Tim Duncan and SFTP: GOATs

Tim Duncan and Coviant Software have a lot in common.

Long careers in San Antonio. Many awards and championships. Consistent, versatile, top performers known for both defensive ability and passing skills. Never flashy, but always reliable. Consummate professionals and unselfish team players. Here in The Alamo City, some regard The Big Fundamental as the greatest of all time—GOAT—for helping to deliver five NBA titles to San Antonio and the Spurs. Some of our customers regard Coviant Software as the GOAT of managed file transfer for securely delivering their sensitive files every day.

That boast may not be becoming in a list of comparisons with the humble Tim Duncan, but we’re proud of our reputation as the value leader in our industry and for providing enterprise-grade MFT at SMB prices. Our product, Diplomat MFT, is trusted by many organizations who need to protect the files they send around the world.

Many Protocol Options…

We recently announced an update to the Diplomat MFT line. Diplomat MFT v9 now includes an option for a secure server, which introduces another GOAT in this discussion: secure file transfer protocol, or SFTP.

When it comes to file transfers, there are a lot of choices for the foundational protocol that keeps data protected in transit.

  • The venerable FTP from RFC 959 comes to mind, along with its modern extensions for SSL/TLS to encrypt the data in flight.
  • HTTPS is ubiquitous with web browsers that upload and download pictures and files to social media and content sharing platforms. It is the de riguer protocol for the modern world of REST-based web services.
  • CIFS/SMB and NFS are great for files transferred between desktops and file storage servers for local networks.

Some protocols are built atop others:

  • AS2 adds features like messaging semantics, digital signing and receipts to the HTTPS protocol.
  • The AWS S3 API, implemented by many more vendors than simply Amazon AWS, provides a “calloc for the web” protocol on top of HTTPS.

There are also protocols specialized by industry or geography:

  • PeSIT for Financial institutions in France
  • OFTP for automobile supply chain in Germany.

…But the GOAT is SFTP

When you look at what SFTP offers, there’s no better option for securing and transferring files from anywhere to anywhere. First, SFTP is ubiquitous and has been available on all compute platforms and operating systems for the last 20 years. A protocol with limited availability is of limited use. But beyond simple ubiquity, SFTP stands head-and-shoulders above the rest because of its guts.

  • Strong cryptographic encryption;
  • Strong cryptographic authentication of both client and server, include 2FA;
  • Firewall friendly — all the power of FTP with the ease of configuration of HTTPS because it only requires one port to be opened in the firewall;
  • Built-in data compression using zlib or zip libraries, which helps to reduce the amount of data sent over the wire; and,
  • Message integrity — unlike other protocols, and the only mainstream protocol, SFTP provides cryptographically strong integrity checking of each packet that flows between the two systems. This ensures no data tampering takes place.

Thus, information sent over SFTP is guaranteed to be secured and unchanged, while minimizing the size of the transfer.  No other protocol offers all of that across so many platforms.

All of these factors make SFTP the GOAT for secure, automated file transfers. So, while fans outside of southeast Texas may argue that Jordan, LeBron, Bird, Johnson, Shaq, Bill Russell, or Kareem are more deserving of the GOAT label in basketball, there is no debating that SFTP is the GOAT for MFT.

And when it comes to MFT platforms, we’re so convinced that—once you try it—you’ll regard Diplomat MFT as the GOAT, that we offer a free 15-day trial. The best enterprise-grade MFT at SMB prices. What do you have do lose?

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