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Best Practices for SFTP Email Notifications
Martin Horan

By: Martin Horan on August 9th, 2018

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Best Practices for SFTP Email Notifications

File Sharing Best Practices

If you’ve been searching for the right SFTP solution for your business, you’ve probably been looking at important features like price, number of users supported, disaster recovery processes, and more. But, one essential SFTP feature you may have overlooked is email alert configuration. Before you choose a top SFTP provider, it’s important that you know how this feature impacts your file sharing processes.

While this might seem like a minor feature in a long list ways you’re evaluating a solution, email notifications actually play an important role when it comes to the security, transparency, and usability of your file sharing solution. You should partner with a top SFTP host that allows configurable email alerts triggered by upload, download, or delete actions. Continue reading to find out how these alerts can help you improve how you manage file sharing activities, save time, and protect your most sensitive data.

 

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When You Need Email Notifications

You might be wondering how much of an impact email notifications can really have on your file sharing process. While they may get lost in the long list of SFTP features, email notifications are really powerful tools to ensure you’re always up to date on activities associated with your files.

SFTP email notifications can alert you to basically any file sharing activity, including upload, download, editing, and file access. This provides administrators with increased transparency into file sharing activities. You can customize your SFTP email notifications to be automatically triggered by activity within a specific folder or workspace.

In fact, the workspace notification is a particularly useful feature. Instead of setting separate email triggers for individual employees who share a workspace, you can set a single email trigger for all parties who share the workspace. So, if you have four employees who share a workspace, you only have to set one email event trigger for the whole workspace, instead of four separate ones. Of course, your SFTP host may also allow you to configure four separate email notifications if you prefer, with each notification triggered by a the action of a different employee.

In addition to transparency into file sharing activity, email notifications have a positive impact on productivity, too. Workspace notifications play a role in saving time, too. Additionally, because notifications are triggered by file activity, they can be used to keep employees in the loop when they’re collaborating on projects.

For example, if a team is working together on a file and one person edits that file, everyone probably needs to be notified about the edits. In the past, you might have sent a mass email or held a brief meeting to update all the employees involved. Now, you can set email notifications to automatically alert everyone who needs to know about updates to a file. There’s no need to regroup or over-communicate to get everyone on the same page. Using this SFTP feature, you cut out the middle step.

How Email Notifications Improve Security

One of the biggest draws for companies to adopt SFTP solutions is the positive security impacts they have on file sharing processes. So, while you might hear a lot of about SFTP features like encryption, firewalls, multi-factor authentication, and more, email notifications can play a key role in file security, too. In fact, you may have heard that employee email accounts are one of the biggest vulnerabilities when it comes to data security, which is true due to malware and phishing efforts by hackers. However, email notification can actually increase security.

Email notifications help administrators easily manage file activity, without needing to invest time into extra work. Using SFTP email notifications, you gain insight into when files are being accessed and which users are accessing them. Because email settings can be established to alert you when files are uploaded, downloaded, and edited, you’ll know users are accessing files that shouldn’t be accessing.

Though you may think that monitoring your employees is a waste of effort, you should remember that 60% of all data hacks are conducted by insiders. Of those inside attacks, about 75% were conducted with malicious intent and 25% were carried out inadvertently by employees. So, while you may trust your employees, it’s wise to keep an eye on all file sharing activity just to be safe.

When you adopt a top SFTP solution, you have the power to set granular access controls, even at the director level. However, it helps to have these SFTP email notifications, so you’ll always be alerted if something falls through the cracks. Plus, because you have such in depth control over these email notifications, you have insight into every single file-related activity that takes place across your entire organization, without setting person-by-person notifications.

Important Email Configurations

Now, let’s take a deeper look into the type of SFTP email notifications you can set for your company, and how these notifications impact both security and productivity. You have the power to configure as many email notifications as you want, and send notifications to as many people or email addresses as you want. When you’re searching for a file sharing solution, choose one that gives you the following configuration capabilities.

  • You need the power to send emails to:
    • An email address assigned to a user
    • Any ad-hoc email address
  • Email notifications can be triggered by the activity of the following:
    • Any user site wide (i.e. all users)
    • A specific user site wide
    • Any user in a specific folder
    • A specific user in a specific folder
  • The following activities can trigger notifications:
    • File Upload
    • File Download
    • File Deletion
    • Usage Amount – This alerts you if you are reaching your storage threshold, either site-wide or in a specific folder
  • Consolidate your triggered messages based on the following time frames:
    • Instantly (within one minute of the activity)
    • Every 15 minutes
    • Hourly
    • Daily
  • Brand your automated email headers with:
    • From/Reply address
    • Subject
    • A body intro clause

As you can see, the above SFTP email notification settings give you the ultimate level of flexibility when it comes to your solution. You can customize these settings to meet your exact needs, and gain the insight you need into all file sharing activity.

When you’re searching for a top file sharing solution, be sure to keep email notification settings on your list of SFTP features to look for. While this feature may seem commonplace, it can have a big impact on security and transparency into all of your company’s file sharing activities.

Choosing the right SFTP host is essential for keeping your data secure. Download this eBook, 5 Essentials for Choosing the Best FTP Hosting Service.

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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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