The number of threats facing businesses is only going to increase, as is the sophistication of those threats. Confronting these challenges with a system that is built on insecure, out-dated technology have no place in modern IT infrastructure. Now is a good time to take advantage of a modern and secure file sync and share solution as an FTP replacement.
To learn more, read our newest white paper on Reasons to Replace FTP File Sharing. Get it here.
Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 2,000 employees in 45 locations. Acronis Cyber Protect solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 18,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.