Managed File Transfer’s Role in Improving National Cybersecurity

by | May 14, 2021

As I am sure you have heard, there’s a lot happening on the cybersecurity front. The ransomware attack that halted operations of a major fuel pipeline was an exclamation point on a string of cyberattacks affecting public and private sector organizations, and that crippled a key piece of critical infrastructure. In response, the White House issued an Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.

The document articulates a series of policies and goals intended to bolster the federal government’s ability to detect and respond to cyberattacks. And while the focus of the EO is on protecting both information and operation technology—software and hardware used to manage data (IT) and processes (OT)—there is also an acknowledgment of the need to improve ways to manage and protect the data that moves within and between organizations.

Bat Signal
For Coviant Software, that’s like seeing the bat-signal flashing in the skies above Gotham City.

Recency bias draws our attention to current events, but can also cause us to overlook routine processes that are still important to protecting data integrity. The Colonial Pipeline attack is a needed wake-up call about the threat of ransomware; the SolarWinds hack was an unfortunate case study in the vulnerabilities present in our digital supply chains; and the Verkada breach was a dramatic illustration of how remotely managed devices can expose operations to unauthorized parties.

But when organizations take day-to-day processes, like data transfers, for granted, it can have devastating and costly effects. This was shown by the Accellion file transfer appliance vulnerability that exposed data in motion, allowed threat actors to intercept sensitive files, and resulted in breaches to customers across the globe. Privacy and data security violations can mean a loss of trust that harms customer and partner relationships and bring unwanted attention from regulators.


Section Four of the president’s executive order states that, “There is a pressing need to implement more rigorous and predictable mechanisms for ensuring that products function securely, and as intended.  The security and integrity of “critical software” — software that performs functions critical to trust… is a particular concern.”

MFT to the Rescue
This is where secure, managed file transfer products like our Diplomat MFT platform shine. Because the process is automated, and includes safeguards like OpenPGP encryption to ensure only the intended recipient can access the data, it protects data in motion. Diplomat MFT also supports digital signatures to ensure that the sender of the data can be verified as genuine, and it alerts users when things change or unexpected events occur to make sure humans are involved only when necessary.

Managed file transfer adds a layer of rigor and predictability that minimizes the chance for human error, and ensures the movement of sensitive data is handled securely and as intended. What’s more, all data flowing through Diplomat MFT is fully audited, as are configuration changes to the system. This ensures that activities can be reviewed for correctness, and illicit or unwarranted behaviors can be quickly identified and dealt with. Auditability is also a key component to regulatory compliance.

If Colonial Pipeline—or any of the other recent, high-profile cyberattacks—has caused you to reevaluate your security posture and processes, do not overlook the role your day-to-day routines play in keeping you, your customers, and your partners safe.

Try it for Free
And if you want to see how Diplomat MFT can help you to improve your security, you can download a trial version. When you do, we think you’ll see why we’ve won so many awards, and as the best value in MFT you’ll be happy to know we won’t break your budget.

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