Ensuring File Integrity and Guaranteed Delivery 

From critical business documents to personal files, ensuring that data remains intact and reaches its destination reliably is essential. This article explores the concepts of file integrity and guaranteed delivery, discussing their significance, challenges, and solutions. 

1/ Significances and challenges

File Integrity and common threats

File integrity refers to the assurance that a file has not been altered or corrupted during storage, transmission, or processing. It is a fundamental aspect of data security, ensuring that information remains accurate, consistent, and reliable. However, maintaining file integrity poses several challenges, including malicious attacks, hardware failures, and software glitches. 

One of the primary methods for verifying file integrity is through cryptographic hashing. This technique generates unique identifiers based on the contents of a file. Any alteration to the file, no matter how minor, will result in a different hash value, thus alerting users to potential integrity breaches. Implementing hashes is essential for detecting data tampering and unauthorized modifications, particularly in environments where data integrity is critical, such as financial transactions or legal documents. 

Regular monitoring and auditing of systems are imperative for detecting anomalies and ensuring compliance with data integrity and delivery standards. Automated monitoring tools can track file access, modifications, and transmission activities, flagging any deviations from expected behaviour. Auditing processes provide a comprehensive review of file integrity and delivery practices, identifying areas for improvement and ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements. 

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Secured delivery

Ensuring the secure delivery of files is equally essential, especially in today’s interconnected world were data traverses’ vast networks and systems. The transmission process introduces vulnerabilities such as network failures, packet loss, and interception by malicious actors. To address these challenges, protocols like TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) with acknowledgment mechanisms are employed to guarantee delivery reliability. TCP/IP, for instance, establishes a reliable connection between sender and receiver, ensuring that data packets are delivered in the correct order and retransmitted if necessary. UDP, while faster, lacks built-in reliability mechanisms but can be augmented with application-level acknowledgment and retransmission strategies to ensure delivery. 

In addition to protocols, encryption plays a crucial role in securing file delivery. By encrypting data before transmission, even if intercepted, it remains indecipherable to unauthorized parties. Encryption protocols like SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) provide end-to-end encryption for secure communication over networks, safeguarding sensitive information from eavesdropping and tampering. 

Implementing redundancy and fault tolerance mechanisms further enhances delivery reliability. Techniques such as data replication, mirroring, and RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) ensure that files are backed up and available even in the event of hardware failures or system crashes. These redundancy measures are particularly important for mission-critical systems where uninterrupted access to data is essential. 

File integrity and secure delivery are crucial in various sectors, including healthcare, finance, government, and e-commerce. For instance, in healthcare, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of patient records is essential for compliance with regulations like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Similarly, in finance, secure delivery of financial transactions and sensitive data is vital for preventing fraud and maintaining customer trust. 

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates stringent measures to ensure the security and integrity of personal data. Compliance with GDPR requires organizations to implement robust data protection measures, including encryption, access controls, and regular audits.  

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2/ Solutions

Whether you want secure file transfer, fast delivery or protect critical data, here are some solutions that can meet your needs.  

How to detect threats?  

With many data threats, some organisations are turning to Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to truly protect their critical data. Sharing information carries risks, including exposing sensitive content, whether it is sent by mistake or hidden in metadata. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions help you strengthen the security of your data while minimizing the risk of data and/or metadata disclosures. 

Here are some essential features: 

  • Content Inspection 

Inspect the contents of your documents and make sure that sensitive data is not transmitted. Deep content inspection adds an extra layer of security when sharing sensitive information. In addition, it ensures compliance with the standards and regulations in force in your company and sector of activity. 

  • Minimize false positives. 

When analysing content, including in a compressed file, DLP solutions distinguish between elements that may look like personal data, but are not personal data. Effective detection results in an extremely low rate of false positives. 

  • Threat Detection 

Inspecting the content is good; but also looking for viruses and malware that can hide there is even better! These advanced scans enable detection of viruses and malicious code that are then removed to ensure secure sharing of sensitive data. 

  • Anti-stenography 

This DLP feature prevents files, messages, images, or videos from being hidden in a file, both for incoming (malicious code concealment) and outbound (data exfiltration concealment) items. 

  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) 

The optical character recognition function allows you to process the text contained in an image before it is sent. In short, images containing sensitive information are also identified before sending. 

Clearswift software for file integrity 

Every company faces the risk of data leakage, as sharing sensitive information with partners, suppliers, and customers is crucial in today’s business landscape. Therefore, safeguarding against data leaks is imperative to ensure the security of your business. 

Clearswift offers a cybersecurity solution with data and transfer protection functionalities. Using a single layer of real-time inspection, this tool identifies and addresses threats effectively.  

Powered by a sophisticated content inspection engine, all Clearswift modules detect, analyse, and modify content in real-time. Its distinctive redaction and sanitization capabilities selectively remove elements prone to causing data breaches or disruptive cyberattacks, thus maintaining smooth and risk-free communications. 

 

Replay webinar : How to Remove Security Risk & Threats from File Transfers

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Secured delivery and file integrity with Managed File Transfer tool 

A file transfer solution is often software that automates and secures transfer movements and actions via a network and a communication protocol such as HTTPS, SFTP, AS2, FTPS, PeSIT, etc. The security of the transfer will depend on the protocol used for communication between the computer systems.  

MFT ensures file integrity even if connectivity is interrupted or if the files sent are large. 

Regulatory compliance is an important part of MFT. Certain regulations (PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA, Basel, DORA, SOX, ISO 27001, FISMA & NIST, etc.) require detailed audit information to be stored and tracked. Being able to generate complete audit logs of all transfer activities and reports is therefore essential.  

Introducing GoAnywhere MFT  

GoAnywhere MFT (Managed File Transfer) is a professional file transfer management solution. With a centralised approach based on a modular architecture, GoAnywhere MFT allows you to streamline and reduce the costs associated with your file transfers and related business processes. 

GoAnywhere MFT consolidates all your communication protocols into a single application. 

This managed file transfer (MFT) tool will adapt to all your technical constraints and scalability with its clustered architecture. With GoAnywhere, Protect critical data with standards-based AES or Open PGP encryption and files in transit with SFTP, SCP, FTPS, AS2 and HTTPS. 

Deployable on-premises, in cloud and hybrid environments, it provides a single point of control with extensive security settings, detailed audit logs and reporting. 

Ensuring fast and secured delivery 

Many organisations continue to rely on FTP (File Transfer Protocol) for moving large files, despite its drawbacks. Slow and susceptible to network issues, FTP is considered outdated technology. Particularly challenging for international transfers, FTP often experiences disconnections and fails to achieve optimal speeds. These inherent limitations make it challenging, if not impossible, to accelerate file transfers using FTP. From timeouts to latency, TCP poses issues that UDP, another protocol, does not. 

UDP-based Data Transfer Protocol (UDT) emerges as a high-performance alternative, specifically designed for transferring large datasets across high-speed wide area networks. Such environments are typically unsuitable for the more conventional TCP protocol. Given the extended durations associated with TCP transfers, even with increased bandwidth, UDP has emerged as the preferred choice for expediting file transfers. 

 

Introducing FileCatalyst 

FileCatalyst is a robust accelerated file transfer software solution that supports client/server architecture, enabling the fast transfer of large files. FileCatalyst solutions are designed specifically to allow the transfer of large files over remote networks experiencing high latency or packet loss. 

FileCatalyst provides FTP alternatives that permit sending files of any size or format at full line speed, hundreds of times faster than FTP, while ensuring secure and reliable delivery. 

Each FileCatalyst product serves a unique set of organizational file transfer needs and works across a variety of industries. 

On its own, FileCatalyst Direct uses the FileCatalyst Server and a full suite of client options for point-to-point transfers. Combining FileCatalyst Direct with FileCatalyst Workflow provides a complete managed and accelerated web-based solution. 

Adding FileCatalyst Central allows you to monitor your organisation’s entire FileCatalyst deployment by offering a consolidated web-based view of file transfers on your network. 

In conclusion

In conclusion, maintaining file integrity and ensuring secure delivery are non-negotiable aspects of data management in the digital era. By employing cryptographic hashing, reliable protocols, encryption, redundancy measures, IT solutions, and rigorous monitoring and auditing practices, organisations can mitigate risks, safeguard their data assets, and uphold the trust and integrity of their information systems. In a landscape fraught with cyber threats and data breaches, prioritizing file integrity and safe delivery is essential for preserving the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical information. 

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