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AMRDEC SAFE Alternatives for Secure File Sharing
Martin Horan

By: Martin Horan on April 23rd, 2019

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AMRDEC SAFE Alternatives for Secure File Sharing

Government Compliance

Was your organization a previous user of AMRDEC SAFE (Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center - Safe Access File Exchange)? If so, you’ve now been forced to seek out alternative secure file sharing solutions to replace the defunct AMRDEC SAFE. Because AMRDEC SAFE was shut down due to major lapses in security protocols, your organization should find an option that can stand up to the security threats that you face today and ones that you’re sure to face in the future.

You have three options for potential alternatives to AMRDEC SAFE to choose from: cloud solutions, servers built in-house, and secure file sharing solutions. Learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of each option, and determine which one is the right choice to replace AMRDEC SAFE and keep your sensitive data secure.

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Cloud Solutions

Using any type of cloud solution comes with major benefits. You don’t have to invest in or house any hardware. You also don’t have to build the solution yourself. As long as you have access to the Internet, you have access to your cloud solution.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) was one of the pioneers of cloud computing, offering their Elastic Compute Cloud to the public. Developers testing and building applications had access to a virtual server, with the ability to assign it as many resources, like CPU, memory, or storage, as needed. When testing or building was complete, access to the cloud server could be terminated, and your data would be removed.

Similar to the original public cloud solutions, today you can use public cloud storage from any location with no investment in hardware for your organization. Solutions like Dropbox or Google Drive have free usage tiers, making them appealing choices for personal use. However, these free public cloud options lack the security features needed to truly protect your data. While “free” is a price point that’s hard to turn down, you would be compromising your security standards and risking non-compliance consequences. Essentially, you would face the same risks that your organization was exposed to with AMRDEC SAFE.

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Building Your Own File Sharing Server

Many companies choose to build their own solutions in-house. If you have the resources, this is a good choice to ensure the solution can perform the exact functions you need it to perform. However, there are numerous expenses – both one-time expense and ongoing expenses – that are attached to building your own solution, making it the most costly option in the long run. Four key expenses stand out when it comes to building your own solution:

  • Software

  • Hardware

  • Hiring Staff

  • Maintenance

The biggest advantage to building your own secure file sharing solution is that you have total control over the specifications and security measures built into the solution. You can determine the amount of storage space you need, how you want to protect files, and what kind of operating system you want to use.

Unfortunately, making all these decisions ties you to the original solution you develop. So, if you invest in enough storage space to meet your data storage needs now, you’ll face challenges when your business grows. Scaling your solution up to accommodate a bigger workforce would require you to invest in more servers, increase your network speed, strengthen your security measures and more. Scaling your solution down if your data storage needs decrease presents similar challenges. You continue payment and upkeep on hardware that you no longer require. Just because the system you build meets your needs today doesn’t mean it will meet your needs tomorrow.

Your team will also need to dedicate time and resources to building and maintaining your solution. Secure file sharing solutions require ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure that they haven’t been compromised and that your security controls are keeping hackers at bay. It’s likely that your current IT department doesn’t have the time or manpower to manage this ongoing requirement. So, you may have to hire an outside service provider to take on this aspect of your business.

Ultimately, building your own solution comes with a number of challenges – many of which require a large monetary investment. From buying the hardware and software needed to develop the solution to dedicating resources to maintaining the solution, you’re looking at a huge upfront investment and an ongoing investment of tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Hosted File Sharing Solutions

A hosted file sharing solution is the perfect alternative to AMRDEC SAFE, if it is secure enough. It marries the benefits of a cloud solution with the customization capabilities of an in-house solution. When you partner with a secure file sharing vendor, they provide the security measures and ongoing maintenance needed to keep your solution running efficiently and taking these responsibilities off your shoulders. You also don’t have to invest in the physical hardware to host the solution as the vendor houses all of that for their clients.

You likely used AMRDEC SAFE because you want to align with government regulations and keep sensitive data protected. While you may worry about complying with regulations when you use a file sharing vendor, these solutions are developed by experts in the field and often already have the security measures you need built into the solution.

If you use a top file sharing solution like FTP Today’s GOVFTP platform, you can count on two virtual machines dedicated to hosting your company site, one in production and one in a standby disaster recovery facility. By using services hosted at the vendor’s site, you won’t have to dedicate any space in your office to house them nor any management personnel to secure them.

You also don’t have to worry about other clients or potential hackers accessing your data, like with public cloud solutions. This is a private cloud solution, which means you use a private pool of resources. You have dedicated firewalls to keep other users out. You’re totally isolated from other tenants, but also outside entities.

Also, choosing a hosted file sharing solution is a wise decision from a cost standpoint, as well. You don’t have to buy any software or hardware yourself. You only pay a monthly subscription fee, instead of a large upfront investment in hardware. It’s an affordable way to start safely sharing your files and gain access to the security controls your company requires.

When you choose a secure file sharing solution to house your sensitive data, you avoid the hassles of managing the solution yourself, while also knowing that your data is secure. You don’t have to wait for a long build when you choose this option. In fact, your file sharing solution will be ready for use quickly after you sign your contracts. That means you’re in compliance with government regulations as soon as you move your files to the hosted file sharing solution.

Learn More

Do you want to learn more about choosing a file sharing solution that aligns with government regulations? Download this guide to ITAR regulations and how to comply with them.

About Martin Horan

Founder of FTP Today and an expert in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.

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