File Transfer Server 101: The Top Four Characteristics of an Effective FTS


File Transfer Servers (FTS) make-up the backbone of many enterprise networks. But not all FTS software is alike – depending upon your needs, FTS solutions can carry a large array of variability.

A file transfer server is a computer within the client/server model that is responsible for the central storage and management of data files. The purpose of an FTS is to allow other computers on the same network to access the files and data housed on the FTS. A file transfer server adds value to any enterprise by providing users with the ability to share information over a network without having to physically transfer files with external storage devices or via email.

Any computer can be configured to be a host and act as a file server. In its simplest form, a file server may be an ordinary PC that handles requests for files and sends them over the network. In a more sophisticated network, a file server may be a dedicated network-attached storage unit.

Despite the differences associated with all the FTS platforms on the web, effective FTS solutions share four common traits.

1: Simple, secure sharing of business data

Enterprise grade, high performance file transfer servers enable your remote workforce to securely share and access files from anywhere. This is achieved from FTS solutions that support an array of protocols including FTP/S, SCP, SFTP, WebDAV, HTTP/S.

2: Remote security and administration

Whether you’re a small business or a fortune 500 company, effective File Transfer Servers provide user management and permissions that are flexible enough to cater to any environment. FTS solutions should provide your network with the ability to manage users or groups with built-in directory or by connecting to your Active Directory. This includes the ability to manage permissions to all files and locations with fine-grained policies.

3: Reliability from trace-ability

Effective FTS solutions let your IT staff watch every file transfer to and from your network. This provides the ability to track every user’s remote actions and see which files they have remotely accessed. Ideally this capability should operate in real-time, and includes notification of any event happening within your network.

4: End to end remote security

Last but not least, an effective FTS keeps your data safe. This includes secure authentication across browsers and within the native clients which discourages unauthorized access to your network. This security should also include a multi-factor authentication.

There are arguably several different flavors of file transfer servers on the market. Few, however, have ease of use security, remote capabilities and reliability as core features. As long as your network administrators use these key criteria when selecting an FTS solution, their network’s back-end will always have a robust and secure backbone.

This Blog was brought to you by Hypersocket and its CEO, Lee David Painter. With over 20 years of industry experience as a pioneer in IT Security, Lee developed the world’s first OpenSource browser-based SSL VPN (SSL-Explorer). Today Lee runs Hypersocket, a leader in virtual private network technology.
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