File transfer is one of those things – you don’t think much about it unless you have something urgent you need to send to someone. When that event does happen, you’re probably thinking you can simply email the file to someone. In many cases this is fine – a small document without any sensitive information is easy to email out. But in cases where the file happens to contain some personally identifiable information, account information, financial data, or protected healthcare information, you’ve got to find a more secure solution. The size of your files could also exceed your mail system’s limits, and can also be rejected by the recipient’s mail server.
You can also try uploading your files to an FTP server and hope your recipients know how to use it too. Because FTP is an insecure protocol, you should zip the file and password protect your files – just remember to call the person to relay that password so they can decrypt it. If you’re not very technical, you may need to find someone on your IT team to create user accounts for each recipient, and create the proper subdirectories and folder structure. Because file transfers are pretty low priority compared to many other IT projects, it can take hours and sometimes days before your files are posted. Once the files are up on the server, you probably won’t know whether they’ve been accessed. Many FTP servers are never cleaned out and a prime target for hackers who can find loads of confidential corporate data.
Another method is to run to an office supply store and buy a USB drive, copy the files over, and then mail it out – don’t forget to keep your receipt and add it to your expense report for both the USB drive and the postage. The package can be lost in transit too, so it’s important to zip and password protect those files too. If the package is lost and it contains a significant number of medical records, you’ll also have to report this to the Office of Civil Rights and potentially pay a HIPAA fine. Many breach notification laws also require you to publicly notify everyone of your mistake in a mainstream media outlet.
Some of the consumer-based syncing solutions can work, but you give up any kind of tracking or visibility once it enters their cloud – and you have no idea who else has data that is comingled with yours – it could be a competitor or a hacker. Security concerns, lack of visibility, and loss of control are some of the concerns your IT group may have with these types of services. The reality is that most people are not familiar with methods to share confidential information or large files – or if they are, it’s a cumbersome process. There is hope though – Biscom’s Secure File Transfer solution enables users to send any size file and does so securely. SFT is designed to be a self-service application – no need to involve IT (they’ll thank you for it) – and all your files are automatically encrypted. Sending through outlook with the click of a button, or through a simple web interface that is similar to email, you can upload terabytes of sensitive data without worry about clogging your email server. Your recipients will thank you too because they won’t have any problems accessing your files – all the heavy lifting around decryption and security are handled behind the scenes. Senders have visibility every step of the way with granular tracking and email notifications when files are accessed and downloaded. And all activity is tracked and logged and audit-ready. Stop worrying about file transfer and use Biscom to simplify, accelerate, and secure your most critical file transfer needs.