The benefits of the FTP protocol for your company

In order to transfer files from one server to another, businesses use a very popular network protocol, the File Transfer Protocol – mostly known as FTP. Of course, the FTP has many uses, but it also excels with EDI exchange, which is our main interest here, at EDIconnect.

Basically, the FTP protocol has been around for around 40 years, serving as a secure network for B2B communication under its various versions. Below we will elaborate on the utility of this type of protocol for your business and how it works connected to EDI.

Source: https://multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/ftp_made_simple-main.jpg

What is it and what does it do?

These FTP protocols are basically rules that are the core of a computer-to-computer language, that enables the transfer of files securely between them. In order to achieve this type of communication, everything these computers need is a TCP/IP network (the Internet).

The client and the server are connected through the model that FTP uses, which allows the trading partners to authenticate themselves. By protecting the authentication information (user ID and password) and encrypting the content of the message, the EDI transaction will then be secured.

This protocol has been constantly evolving, always generating versions that are more secure than the previous ones. Even though businesses are still heavily relying on the FTP protocol, the attention has also shifted to alternatives such as VPN usage (virtual private network), that adds extra security, the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) or the File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS).

Here at EDIconnect we are using the SFTP protocol, which is greatly similar to to the original FTP, but has added security that is greatly appreciated in today’s times. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) developed the SFTP, enabling the transiting message to be encrypted and to be decrypted only when it has safely arrived at the destination. However, there are certain aspects that neither of the abovementioned protocols can successfully cover. A major one would be that none of them offers non-repudiation, which means that the receiver cannot decline receiving a transaction from a verified sender.

What is more, when communicating with your business partner you might both face compatibility issues that can be avoided by using the same vendor to provide you with the FTP software. Then there is also the issue of poor message management.

This is where we can help you. We offer great compatibility with other VANs, as well as terrific message management with best-in-class security levels. If you want to find out more about what these protocols can do for your business, give us a call and let us find solutions for you.

 

 



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