Why Hosted FTP Is the Best Decision for Financial Services
Every financial organization has a need to share files among employees and even with outside partners or clients. The question is: What is the best solution for carrying out this exchange of data for carrying out this exchange of data in an efficient, organized, mobile and secure way?
While many cloud-based file sharing options are becoming increasingly popular, the best decision for financial services organizations is often to rely on a hosted FTP site for storing and accessing critical business information.
If you’re wondering why your financial institution should opt for this solution, here are some of the most significant FTP client features that make this option the best.
RECOMMENDED READING: Compare the features, benefits, pros and cons of the top seven file sharing softwares out there.
Security of Sensitive Material
“The financial services industry is among the most heavily targeted sectors by cybercriminals. In 2015 we saw a surge in attacks that involved extortion, social engineering, credential-stealing malware and sophisticated threats.” (Security Week)
There’s no question that any organization in the financial services industry has to be concerned with the security of its data assets. With the prevalence of cyber threats and ransomware attacks, top-notch information security is an absolute must. Some FTP server features offered by services like FTP Today include:
At-rest and in-transit encryption
Regardless of how users are interacting with your data, you can rest easy knowing that the information is secure. Only the sender and the recipient can access the data, even if the file is intercepted by a third party.
Strict password enforcement and user access controls
To avoid jeopardizing the security of your data, you must be able to password-protect and control access on an individual level rather than a company-wide one. This includes setting read and write permissions for specific people in specific departments or categories of the business.
Visibility and writing capabilities
Visibility of data should be classified based on the sensitivity of that data, and only granted to those individuals specifically designated to access it. Writing capabilities should be controlled on an individual basis as well.
Global access restrictions by country
If you have users around the world, it is essential to be vigilant with your data, maintaining tight control over who is accessing it and from where. You can limit access by country using FTP Today’s highly accurate, professional geo-IP database. Select the countries you wish to accept, and the rest are blocked.
These types of security provisions are essential to keeping your financial institution’s digital information private and safe. They enable a high level of visibility into and control over folders and files.
In today’s day and age, security isn’t just about preventing cyber attacks. There are now compliance regulations that must be strictly followed, or your organization is at risk of facing violation penalties.
In the financial industry, one such regulation is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, also known as GLBA. If your financial institution isn’t using a file sharing solution that’s GLBA compliant, you’ve got a major problem on your hands. Maintaining compliance is about protecting your organization from the kind of data breach that could cost you big time -- in both dollars and credibility.
“As part of its implementation of the GLB Act, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued the Safeguards Rule, which requires financial institutions under FTC jurisdiction to have measures in place to keep customer information secure. But safeguarding customer information isn’t just the law. It also makes good business sense. When you show customers you care about the security of their personal information, you increase their confidence in your company.” (Federal Trade Commission)
Staying GLBA compliant does more than just position your financial institution to prevent existing threats; it also provides the framework for addressing any new ones as they arise.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act may have been established in more than a decade ago, but it is updated often to ensure that financial businesses have the latest information security requirements integrated with their data processes.
The best way to comply with GLBA regulations is to use a hosted FTP site provider that is sensitive to and knowledgeable about GLBA compliance. This takes the burden of compliance off your shoulders and gives you the tools to make sure your financial industry data is protected at all times.
Designed with the Needs of the User in Mind
Few hosted FTP sites are specifically designed to meet the needs of GLBA compliance. With advanced features like at-rest and in-transit encryption, granular account permissions that can be specified down to the directory level and the ability to store files in such a way that maintains industry compliance, a hosted FTP site from a provider like FTP Today puts the user’s requirements at the forefront of functionality.
Other file sharing solutions require you to manually or individually upload documents, which complicates the process and creates a huge time drain when you consider the magnitude of data that most financial institutions handle. But FTP sites help to improve efficiency and productivity for users by facilitating large and bulk file transfers, as well as automating processes.
Another user-centered benefit of having a hosted FTP site is the ability to connect remotely. A file stored on an FTP server can be accessed via an Internet connection at any time from anywhere. This is a major advantage for users who need to work while they’re outside of the office, using any computer or mobile device.
Backup of Important Data
Any event that wipes out or damages critical information -- including hardware failures and natural disasters -- can become a huge nightmare for a financial institution. That’s why it’s so important to store files remotely rather than locally. A solid hosted FTP site should provide full backup and disaster recovery services. To protect against any losses in productivity, a hosted FTP site must deliver a detailed disaster recovery plan.
In light of all these valuable features, it’s not hard to see why hosted FTP is the best decision for your financial services organization. This solution facilitates the levels of security and compliance that are absolutely crucial in the financial industry. It also streamlines workflows and preserves productivity.
What qualities are at the top of your list when it comes to deciding on a file sharing solution for your financial organization? Give us your feedback in the comments below, and drill down on your search by reading A Comparison Guide of the Top 7 File Sharing Softwares.
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.