Managed file transfer (MFT) is a technology platform that allows organisations to reliably exchange electronic data between systems and people, within and outside the enterprise, securely and in compliance with applicable regulations.
MFT is a reliable and efficient means for secure data and file transfer, outpacing and outperforming applications such as file transfer protocol (FTP), hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) and other methods. Organisations increasingly rely on MFT to support their business needs and goals in a way that FTP cannot. FTP presents many challenges such as data security gaps, lack of visibility when a problem occurs, timely manual recovery from failures and costly SLA fees due to poor performance.

Key capabilities of effective managed file transfer


Encrypt internal and external transfers, in motion and at rest. Secure file transfers with advanced capabilities like session breaks and protocol inspection maximise the protection of sensitive data at multiple layers.

Simplified file transfer

Offers timely and flexible data transfer across a range of file transfer activities and support for multiple file types, including multimedia, PDFs, email, XML, EDI and more.

Compliance standards

Strong encryption helps companies avoid compliance failures which can lead to hefty fines. Thorough audit trails confirm regulatory compliance.

Full visibility

Provides a 360-degree view in near-real time. Companies can see who is transferring files, what is being shared and the volume passing through the system. Potential issues like delays and failed transfers are visible before they impact downstream business processes or become missed SLAs.

Benefits of managed file transfer

Data exchange solutions will continue to be in demand because no business is an island and business networks continue to grow, requiring qualities of service that only purpose-built software can deliver,” says Stewart Bond, director of Data Integration and Integrity Software research at IDC.

Companies rely on the exchange of electronic file data every day. According to a study by Vanson-Bourne, sponsored by IBM, 51% of system-to-system integration is achieved through file transfers. Without MFT software, unstructured data — everything from reports, contracts and project data, to customer and employee information — is open to manipulation and loss. The efficient movement of files between internal systems and external partners, securely and with an audit trail, is critical to an organisation’s success.

There are several factors pushing companies to move to MFT: 

  • Data security: High-profile data breaches and failed transfers can drastically impact a company’s bottom line and reputation. MFT offers a pre-emptive security strategy with real-time monitoring, and validation security policies and controls to protect data in transit or at rest.
  • Data growth: Data is everywhere, and companies face larger and more varied files than in the past. The number of users sharing files has grown as have the number of end-points and devices. And as files get larger, the time to move them over global distances becomes longer. MFT brings reliable, automated governance to the movement of files inside and outside the business and can accelerate big data movements around the globe.
  • Regulatory compliance: Legislative and industry requirements, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), Basel II, Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and others, typically have stringent data security standards. Using a properly configured MFT system to encrypt, transmit, monitor and store sensitive data empowers organisations to meet security mandates.
  • Technology megatrends: Moving files has become more complex with the adoption of transformational technologies. The growth of big data, cloud applications, artificial intelligence, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) place a premium on the speed and bulk of file transfers. MFT offers advanced capabilities and support for multiple platforms, mobile devices, applications and other existing IT infrastructure.
  • Visibility: Companies need to anticipate risk factors to mitigate damages. Operational visibility over file movements leads to proactive issue resolution, like failed transfers and improved compliance with SLA commitments.