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Townsend Security Data Privacy Blog

Q&A: Secure Managed File Transfer and PGP Encryption

Posted by Michelle Larson on Nov 22, 2013 11:26:00 AM

Great Q&A session from the latest webinar from Townsend Security!

As we discussed in the blog on Secure Managed File Transfer and PGP Encryption, using the core components of a total encryption strategy can help you meet compliance requirements, and improve your data security posture!Click to view Secure Managed File Transfer Webinar for IBM i users

Hopefully you were able to watch the webinar resource provided (if not, you can request it HERE). After the webinar, we had a number of questions asked by attendees and answered by security expert Patrick Townsend.  Here is a recap of that Q&A session:

Q: Is there any reason why I can’t just transfer my file from my IBM i platform to Windows and then PGP encrypt it there.

Patrick: That is a great compliance question.  Transferring unencrypted data from your IBM i to a Windows platform and then encrypting it and moving it from there will put you out of compliance for PCI DSS.  You should not transfer unprotected data to any system or across any network that’s not fully protected.  If you move it from the IBM i platform to Windows platform, it’s going to land in an unencrypted format and that will put you out of compliance.  That kind of unprotected transfer will also put you out of best practices alignment in terms of just pure security.  The security principle here that comes into play is always encrypt at the source, decrypt at the target or the destination, and don’t let the data be unprotected in-between.  Remember, data should never be moved “in the clear”.

Q: Can manage file transfer software be used on just one side, or do all sides of the transfer have to have the same software?

Patrick:  Partners/customers would certainly want a managed file transfer solution to be based on open standards.  You would not want to install proprietary software to process file transfers and then expect your partners to have to install it as well.  We base all of our secure transfer encryption components on open standards like a SSL FTP and Secure Shell sFTP and PGP encryption.  This means is that right out-of-the-box you will interoperate with all the major financial institutions and insurance agencies.  

Q: Does the Alliance FTP Manager solution run on the IBM i or Windows server?

Patrick:  Alliance FTP Manager is a fully native IBM i application.  It runs strictly on the IBM i platform and uses industry standard protocols. So there is no proprietary component on Alliance FTP Manager where you would have to distribute special software to someone who is receiving the files in order to process them.  We use industry standard pipeline encryption SSL FTP and Secure Shell sFTP.  No matter who you’re transferring data to, whether its Windows, Linux, UNIX ,or IBM Mainframe, there are multiple readily available solutions that support those secure file transfer protocols.  The commercial PGP that we provide is fully compatible with industry standards, it interoperates seamlessly, and we test it against multiple other PGP solutions as well as open PGP solutions.  Your customers and vendors (the people you’re transferring the data to) will appreciate that they do not need special software to process PGP encrypted files or your Alliance FTP Manager transfers.

Q: We occasionally need to create encrypted zip files to transfer files to our customers, can FTP manager do this?

Patrick:  We certainly do provide a command based zip file encryption and zip file decryption (compression and decompression) that implements 256-bit AES encryption.  It will process with wildcards and so if you have multiple files in an IFS directory you can compress all those into one zip archive.  Our directory scan automation component will automatically process data right into your application. So yes, there is an implementation of secure encrypted zip in FTP Manager.  

Q: A public/private key pair is needed for SSH and sFTP transfers. Does FTP Manager exchange keys with the destination server?

Patrick:  Secure Shell sFTP supports a number of authentication and privacy mechanisms, the most common is using a public and private key pair.  You do have to execute a key exchange with your training partner/bank before exchanging encrypted data. We have developed utilities and interactive options to help you load your trading partners public key on the IBM i platform.  For example, a menu option will allow you to put in the DNS name for that particular server, then it will find, retrieve, and install that key in your system.  Normally these steps are time and labor intensive, but we have automated the exchange to simplify that particular administrative setup function.
Very important: Typically sFTP transfers use public and private keys, just be sure that the solution you choose can also handle password authentication. Alliance FTP Manager CAN do that!

To learn more, view the complete webinar - Secure Managed File Transfer on the IBM I -which examines the security principles, compliance requirements, and technical challenges for secure FTP transfers on the IBM i platform with the following objectives:

  • Automatically transfer files using Secure Shell sFTP or Secure SSL FTP
  • Protect data using strong PGP encryption
  • Review your total encryption strategy
Webinar: Secure Managed File Transfer on IBM i

 

If you have further questions, please list them here in the comment section and we will be sure to get you an answer!

Topics: Encryption, Alliance FTP Manager, Key Management, Secure Managed File Transfer, FTP Manager for IBM i, SFTP

Secure Managed File Transfer and PGP Encryption

Posted by Michelle Larson on Nov 19, 2013 3:15:00 PM

Core Components of a Total Encryption Strategy

One of the easiest things to do to improve your data security posture is make sure that all of the transfers moving in and out of your organization are encrypted. The core components of any secure managed file transfer solution are the ability to protect and secure transfers as they move off of your system or as transfers move into your system using strong encryption.Webinar: Secure Managed File Transfer on the IBM i

The two main transfer mechanisms are:

  • SSL FTP, File Transfer Protocol that has been updated to support encrypted sessions

Implemented based on industry standards and integrated with the IBM i Digital Certificate Manager (DCM), new IBM i platforms have DCM installed by default. Our own solution, Alliance FTP Manager adds things like intelligent firewall negotiation and proxy server support which make those connections easier to deploy, as well as integrated logging to make sure that the sessions are properly logged for compliance regulations and compliance audits.

  • Secure Shell sFTP, which is a Linux and UNIX facility also exists in the IBM i platform and secure FTP gives you the ability to implement encrypted transfers to and from your IBM i platform

Secure Shell sFTP, based on how it encrypts, establishes, and maintains sessions is easier to manage from a firewall point of view than SSL FTP. We fully support password-based Secure Shell sFTP in batch mode and are the only vendor who fully implements that according to the standard.

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) file encryption is the third critical component of a total encryption strategy.  PGP encryption protects data at rest, so when you move data securely across the internal network or across the Internet, you need to be sure that it's properly encrypted at it’s destination.  SSL FTP and sFTP encrypted sessions are great at protecting data when in transit however, when that data lands on an FTP server, it may not be inside a firewall and could be exposed. PGP is the most commonly used and widely deployed encryption in retail, banking, medical, insurance, and other industries to protect data and a fundamental part of a managed file transfer solution.

The commercial version of PGP, created by the original developers and now supported by Symantec, is fully implemented in our Alliance FTP Manager solution. Commercial PGP also offers features important to enterprise clients:

  • Additional decryption keys support (ADK) - allows you to encrypt a file and send it to multiple people without using the same key. You can actually encrypt the file and add your own decryption key which would allow you to recover that data as part of a discovery process to prove what data was actually sent to a recipient.
  • PGP implements key server support in addition to local PGP encrypted key stores on the IBM i platform and for z/OS Mainframe.
  • Support for Self-Decrypting Archives (SDA) for multiple platforms.
  • Commercial PGP product has been through multiple rounds of FIPS 140-2 certification over the years. Both the source code and the application has been fully vetted by independent security professionals multiple times and that code has been open for public review.

Beyond those three core components, you also need some other things to confirm that the encryption being used is defensible and has been reviewed by security professionals:

  • Good audit trails
  • Real time system logging integrated with the IBM security audit journal (QAUDJRN)
  • Certifications through NIST and  FIPS 140-2

For an indepth look at a total encryption strategy, security expert Patrick Townsend presents a 30-minute webinar discussing how compliance regulations such as PCI, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and new state/federal laws affect your company.  He also covers real-life examples of how others are meeting these challenges with Alliance FTP Manager and the new PGP solutions.

Webinar: Secure Managed File Transfer on IBM i

Topics: Alliance FTP Manager, PGP Encryption, Secure Managed File Transfer, SFTP, Webinar

Secure Managed File Transfer on the IBM i webinar - Part 2

Posted by Michelle Larson on Sep 13, 2013 10:21:00 AM

As we discussed in the blog Secure Managed File Transfer on the IBM I – Part 1 protecting sensitive data on the IBM i (AS/400) can help you meet compliance requirements, and it can help you stop a data breach before it happens! Click to view Secure Managed File Transfer Webinar for IBM i users Hopefully you were able to watch the webinar resource provided (if not, you can request it HERE).  After the webinar, we had a number of questions asked by attendees and answered by security expert Patrick Townsend.  
Here is a recap of that Q&A session:

Q: Is there any reason why I shouldn’t use PGP on Windows? I can just transfer the file from my IBM i to Windows and then PGP encrypt it there.

Patrick: That is a great compliance question. Transferring unencrypted data to a Windows platform and then encrypting it and moving it from there will put you out of compliance for PCI DSS. You should not transfer unprotected data to any system or across any network that’s not fully protected. If you move it from the IBM i platform to Windows platform, it’s going to land in an unencrypted format and that will put you out of compliance. That kind of unprotected transfer will also put you out of best practices alignment in terms of just pure security. The security principle here that comes into play is always encrypt at the source, decrypt at the target or the destination, and don’t let the data be unprotected in-between.

Q: Does the FTP Manager solution run on the IBM i  or Windows server?

Patrick: FTP Manager is a fully native IBM i application. It runs strictly on the IBM i platform and uses industry standard protocols. So there is no proprietary component on FTP Manager where you would have to distribute special software to someone who is receiving the files in order to process them. We use industry standard pipeline encryption SSL FTP and Secure Shell sFTP. No matter who you’re transferring this to, whether its Windows, Linux, UNIX ,or IBM Mainframe, there are multiple readily available solutions that support those file transfer secure protocols. The PGP that we provide is fully compatible with industry standards, it interoperates seamlessly, and we test it against multiple other PGP solutions as well as open PGP solutions.  Your customers and vendors (the people you’re transferring the data to) will appreciate that they do not need special software to process PGP encrypted files or your FTP Manager transfers.

Q: We occasionally need to create encrypted zip files on our IBM i and then transfer the files to our customers. Can FTP Manager do this?

Patrick:  There are commands in the product to zip with or without 256-bit AES encryption and unzip the same way. It can handle multiple files and multiple directories and it is all command based if you want to do that via commands. So yes, there is an implementation of secure encrypted zip in FTP Manager.

Q: A public/private key pair is needed for SSH and sFTP transfers. Does FTP Manager exchange keys with the destination server?

Patrick: SSH and sFTP implement a number of authentication mechanisms for transferring files. Public/private key structure is typical for secure sFTP transfers. We add utilities into FTP Manager to make the generation and exchange of those keys very easy to do. For example: as you’re setting up a new sFTP transfer we have utilities that will go out and pull the public key for that remote server down into your IBM i platform and add it to the appropriate key file. Additionally, Secure Shell sFTP does support a password type of authentication. It’s not used a lot, most people feel that public private key authentication and protection is the best mechanism. We know at least one major commercial bank that uses passwords as an authentication mechanism with sFTP. This is a real challenge for a command line facility that is being automated in batch, and we’ve solved that problem for our customers. There is architecture within sFTP that allows for password authentication. We found a way to make this fully work with these large commercial banks so that you can use password authentication with our sFTP product. It’s a big challenge. Very important: your first sFTP transfer may use public and private keys, which is probably more typical. But be sure that the solution can also handle password authentication. FTP Manager CAN do that.

To learn more, view the complete webinar "Secure Managed File Transfer on the IBM I" which examines the security principles, compliance requirements, and technical challenges for secure sFTP transfers on the IBM i platform with the following objectives:

  • Automatically transfer files using Secure Shell sFTP or Secure SSL FTP
  • Send your first encrypted file in an hour
  • Review detailed audit trails of all transfer activity
     
REQUEST WEBINAR DOWNLOAD: Secure Managed File Transfer

If you have further questions, please list them here in the comment section and we will be sure to get you an answer!

Topics: Alliance FTP Manager, Secure Managed File Transfer, FTP Manager for IBM i, SFTP, Webinar

Secure Managed File Transfer on the IBM i - Part 1

Posted by Michelle Larson on Aug 15, 2013 6:00:00 AM

Easily Meet Compliance Requirements...
...with Secure Managed File Transfer

We did a survey almost a year ago of IBM i customers and just about half of them said “yes, we’re transferring data”...
“no, we’re not protecting it”... “yes, we know we have a problem”!Click to view Secure Managed File Transfer Webinar for IBM i users

One of the easiest ways for an organization to have a Big Security Win is to secure sensitive data using secure managed file transfers. When unencrypted sensitive data moves off your IBM i to internal servers, public networks, or service providers via the Internet, the data is vulnerable to malware and other attacks. Unencrypted data (also called “data-in-motion”) is extremely vulnerable to a breach. This is a critical issue for companies that must transfer sensitive data such as credit card numbers, financial information, and other personally identifiable information (PII). Sensitive data is covered under industry and many state data security regulations and any organization, no matter the size, collecting and transferring data is required to protect that information.

According to compliance regulations such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI-DSS version 2.0 Section 4), organizations must always encrypt credit card numbers as they are transferred from one location to another. PCI DSS applies to everyone - both public and private companies (large and small) - that accepts credit card payments.  PCI-DSS version 3.0 will be released this fall, and we will be talking about that more as that time approaches. While PCI-DSS applies to credit card information, other regulations cover different elements of PII.  HIPAA/HITECH Act addresses protected health information (PHI), but while it does not mandate encryption, it does state that the only safe harbor from data breach notification and severe penalties & fines is to protect PHI with encryption. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) applies to all publicly traded companies in the US and has a component (section 404) that applies to IT systems and best practices around protecting data. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also been active in the area of data breaches where it applies to published privacy statements. They consider it an aspect of consumer fraud if companies are not following their published guidance around privacy.

So what are the “must-haves” for meeting compliance around securing sensitive data that will stand up to scrutiny in terms of any kind of outside audit, challenge, or data breach?  PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption is the industry standard for encrypting data-in-motion. Secure file transfer protocol, also known as SSL FTP or SSH sFTP, is often combined with PGP whole file encryption as part of a core solution to ensure that the data-in-motion is encrypted and remains encrypted after being transferred to trading partners. While data is transferred via secure SSL connection, keep in mind it is important that the sensitive data lands encrypted at its final destination. For a much more technical look at all of these components, I’m sharing a recently recorded webinar on Secure Managed File Transfer with you, and as always, please post any additional questions you may have here in the comment section!

Specifically for IBM i users, the following webinar will cover how easy it can be to meet compliance regulations with a Secure Managed File Transfer solution. You can also learn more about how PCI-DSS, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and new state/federal laws affect your company and discover real-life examples of how others are meeting these challenges with Alliance FTP Manager and the PGP solutions.

During this 45-minute webinar, Patrick Townsend will also discuss core components of a total encryption strategy and show you how to:

  • Automatically transfer files using Secure Shell sFTP or Secure SSL FTP
  • Send your first encrypted file in an hour
  • Review detailed audit trails of all transfer activity

REQUEST WEBINAR DOWNLOAD: Secure Managed File Transfer 

… just a reminder on our special offer in August:

For the remainder of the month of August, Townsend Security will provide additional help to our new customers, or customers licensing new modules of Alliance FTP Manager, by implementing their first secure FTP project.  This means our team of security experts will help you fully implement your first secure transfer.  Working with your IT team on your IBM i platform, we will help you do the configurations, do the transfer, set up DCM if that is required, and sFTP and SSL FTP configurations. This full set up will get your first transfer done very quickly and you will be able to see the success right away!

Contact us about how to take advantage of this limited time offer: Just fill in the fields below, click the blue button... and Ken will contact you!


Topics: Alliance FTP Manager, Secure Managed File Transfer, FTP Manager for IBM i, Webinar

Secure Managed File Transfer: Selecting a Vendor

Posted by Luke Probasco on Apr 9, 2012 1:23:00 PM

Download Podcast

Podcast

Download podcast "Secure Managed File Transfer - An Introduction"

Click Here to Download Now

Your CIO told you that you need to meet compliance regulations around data in motion on your IBM i (AS/400).  It’s not just a good idea, but customers and trading partners are starting to demand it.  So what do you look for when selecting which Managed File Transfer vendor to trust your sensitive data to?  What separates one solution from another?  I recently sat down with Patrick Townsend, Founder & CEO, to discuss what to look for when selecting a Managed File Transfer vendor.  Here is what he had to say:

There are some common business issues that I would look at when selecting a Managed File Transfer product. First, look at the providence of the vendor you are buying from. Have they been around for a substantial amount of time? Are they committed to security? If security is not their core mission, it’s very likely that they are NOT going to get it right, and a Managed File Transfer solution really has to get security right.

I think that looking for solutions that are committed to independent certification of their products is paramount. For example, our commercial PGP product, which in partnership with Symantec, has been through multiple certifications. As a company, we have been through NIST certifications many times. We have a FIPS 140-2 certified encryption key manager as well. If I were looking for a Managed File Transfer solution, I would really want the confidence of knowing that the vendor knows security, is committed to security, and is comfortable with putting their product out there for independent review. That is how I would look at this from a business point of view.

Managed File Transfer and security in general is about building confidence so that your company can move forward, start new initiatives and build confidence with new customers and trading partners. You want to be sure you are deploying a solution from an established security company committed to NIST standards. Looking at a vendor or a solution, I would look deeper than the feature set of the particular Managed File Transfer product and ask myself, am I comfortable with this companies’ security posture and their mission, and do their actions really support what they say is their mission.

Download our podcast “Secure Managed File Transfer on the IBM i – An Introduction” for more information on how your organization can save time and money by securely automating file transfers.

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Topics: Alliance FTP Manager, Managed File Transfer, Secure Managed File Transfer, FTP Manager for IBM i, Podcast

Meeting Compliance Regulations with Secure Managed File Transfer

Posted by Luke Probasco on Mar 29, 2012 9:46:00 AM

managed file transfer complianceIn today’s environment, most organizations fall under multiple compliance regulations. If you are taking credit cards, you need to meet PCI data security standards. If you are in the health care industry, you have HIPAA and HITECH to work on. If you are in the banking industry or any financial segment, you have the Graham Leech Bliley Act (GLBA) and FFIEC requirements to meet. All of us have to deal with state and federal privacy regulations about protecting data.

A secure Managed File Transfer solution with NIST validated PGP encryption can help meet compliance regulations for securing data in motion.

Compliance regulations come full bore on all of us - whether you are in the business, Federal, or non-profit world. PCI DSS and a number of other regulations require encryption of data in motion. Townsend Security has partnered with Symantec to offer the only commercial and fully supported version of PGP encryption on the IBM i (AS/400).

Maintaining proper audit trails is also a very clearly defined requirement of compliance regulations. I think as we see compliance regulations evolve, making sure that your Managed File Transfer solution is based on well accepted standards is very important. For example, the commercial version of PGP encryption that we offer has been through multiple certifications with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). We have seen fines given to companies using non-standard implementations, so having those certifications and having the confidence that you’re using a solution that provably meets industry standard is really important.

Compliance regulations are still evolving and we continue to see new regulations being brought forward. For example there is a new federal data privacy regulation coming through Congress. There is also a clear evolution of compliance regulations requiring solutions to meet defined industry standards (such as NIST). I know our certifications give our customers confidence that they are meeting compliance regulations and that they are using the right kind of encryption.

Townsend Security’s FTP Manager has been helping IBM i (AS/400) users meet compliance regulations by securing and automating their data in motion to trading partners, customers, employees, and internal systems. Download our podcast “Secure Managed File Transfer on the IBM i – An Introduction” for more information on how we can help your organization save time and money by securely automating your file transfers.


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Topics: Alliance FTP Manager, IBM i, Secure Managed File Transfer, FTP Manager for IBM i, Podcast

Secure Managed File Transfer on IBM i (AS/400): 4 Core Components

Posted by Luke Probasco on Mar 16, 2012 8:26:00 AM

secure managed file transferAs more and more organizations are falling under compliance regulations, IT managers are being tasked with finding a secure Managed File Transfer solution to secure and automate data in motion with their trading partners, customers, employees and internal systems.  There are a few out there, but how do you decide which is the best for your organization?  I recently sat down with Patrick Townsend, Founder & CEO to learn more about the core components of a Managed File Transfer solution.  Here is what he has to say:

First, you must have security built-in with your solution. Our Alliance FTP Manager uses a number of secure encrypted mechanisms for transferring files. We use SSL FTP, Secure Shell sFTP, PGP encryption and decryption. That security component is absolutely crucial to the product. I’m really happy with our security, and we have a great partnership with Symantec around their PGP product. Our enterprise customers really expect the highest level of solution when it comes to encryption. We have partnered with Symantec on the PGP product and it carries the proper certification and the depth of support that customers want.

Automation is another core component. If you are dealing with a lot of files, you need to have automation to be efficient. You don’t want to have to do a lot of manual intervention. There should also be a centralized management environment so that configurations can be set up and managed from a central location.

Additionally, notification is another core component. For example you may have files that you’re sending to a customer or your bank. You may only do that transfer once a month, but wouldn’t it be nice if after you transferred the file you sent the customer an email telling them your file is transferred and is ready for processing. With Alliance FTP Manager, we can notify your customer or an entire email list of recipients when a file transfer is complete. Or if there is a failure in a transfer, maybe a customer turned off their FTP server, we can notify that too.  We can do both success and failure notifications in our Managed File Transfer product.

Finally, to meet compliance regulations, you need to have full audit capabilities. We can create audit trails of all the transfers, which is really important from a compliance point of view.

View a recording of our webinar Secure Managed File Transfers: Meeting Compliance Regulations for more information on meeting data in motion requirements of PCI DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, and other compliance requirements on your IBM i.

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Topics: Alliance FTP Manager, Managed File Transfer, IBM i, Secure Managed File Transfer, FTP Manager for IBM i, Webinar

Secure Managed File Transfer: Meeting Business Needs

Posted by Luke Probasco on Mar 14, 2012 9:48:00 AM

Download Podcast

Podcast

Download podcast "Secure Managed File Transfer - An Introduction"

Click Here to Download Now

Managed File Transfer is an easy way to meet business requirements and comply with data privacy regulations.  With a solution like Alliance FTP Manager, businesses can meet compliance regulations by securely transmitting files from their IBM i (AS/400) to their trading partners and customers. Additionally, a Managed File Transfer solution can help your organization save time and money by automating processes that traditionally have eaten into IT manpower. I recently sat down with Founder & CEO Patrick Townsend to discuss how Managed File Transfer can help businesses assure their customers and partners that their sensitive data is secure and in compliance with data privacy requirements such as PCI DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, FFIEC and other regulations.

Can you walk us through a typical business problem that Managed File Transfer Solves?

If you’re a mid-sized or large company, security is absolutely crucial in today’s environment. We all hear over and over again about data losses by large companies and the damage that causes to both the business and the reputation of those companies. Business executives around the world are trying to protect their data, their customer data, and supplier information so they can have the confidence to go forward with their business plans. A managed file transfer solution provides a start-to-finish mechanism for securing data in motion.

If you are using a Managed File Transfer solution like our Alliance FTP Manager, you can have the confidence that you are doing things right, that you are meeting best practices in the industry and that you are less likely to  wake up one day and find yourself in a headline in the New York Times about some large data loss.

Can you explain how a Managed File Transfer works?

Managed File Transfer solutions, like our Alliance FTP Manager, need to meet a number of core requirements. Obviously, they need to protect data in motion and we use SSL session encryption and PGP encryption, which are the industry standards. Automation is also very important. Most of our customers are transferring multiple files everyday to banks, trading partners and suppliers. You don’t want to burn resources by having someone manually transfer files any time it needs to be done.

Additionally, policy driven configuration and reporting by exception are extremely important. Some of our customers are sending tens of thousands of files every day to their trading partners, which can be a lot to manage. You need to be sure that you can manage by exception if there is a problem.

Finally, a Managed File Transfer Solution not only automatically picks up and transfer files, but provides additional controls to make the process efficient - not only from a human resource point of view, but also from a cost point of view. You don’t want to be spending valuable human resources, picking up files and processing them. This should all be an automatic process and that is really the core idea behind Managed File Transfer – automation and security. 

Download our podcast “Secure Managed File Transfer on the IBM i – An Introduction” for more information on how we can help your organization save time and money by securely automating your file transfers.

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Topics: Alliance FTP Manager, Managed File Transfer, IBM i, Secure Managed File Transfer, FTP Manager for IBM i, Podcast

Secure SSH sFTP Transfers with Alliance FTP Manager

Posted by Luke Probasco on Jan 24, 2012 11:02:00 AM

secure managed file transferDuring our monthly webinars we receive some great questions that we like to share with our blog readers.  Our most recent webinar titled “Secure Managed File Transfers on the IBM i” discussed meeting compliance regulations, as well as how to automatically transfer files to trading partners using sFTP or SSL FTP.  While on the topic of secure transfers, one attendee asked the following question that Patrick Townsend, Founder & CTO, was able to answer:

A public/private key pair is needed for SSH/sFTP Transfers.  Does the Alliance FTP Manager exchange keys with the destination server?

Yes, SSH as a technology, implements a number of ways to secure and authenticate connections.  Public/Private Key or PKI implementation is a part of that.  Also password authentication is an option within the SSH world too.  Looking back over the last few years, public/private key based encryption has predominately been the rule with SSH and sFTP Transfers.

Recently, there has been an interesting migration with a trend of moving to a password-based authentication for sFTP sessions, and I understand why.  Many large institutions have a big task of managing all of their Public/Private key pairs.  If you are transferring just one file outside of the company, like to a bank, then there is not really much of a problem.  But some of our customers use thousands of keys within their IT environment, which becomes very difficult to manage. 

Alliance FTP Manager supports Public/Private key based authentication as well as “password based” authentication. Usually, your trading partner is choosing the authentication for you, but we do support both models.  

There is another aspect to this question and that is the key exchange, which can be a bit of an administrative nightmare.  We have really tried to help our customers by automatically pulling in a remote SSH severs Public Key into the proper files on the IBM i.  Additionally, we have developed utilities that make that a matter of selecting on option in a menu.  In some cases you still have to send a public key to your partner, but we have done a lot to help manage the PKI infrastructure exchange that needs to happen.  From an administrative perspective, you don’t want to be emailing keys around all over and we have done a lot to help make secure managed file transfers an easy process. 

View our webinar “Secure Managed File Transfers on the IBM i” for more information on automatically transferring files to business partners while meeting compliance regulations.

 

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Topics: Alliance FTP Manager, Secure Managed File Transfer, SFTP

Managed File Transfer on the IBM i – 4 Core Components

Posted by Luke Probasco on Jan 19, 2012 7:57:00 AM

Secure Managed File TransferMeeting compliance regulations on your IBM i for securing data in motion doesn’t need to be difficult.  They all have the same overlying theme – encryption.  PCI DSS requires encryption when transferring files over the internet and WiFi networks.  HIPAA/HITECH says that encryption is the only Safe Harbor from a data breach.  While failing to comply with these regulations can financially impact your organization, the good news is that with just a few core encryption components, you can easily satisfy these requirements.

There are a handful of core components to look for when deciding on a managed file transfer solution for your organization.

  • SSL FTP with 128-bit encryption
  • sFTP with 128-bit encryption
  • PGP file encryption with 2048-bit keys
  • Audit trails

Our Alliance FTP Manager not only contains all of these components, but also enables users to automate their managed file transfers.  Alliance FTP Manager provides several automation functions to help you exchange files without human intervention.  Users can automatically transfer files using Secure Shell sFTP or secure SSL FTP to banks, insurance companies, benefits providers, payment networks, and any other internal or external server.  The transfers are encrypted to meet compliance regulations (such as PCI DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, and privacy notification laws).  Additionally, audit trails and system logs provide the permanent history needed for compliance regulations.

Finally, Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is the de facto standard for file encryption before transmission to a trading partner.  Based on open standards and tested by time, PGP has won the trust of governments and private enterprises to protect their sensitive data.

Are you ready to get started?  Download a 30-day evaluation of Alliance FTP Manager, configure it, and send your first encrypted file transfer in about an hour. Sending and receiving encrypted data just doesn't get any easier.

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Topics: Alliance FTP Manager, Managed File Transfer, IBM i

 

 

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