FTP Software Comparison Guide
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6 Things You Should Know about Cloud SFTP Servers
If security and convenience are important factors in your file sharing solution selection process, an SFTP cloud solution could be the best choice for your business. Before you start shopping around, learn a little bit more about cloud SFTP solutions and a few benefits they hold for their users.
What is Cloud-Managed SFTP?
Let’s lay some groundwork. What do we mean by cloud SFTP? SFTP refers to an alternative to FTP (file transfer protocol) with enhanced security. SFTP uses SSH encryption to provide a layer of encryption to data exposed to the internet via data sharing. Think of it as bubble wrap around sensitive data in transit.
Now to the cloud part of cloud SFTP. You’re probably familiar with cloud solutions from personal internet use. In the past, you had to download software onto your computer to use it. Today, you can use the same software solutions through your web browser. For example, instead of storing all your files on your computer, you might use Dropbox or Google Drive to store them on the cloud.
SFTP cloud solutions can be considered professional-level, highly secure alternatives to consumer-level (free) cloud servers. Businesses don’t have to investment in all the hardware needed for an in-house solution. They can easily choose an SFTP host and use their cloud solution via their web browser. It’s all the convenience of a cloud solution with the enhanced security of an SFTP solution.
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1. Compliance Capabilities
If your company faces compliance standards, you know how much of an impact these regulations have on your daily operations, especially when it comes to sharing files. Providing a compliance-grade file sharing solution is the best way to keep your employees in alignment with standards and to avoid huge fines that you could be subject to.
Compliance standards like HIPAA, ITAR, PCI-DSS, SOX, and GLBA all outline a need for secure file sharing. With a cloud SFTP solution, you’ll align with compliance regulations, regardless of the industry you’re in. The “S” in SFTP ensures that your data is secure, and when you choose a top SFTP cloud host, they’ll put the necessary security measures in place to keep your data secure, too. In fact, top SFTP cloud solutions were built from the ground up with compliance in mind.
2. Dedicated Firewalls
One concern when using cloud solutions is whether or not the solution’s other user outside of your company could somehow access your files. Firewalls protect against that happening. When you use a cloud SFTP solution, data is protected both internally and externally, so you don’t have to worry about an outside threat from hackers or a lateral threat from other customers using the same FTP host.
With an SFTP cloud solution, firewalls isolate the cloud provider to create a Virtual Private Data Center. All of your files are accessible only by approved users, so you don’t have to be concerned about hackers getting in. All traffic accessing the SFTP host site must pass through these firewalls, keeping your data safe down to the last file.
3. Intruder Protection
So, what happens when a hacker tries to access an SFTP solution? Top providers like FTP Today provide advanced intruder protection and detection heuristics to prevent unauthorized access to data.
Once an offending IP address is detected by the FTP Today SFTP cloud solution, automated intruder blacklisting occurs within seconds and the hacker is effectively denied access to continue his attack. In addition, an update is made to a master blacklist shared by all servers on the network within a few minutes, protecting all FTP Today customers from subsequent attack by the same hacker.
4. Disaster Recovery
When it comes to your data, it’s crucial to prepare for the unexpected. You never know when a disaster will happen. From a flood to a fire to a prolonged power outage, you have to be prepared for any threat to your data. Here’s where disaster recovery comes in. Even when an incident occurs, you need a way to recover your crucial data so it isn’t lost forever.
With cloud SFTP servers, you maintain full business continuity in the event of a facility-level disaster. So, your data is never really lost.
You don’t know where your business will be in a year or five years. Even with advanced, detailed planning, you could experience a level or unexpected growth or a slimming down of your workforce for greater efficiency. That’s why you need a file sharing solution that’s scalable to fit your business.
With in-house servers, you could buy hardware that’s sufficient for today, but doesn’t meet your needs a year down the road. This would mean you had to spend more money to support a larger workforce. Or you could invest in an expensive solution and your workforce is too small to use it to its full capacity.
When you choose a cloud SFTP solution, it’s easy to scale access to meet your business’ needs. Typically, your monthly fee is based on the number of users you need the solution to support and the amount of storage you need. So, if you need to add users or storage, your SFTP host simply increases your quota and you pay a slightly higher price each month. If you need to decrease your quotas, your host can do that instantly as well. Changes can be reflected instantly with a simple change to your SFTP cloud account.
One of the greatest benefits of a cloud SFTP solution is that you only pay for what you need, when you need it.
6. Advanced Encryption
When it comes to sharing sensitive data, you can’t afford to compromise on security. In addition to firewalls and user detection, you also benefit from advanced encryption measures that come with cloud SFTP solutions. That way you know your data is protected on your cloud server both when it’s in transit and at rest.
With a top cloud SFTP solution like FTP Today, you benefit from encrypted login (usernames and passwords not sent as clear text) and encrypted data channels (files encrypted during transfer).
Do these six features of cloud FTP solutions sound like they could be benefits for your company? If so, this might be the best file sharing option for you. Talk to top cloud SFTP providers about the features their solutions offer and determine which one is ideal for your business.
Are you ready to choose a top cloud SFTP solution? Download this free comparison guide to learn more about the top solutions on the market.
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.