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What Makes FTP an Outdated Security Method

What Makes FTP an Out of date Safety Manner

Why is FTP an Outdated Protocol?

FTP was designed as an easy mechanism for exchanging files between computers at a time when networks were new and information security was an immature science. In the 1970s, if you wanted to secure a server from unwanted access, you simply locked the computer room door. User access to data was controlled by the basic User ID and password scenario. At this time, the Internet didn’t exist and the PC revolution was still a decade away.

Today, the security of business file transfers is of paramount importance. The exchange of business records between computing systems, enterprises, and even across international borders has become critical to the global economy.

Related Reading: Is FTP Dead?

Yet, the original native FTP facility of TCP/IP wasn’t designed for the requirements of the modern, globally-connected enterprise. FTP’s basic security mechanisms (the user ID and password) have long been outdated thanks to advances in network sleuthing technologies, hackers, malware, and the proliferation of millions of network users.

6 Risks Associated with Using Native (Standard) FTP

There are many risks that come with using FTP to secure your file transfers. Here are six that should concern you the most:

  1. Native FTP does not encrypt data.
  2. A user’s name and password are transferred in clear text when logging on and can be easily recognized.
  3. FTP scripts and batch files leave user IDs and passwords in the open, where they’re vulnerable to hacking.
  4. Used alone, FTP does not meet compliance regulations.
  5. When using an FTP connection, the transferred data could “stray” to a remote computer and not arrive at their intended destination. This possibility leaves your data exposed to third parties and hackers.
  6. Conventional FTP does not natively maintain a record of file transfers.

Related Reading: Problems with FTP (And How to Solve Them)

Is Your Organization Using FTP for File Transfers?

If you use FTP in your organization, it may be time for a change. But which secure file transfer method is right for your organization? There are a variety of FTP alternatives available today.

ProtocolQuick SummaryRead the Comparison
SFTPSFTP, also known as Secure File Transfer Protocol and SSH File Transfer Protocol, is a network that allows for file access, transfer, and management over a secure data stream.Are SFTP and FTP the Same?
FTPSFTPS, or FTP over Secure Sockets Layer/ Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS), is a secure file transfer protocol that allows you to connect and securely exchange files with trading partners, customers, and users.FTP, FTPS, & SFTP: Which Protocol to Use, and When?
HTTPSHyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and FTP are both application layer protocols that allow you to transfer files between systems.Comparing Transfer Methods: HTTP vs. FTP
AS2AS2 and secure FTP are both among the most popular B2B file transfer protocols.AS2 vs. FTP
TFTPTFTP, Trivial File Transfer Protocol, uses UDP to facilitate the quick exchange of data, but is it more secure than FTP?TFTP vs. FTP: Or is There a Better Option?
MFTManaged File Transfer (MFT) is a secure software solution that facilitates file transfer automation and centralization.FTP vs. MFT: What’s the Difference?

Three Steps to Determine How to Replace FTP

First, examine how FTP is applied in your organization.

Second, identify how your organization should manage and secure everyone’s file transfers.

Finally, determine if your company could use a Secure Managed File Transfer solution (this MFT buyer’s guide will help you decide!), then evaluate the software to see how it matches the needs of your business.

What’s Beyond FTP? Find Out in This White Paper

Explore new ways to secure and manage your file transfers with this free white paper. You’ll learn how to bring your FTP implementation into a more modern framework with cybersecurity practices that protect your critical data and help you improve your team’s productivity and efficiency.

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