Which Security Protocol Does Secure File Transfer (SFTP) Use to Transfer Data?

Which Security Protocol Does SFTP Use to Transfer Data?
Aspera / IBM / SFTP

Which Security Protocol Does Secure File Transfer (SFTP) Use to Transfer Data?

If you’re a business looking to securely transfer information like billing data, funds, content, and data files, you want to know not only the efficient, but the most secure protocol to transfer files. 

Secure file transfer protocol, also SFTP, is a network protocol for transferring, accessing, and managing files between machines over an encrypted connection. It builds on File Transfer Protocol (FTP) software and uses the SSH (secure shell) protocol to transfer. This requires the client to be authenticated by the server.

To better understand SFTP, it’s important to know the SSH protocol, FTP, and how they are different and relative to each other.

How SFTP, FTP, and SSH Security Protocol Work

Each of these protocols is a set of rules and guidelines that are followed when communicating data. These protocols have different functions and work together in moving information, data, and files.

  • SSH Protocol: Secure Shell Protocol is used to create a protected connection between a remote server and a computer. It uses a public key encryption method to provide secure user authentication and encrypted communications across the internet.
  • SFTP: Designed to be an extension of SSH to provide secure file transfer capabilities.
  • FTP: Provides users with a way to move files from a local computer to a website’s server. FTP is not secure and is often targeted by cybercriminals. 

When it comes to FTP and SFTP, the most obvious difference between them is that FTP doesn’t offer a secure channel to transfer. It is not encrypted, whereas SFTP is.

SFTP and SSH work together to secure file transfers between the client and the server, allowing passwords and other sensitive information to be transferred securely over the network. It utilizes authentication to prevent unauthorized file access so important business information does not fall into the wrong hands.

When using SFTP, you need an SFTP client and server. The client is the necessary software that provides the ability to connect to the server, as well as uploading files to be stored to the server and downloaded. An SFTP server is where files are stored and retrieved from. The server uses the SSH file transfer protocol to keep the connection secure.

IBM Aspera as an SFTP Alternative

While SFTP is a useful tool to securely transfer data, it can come with a few disadvantages. Because SSH has so many protection features, the keys can be hard to manage and validate. It can also be harder to configure properly without support from software providers. These SFTP configuration standards may lead to compatibility issues between software titles and different vendors.

That’s where Aspera comes into play.

Using its proprietary FASP technology to deliver data, Aspera eliminates bottlenecks associated with outdated technology. It moves file sets at maximum speed by fully utilizing the available bandwidth. Aspera runs on a cloud-based infrastructure provided by a cloud computing provider, which means there is no need to provision the underlying infrastructure.

The Benefits of IBM Aspera

With Aspera, there are many benefits that SFTP cannot offer, including:

  • Speed: With Aspera FASP, users can deliver live video and growing files as well as exchange files and data sets of any sites quickly and reliably around the world. Many companies across various industries rely on the Aspera software to transport their most valuable digital assets to boost productivity and cost-effectiveness.
  • Adaptability: When Aspera uses the available bandwidth, it does not do so at the expense of other network traffic. Its patented adaptive rate control allows transfers to quickly ramp to fully utilize a shared network’s available bandwidth, allowing other TCP-based applications to function properly.
  • Security: The patented FASP protocol offers built-in security for data transfers using the AES encryption standard through the open-source OpenSSL toolkit. Aspera provides secure authentication of the transfer endpoints, on-the-fly encryption, and integrity verification for each transmitted data set.

Securely transferring data and files at maximum speed calls for an end-to-end approach. IBM Aspera offers a complete portfolio of software products and technologies that provide any organization with the highest level of performance. With Aspera, you can collaborate, distribute, automate, share, synchronize, stream, and migrate your data files without the need for additional security enhancements or extensions.

Ask PacGenesis Your Aspera Questions

PacGenesis is an IBM Gold Business Partner. We help businesses focus on scalable data transfer and workflow solutions that fit their needs. For a deeper look at Aspera and how this solution can be used at your company, contact us today for a consultation.

To learn more about PacGenesis, follow @PacGenesis on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or go to www.pacgenesis.com.


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