Managed File Transfer and Network Solutions

Security Conscience Notification Triggers

Posted by Chris F. on Tue, May 01, 2012 @ 10:48 AM


In this article we will discuss the creation of some security conscience notifications.  We will be using Triggers to respond via email when certain events take place that an administrator may wish to know about immediately.  This can be useful when you have a complex configuration on your JSCAPE MFT Server that includes many Users, Groups and Triggers.

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Topics: JSCAPE MFT Server, Managed File Transfer, Business Process Automation, Security

Roles of Server and Client Keys in Secure File Transfers - Part 1

Posted by John Carl Villanueva on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:55 AM


Secure file transfers typically employ public key cryptography. This cryptographic system involves the use of two different keys: a public key and a private key. In JSCAPE MFT Server, such keys can be easily generated, imported, and exported in the Key Manager. But some first-time users find it hard to even start using the Key Manager. One reason for that is because they fail to see the difference between server keys and client keys. 

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Topics: JSCAPE MFT Server, Security, Secure File Transfer

Roles of Server and Client Keys in Secure File Transfers - Part 2

Posted by John Carl Villanueva on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:49 AM

This is a continuation of Part 1. To preserve confidentiality in secure file transfers, public keys are given to end users while the private key is kept inside the managed file transfer server. 

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Topics: JSCAPE MFT Server, Security

Taking Advantage of Amazon S3 Server Side Encryption

Posted by John V. on Thu, Feb 09, 2012 @ 06:13 PM

Just a couple of months ago, Amazon rolled out Server Side Encryption (SSE) on its online storage web service, S3. This new feature allows you to encrypt files you upload to S3. Companies who are looking for better protection for data at rest and those who need to comply with regulations like HIPAA or data breach notification laws may find this bit of information very useful. 

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Topics: Security, AnyClient, Cloud Computing, Secure File Transfer

Guide to HIPAA Compliant File Transfers - Part 3

Posted by John V. on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 @ 09:36 AM

Guide to HIPAA Compliant File Transfers - Part 2

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Topics: Managed File Transfer, Security, Compliance

Guide to HIPAA Compliant File Transfers - Part 2

Posted by John V. on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 @ 09:30 AM

Guide to HIPAA Compliant File Transfers - Part 1

In this post, we'll be talking about the specific standards that lead to HIPAA compliant file transfers. This is a continuation of another post, so if you haven't read Part I yet, you might want to click that link first.

HIPAA standards affecting file transfers

As shown in our previous post, the HIPAA standards that impact file transfer systems can be found in the Technical Safeguards of the Security Rule. The Security Rule is documented in 45 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Part 160 and Part 164, Subparts A and C, with the Technical Safeguards themselves specifically found in section 164.312.

The standards that fall under Technical Safeguards as well as the specific sections that contain their definitions and corresponding requirements include the following:

  • Access Control (§ 164.312(a)(1)) - Covered entities must implement technical policies and procedures for electronic information systems that maintain ePHI to allow access only to those persons or software programs that have been granted sufficient access rights.

  • Audit Controls (§ 164.312(b)) - Covered entities must implement hardware, software, and procedural mechanisms that record and examine activity in information systems that contain or use ePHI.

  • Integrity (§ 164.312(c)(1)) - Covered entities must implement policies and procedures to protect ePHI from improper alteration or destruction. 

  • Person or Entity Authentication (§ 164.312(d)) - Covered entities must implement procedures to verify that a person or entity seeking access to ePHI is the one claimed.

  • Transmission Security (§ 164.312(e)(1)) - Covered entities must implement technical security measures to guard against unauthorized access to ePHI that is being transmitted over an electronic communications network.

Each of these standards come with a set of instructions for implementing them known as Implementation Specifications. An Implementation Specification is classified either as Required or Addressable.

If an implementation specification is Required, then you will have to implement policies and procedures that would satisfy that particular implementation specification. On the other hand, if it is Addressable, then you will have to analyze the specification to determine whether it is reasonable and appropriate in protecting your ePHI data from possible threats and hazards.

If, based on your analysis, you decide that it is not necessary to implement the implementation specification, you must document the reason for your decision. In addition, if in the course of your analysis, you come across a reasonable and appropriate alternative measure, then you must implement that measure.  

Let's now take a quick look at each standard's implementation specifications and discuss how such specifications may be implemented on your file transfer system.

Access Control:

  • Unique User Identification (Required) - People who use your file transfer service should be assigned a unique user identifier like a username or a number. This will help you track each user's activity when the user is logged into your system. It will also help you in holding that user accountable for functions he performs while logged in.

  • Emergency Access Procedure (Required) - You must have in place procedures that will allow you to obtain the ePHI found in your system in the event of an emergency situation wherein your file transfer system is rendered inoperative. 

  • Automatic Logoff (Addressable) - Your system must be capable of terminating a session after a predetermined period of inactivity is reached. Users sometimes forget to logoff after completing a file transfer, leaving your system vulnerable to unauthorized entry. An automatic logoff feature will prevent unauthorized users from gaining access that way.  

  • Encryption and Decryption (Addressable) - This may refer to ePHI data stored in directories on your file transfer server. By encrypting ePHI data found there, you can render those data useless to unauthorized personnel. Even when an unauthorized person gains access to those encrypted data, he won't be able to make heads or tails out of them. 

Audit Controls (Required)

  • You must have a way of keeping logs of user or system activity during each file transfer session. This will enable you to have an audit trail to refer to in the future if you want to trace certain events that took place in your file transfer system. 


  • Mechanism to Authenticate ePHI (Addressable) - The integrity of ePHI data should be preserved at all times. Improperly altered or destroyed ePHI can put patients' safety at risk. Because unauthorized data changes can be caused by a variety of reasons ranging from human errors to electronic failures, your file transfer system should have a mechanism that will enable you to check whether your ePHI data has undergone any unauthorized changes.  

Person or Entity Authentication (Required)

  • Your system must have a way of knowing whether a person who wants to gain access to it is in fact the person he or she claims to be. The most common methods of authentication typically require users to present a proof of identity such as a password, PIN, smart card, token, key, or biometrics. 

Transmission Security:

  • Integrity Controls (Addressable) - This is similar to the Integrity standard discussed earlier. The only difference is that the previous discussion was focused on data at rest, e.g. ePHI stored in your FTP server hard disks, while this one here is aimed at data in motion, i.e., ePHI being transmitted over a network. So, for example, your system must support network communications protocols that ensure that data sent is the same as data received.

  • Encryption (Addressable) - Again, this is similar to the Encryption/Decryption implementation specification under the Access Control standard, except that this one refers to data in motion. So for example, your file transfer system should support file transfer protocols like FTPS or SFTP

So there you have it. Those are the standards and implementation specifications of the HIPAA regulation that impact file transfer systems. You're now ready for the last part of this article. That's where we'll discuss the steps to achieve HIPAA compliant file transfers.

Guide to HIPAA Compliant File Transfers - Part 3


udp file transfer 

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Topics: Security, Compliance, FTP

Guide to HIPAA Compliant File Transfers - Part 1

Posted by John Carl Villanueva on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 @ 09:27 AM

For some entities in the health care industry, file transfer activities are no longer as simple as before. Measures have to be taken to make sure violations aren't made against HIPAA. FTP services, perhaps the most widely used services for transferring large files over the Internet, now require enhancements to ensure that data considered as electronic protected health information (ePHI) are protected throughout an FTP transfer.

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Topics: Managed File Transfer, Security, Compliance, FTP, HIPAA

Understanding Key Differences Between FTP, FTPS and SFTP

Posted by Van Glass on Sat, Jan 07, 2012 @ 12:56 PM

Perhaps the most common protocols used in file transfer today are FTP, FTPS and SFTP.  While the acronyms for these protocols are similar,  there are some key differences among them, in particular how data are exchanged, the level of security provided and firewall considerations.  Learning these key differences can help you when choosing a file transfer protocol or troubleshooting common connection issues.

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Topics: Managed File Transfer, Security

Securing Data at Rest

Posted by John V. on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 @ 11:11 AM


To prevent confidential data from leaking out of your organization, your DLP efforts may have to be aimed at two areas: data-at-rest and data-in-motion. In this post, we’ll talk about the former.

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Topics: JSCAPE MFT Server, Security, Data Loss Prevention, Compliance

IP Access Restrictions in MFTExpress

Posted by Anthony Bryan on Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 07:10 PM

This video shows how to restrict access to MFTExpress by IP address. This feature allows users to increase security without getting an administrator involved.

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Topics: Managed File Transfer, Security, Videos, Tutorials, MFTExpress