With greater demands for secure transfer of Big Data through clouds, Managed File Transfer expands its role and gets a refresh
ATLANTA — March 22, 2012 —
Liaison Technologies, a global provider of secure cloud-based integration and data management services and solutions, is working to demystify Managed File Transfer (MFT) in the cloud by defining it and specifying its requirements, a step that will help organizations better understand its value for moving large sets of Big Data.
Companies and vendors alike are in a quandary when it comes to defining exactly what constitutes MFT in the cloud. This vagueness is particularly apparent when an organization issues an RFP that includes an MFT component and the vendor struggles to determine if that requirement is within its ability to fulfill. Such confusion further hinders companies that are considering moving B2B processes to the cloud, or that are comparing multiple cloud service providers when a component of the outsourced process requires MFT.
To help clear up the confusion, Liaison defines MFT in the cloud as the secure and reliable transfer of data to, from and between clouds, regardless of size. Liaison further breaks down the definition’s components: security, reliability and size.
- Security — The secure transfer of files between two points, whether traditional or in the cloud, is driven by a host of industry compliance regulations and privacy laws. It can be ensured by encrypting the files, sending them through a secure connection, or both.
- Reliability — Provisions must be in place to ensure files are reliably sent and received. The receiving entity must be available to receive and process the files. Using a communication standard such as EDI-INT AS2 helps to meet these criteria by adding acknowledgments and non-repudiation of data to the solution set.
- Size — MFT was invented to solve the problem of securely transmitting large data files between trading partners, but the definition of “large” is up to trading partners to agree upon and enable. In addition, with the proliferation of Big Data generated from consumer, B2B and social networking sites and other Internet sources, it could mean transferring small files occasionally, or even streaming files continuously. An MFT cloud service must be able to handle all required types and sizes of file transfers.
Some MFT cloud services providers go beyond these requirements to provide additional capabilities, such as the ability to restart an interrupted transmission at the point where it failed, and the ability to track files and produce audit reports for business analysis and regulatory compliance.
“Managed File Transfer is a long-standing, well-accepted way for organizations to share business files point-to-point, quickly, reliably and securely,” said Robert Fox, senior director of B2B/EAI Software Development at Liaison. “And while it may have lost its newness and ‘coolness’ over the years, it’s no less effective. MFT is becoming cool again as it morphs and expands to play a critical role in moving large sets of Big Data as well as traditional business files to, from and through clouds.”
Liaison advises companies to select an MFT cloud services provider that exceeds their current requirements to provide an upgrade path. Furthermore, MFT cloud services providers that offer flexible Service Level Agreements (SLAs) enable customers to tailor the agreements to their specific requirements and revise them as their needs change.
“As more organizations move their back-office processes to the cloud, and with the rise of Big Data and files moving at an increasing rate, Managed File Transfer is adapting to the cloud model,” said Fox. “Unlike traditional MFT that transmits files point-to-point between trading partners’ facilities, transmitting files to the cloud requires an agreement with the cloud provider and an SLA to ensure secure, reliable and timely transfers to instill customer confidence.”
Liaison Technologies is a global data management and integration company. It provides innovative solutions to integrate, transform, harmonize, manage and secure critical business data on-premise or in the cloud. With a comprehensive array of business-to-business and application-to-application integration and data transformation services, as well as on-premise and cloud-based data security solutions, Liaison’s practitioners implement data management infrastructures adapted to each client’s specific business requirements. Headquartered in Atlanta, Liaison has offices in the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.liaison.com.
Liaison and the Liaison logo are trademarks of Liaison Technologies, Inc. All other names or product names mentioned in this release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.