Video Screencast Help
Symantec Appoints Michael A. Brown CEO. Learn more.
Website Security Solutions

How to successfully protect the transfer of sensitive data

Created: 08 Apr 2013 • Updated: 10 Oct 2013 • Translations available: Français, Deutsch
Jimmy Edge's picture
+2 2 Votes
Login to vote

14717-Symantec-WSTR-header-660x200_0.jpg

More and more business is being conducted on the internet these days, with even the smallest of businesses likely to have some kind of web presence.

The web is a great arena for businesses, especially smaller outfits, to operate in. The costs are low and it’s relatively easy to build up a strong online presence.

But conducting business online does have its dangers, especially given the number of threats posed by cyber criminals these days.

This is most important when it comes to transferring sensitive data across the web. Whether it’s sending contracts or receipts via email, or transferring sensitive financial information, protecting data that is being sent via the web is vital. So, what can you do to protect it?

Email

Email is almost as old as the internet itself, and for a long time the security features on email services were rather outdated and easy to penetrate.

Things have improved dramatically over the years, but there are still measures you can take to boost email security if you are sending sensitive information in this way.

When you come to log in to your web based email, make sure it is via an HTTPS address which shows that your email account is encrypted and, therefore, secure.

It is also a good idea to encrypt an email itself, to ensure it is protected when it is being sent. This can be done through methods such as PGP encryption or a Symantec Digital ID for Secure Email, which gives you an encryption key for an email.

14717-Symantec-WSTR-panel-660x270-1.jpg

File transfer

Email can be a safe and secure way of transferring sensitive data, but most email services limit the size of files you are allowed to send.

If you need to send larger documents and files, many people use File Transfer Protocol, or FTP. This is a system for transferring large files simply and quickly, but is not all that secure.

FTP is notoriously easy to intercept and read. Additional security features are needed if you plan on transferring sensitive information in this way.

You can couple FTP with an SSL Certificate to add a solid layer of security and turn this into a very safe way of transferring large files.

This is sometimes known as FTPS, and creates a secure connection from a server or computer so you can transfer sensitive data quickly and easily.

An alternative to FTP is to use a file sharing service – many are free but if you need additional space and bandwidth then this is available at a particular price.

SSL Certificates

If you regularly transfer a significant amount of sensitive data as part of your business, it could be worth investing in an SSL Certificate to secure a file transfer portal.

This works by bringing the transfer of sensitive data under one secure SSL Certificate on your server, giving added security and simplicity.

There are lots of solutions when it comes to file transfer online…perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you need to ensure that the service you chose is secure and is ideally encrypted.