B2B Integration

7 Ways IBM is Leading the Security Push in Managed File Transfer (MFT)

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This is the second post in our Managed File Transfer blog series. Read the first post “Key Trends Driving the Growth in Managed File Transfer” here.

About one of every twenty Fortune 1000 companies will have a publicly disclosed data breach within the next year.  To the uninitiated, five percent might not sound too risky, but if you’re a CTO, CIO or IT leader, you certainly see this as a big risk.[1]

In the first quarter of 2017, one study found abundant security threats for the Fortune 1000: botnets potentially compromising 1 out of 5 Fortune 1000 companies and exposure via administrative services running on an open port at a majority of companies.

The cost of these security breaches and threats?  Almost 70% of customers report that they’d be less inclined to do business with a business that suffered a publicly disclosed data breach.[2]

Security performance at Fortune 1000 companies has actually increased in the past year.

Businesses today operate in a highly-connected universe with increasing demand for secure data exchange. The transfer of business-critical data is essential in industries from banking and financial services to defense and manufacturing. For business to run smoothly, constantly emerging and evolving forms of digital data must be synchronized and exchanged, securely.

According to Chandana Gopal, an IT research manager at IDC, “Enterprises are increasingly using managed file transfer for moving file-based workloads because of stricter regulations as well as the need for tighter security and greater visibility. Files are getting larger and the delivery windows are getting smaller, and enterprises are demanding much more reliability and auditability throughout the file transfer process.” [3]

Security concerns top the list of challenges for CIOs and IT leaders when transferring data and files. In one recent study, almost 60% of CIOs and IT leaders labeled security as their top concern.

Security concerns are a key factor driving greater demand for Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions, considered the most secure, reliable and efficient means for data and file transfer – outperforming FTP, HTTP and other methods.

Data security, access management and perimeter security are all constantly evolving requirements for mission critical business processes supported by Managed File Transfer.  Recent IBM MFT product releases demonstrate a continued commitment to ensuring the highest levels of security for MFT – and supporting a company’s latest cybersecurity policies and initiatives.  Recent IBM initiatives and upgrades in MFT security include:

  • Proactive identification of new security vulnerabilities: IBM MFT product development takes advantage of the latest vulnerabilities and fixes identified by the IBM Secure Engineering team, so that we can incorporate fixes before they potentially impact customer environments.
  • Encryption toolkit upgrade: IBM Global Security Kit (GSKit), which is NIST 800-131a compliant, is now used in all IBM Connect:Direct distributed platforms (UNIX, Windows, NonStop, IBM i/OS, etc.), IBM Secure Proxy and IBM Control Center.
  • Across the board support for the latest TLS v1.2 specification: Support for all Connect:Direct platforms, IBM Secure Proxy, and IBM Secure Proxy External Authentication System component. Support for IBM B2B Integrator, IBM File Gateway, and IBM B2B Advanced Communications; Also, TLS 1.2 is used by default for all secure connections
  • IBM Secure Proxy: The addition of multi-channel authentication builds on prior multi-factor authentication support. New protocol support: SCP and IBM Connect:Direct High-Speed Add-On (Aspera FASP protocol support).
  • Connect:Direct: Certificate-based authentication for Control Center access provides robust authentication while limiting administrative overhead
  • IBM Control Center: New Configuration Changes Audit report for IBM Connect:Direct and IBM Secure Proxy servers/components, enables central tracking of configuration changes to a server or key component, to ensure compliance and help identify any unauthorized tampering. Support for secured connections to back-end Oracle database and Cogon’s reporting systems.
  • IBM B2B Advanced Communications: New support for the SFTP protocol, increases secure connection options. Custom user roles allow granular access restrictions on an as-needed basis. Stack update: Hardware Security Module support for PKCS11 cryptographic tokens.

To read more about security in the Managed File Transfer (MFT) process, visit IBM Managed File Transfer or read our third post in the series on how Managed File Transfer is evolving to meet changing business demands.

[1] Source: Based on data from, among other sources, the report, How Secure Are America’s Largest Business Partners? Rating The Cybersecurity Performance of the Fortune 1000, March 2017

[2] PCI Compliance Report

[3] IDC, Worldwide Managed File Transfer Software Market Shares


Senior Product Management, Watson Supply Chain

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