Managed file transfer (MFT) is a type of software used to provide secure internal, external and ad-hoc data transfers through a network. MFT software and products are designed to help organizations meet the increasing security, compliance and operational demands of moving information.
MFT products are built using the FTP network protocol. However, because federal regulations require that MFT products meet strict regulatory compliance standards, they include mechanisms to ensure a higher level of security and help keep information private.
MFT applications offer business automation, along with reporting and non-repudiation. An MFT solution should simplify management and ensure regulatory compliance while supporting all current security standards and methodology, including SSLencryption, X.509 encryption and proxy certificates.
According to Gartner, a well-rounded managed file transfer suite should have four components:
- A server for management of all aspects of file transfer: communications channels, multiple protocols, workflow, provisioning, APIs, etc.
- A client for tight server integration.
- A proxy to conceal IP address and ports.
- Plug-ins to integrate with applications.
Legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) specify requirements for information security. A component of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Safeguards Rule, requires all financial institutions to design, implement and maintain plans for the protection of private information.