It can be challenging to keep up with ever-changing compliance requirements. This year alone, PCI DSS released an update that applied to most organizations in card-processing industries, and the GDPR went into effect for all businesses that handle the personal data of EU citizens. For many organizations, achieving 100% compliance for any one regulation can feel like a massive (but important) undertaking.
If you’re working toward compliance in any area but feel overwhelmed by the details, there’s good news. You can still make progress toward your goals (and reduce your likelihood of a costly data breach) by focusing on your file transfers.
Take these four steps to align your file transfers with today’s data security requirements:
- Implement a process that creates audit reports for file transfers
Being able to easily generate reports on your file transfers can help you monitor all activity on your systems, as well as report on them if needed. Auditing where files are sent, who sent them, who received them, and how many times they were downloaded can help pinpoint strange activity or unauthorized access before it becomes a critical issue. In the event of a security incident, reports can be sent to cyber forensic investigators, who can use the details to determine what happened and identify weaknesses to fix before the situation gets worse.
- Encrypt data in transit and at rest, no exceptions
With more and more encryption tools available to keep data safe from unwanted eyes, it’s easy and affordable to encrypt files when they’re in transit between systems, users, or networks. For the most protection, files should be encrypted at rest, both in-house and in the cloud.
Compliance requirements like PCI DSS, for example, require organizations to “encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open public networks.” We suggest protecting transmissions over public and private networks. Never use FTP, which is outdated and doesn’t meet today’s security standards. Instead, use secure protocols like SFTP, FTPS, AS2, and HTTPS when sending and retrieving data. If you can, we also recommend using OpenPGP to encrypt the file itself before transferring it, so that it’s protected until the intended recipient unlocks it with their private key.
- Maintain strong security for your systems and networks
In order to maintain secure systems and applications, implement and maintain change control for your test, QA, development, and production systems. Some solutions work in conjunction with these systems, allowing you to easily promote projects from test to production while maintaining separation of duties. When changes are made, always make sure to record revisions or save the old copy as a secure backup, just in case you need to revert your changes due to security flaws or other unforeseen issues.
You can also secure your systems by keeping your internal data and trading partners’ files separated from unsecured outside networks. To do this, use a reverse proxy to prevent data from being stored in the DMZ (a file transfer requirement for PCI DSS).
- Set up user and software settings to control permissions
With role-based security and user management, you can restrict access to sensitive files based on business need-to-know. This means certain users, including trading partners and employees, will only touch the information they need, limiting the risk of compromise in more critical areas of your business. Account management also frequently integrates with various authentication methods (like LDAP, Active Directory, SSH keys, and certificates) to ensure individuals have unique access, preventing the use of a shared log-in or group account that can’t be as easily audited if things go wrong.
Did you know? You can do all this with managed file transfer (MFT) software.
A managed file transfer solution enables IT professionals to maintain security and compliance while transferring files inside and outside their private network. Managed file transfers are designed to help organizations meet critical standards and requirements while saving precious resources like time, money, and staffing.
GoAnywhere MFT, a secure file transfer solution, provides the following features for data security compliance:
- Auditing and reporting for file transfer activity
- File transfer encryption over SFTP, FTPS, and HTTPS protocols
- Encrypted file transfers with OpenPGP and AES standards
- Clustering and high availability for eliminating system downtime
- Security controls, user management, and administration settings
- File and folder restrictions for individual users and group profiles
- Session timeouts to automatically log out users after lengths of inactivity
- Multi-factor authentication (database, LDAP, AD, SSH keys, certificates, etc.)
- Strong Key Management System (KMS) for multi-factor authentication
- Centralized file transfers, controls, and management from a single interface
- …and more, depending on the specific data security law or regulation
Need to make your file transfers compliant with today’s data security laws? Learn how our solution, GoAnywhere MFT, can help you meet file transfer security requirements in this data sheet on managing and securing private data with GoAnywhere MFT.