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What's wrong with FTP?

Can the protocol cut it in todays fast paced, demanding world?

  • Lack of Speed and Reliability

The first problem is that it is too slow for the modern media content exchange. FTP doesn’t have the built-in acceleration needed to move large files through congested networks and inconsistent connections. But even aside from speed, who among us hasn’t had the annoying experience of a file delivery reaching 98% and then failing? In today’s time-sensitive media environment, checkpoint restart is crucial — it’s the bare minimum needed to eliminate delays caused by interrupted transfers. File transfer needs to be a set and forget task to free up staff, bandwidth and processing resources.

  • Security

Increasingly, rogue actors target FTP because of its unsecured entry points, putting businesses at risk. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Motion Picture Association, and the Trusted Partner Network (TPN) have standards, guidelines, and best practices to manage cybersecurity-related risk. FTP and related technologies like SFTP/FTPS meet none of them.

And if industry associations don’t have you convinced, maybe one of the most successful media companies on Earth will. Netflix’s content security best practices identify encryption, both in transit and at rest, for all file-based, database, and disk-based data as a minimum standard for doing business with the company.

FTP has none of the above standards.

  • Control & Visibility

Most FTP software is as transparent as a brick wall with no intuitive visibility. You need to know when your files arrive at their destination, and the recipient needs to know that you’ve sent them. FTP, on its own, does not afford this visibility without significant IT involvement. Often, IT resources are left to parse through log files or utilize additional third-party software to verify transfers or debug problems — so much for “free” technology.

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