“In the current environment of hacks and attacks from identity theft criminals, catalogers who maintain their own mailing lists need to guard against exposure of those names and addresses now more than ever” says Mike Martell, Systems Manager at The Dingley Press. Mike enlightens us about secure FTP servers and data transfers for catalogers in the feature below.

When sending precious customer data files to list managers, printers or mailing houses, the cataloger is usually asked to upload their files using a FTP server. The typical catalog file transfer process is that each customer is assigned a specific folder on their printer’s FTP site where they can post their files. This site is secured by user authentication – a login and password. When access is granted, the files are uploaded to the dedicated client folder. These folders are usually manually monitored, meaning someone has to check them on a regular basis to see what has been uploaded. In this process, the data files stay in the cataloger’s folder on the FTP until they are identified and removed. Catalogers depend on their printer to quickly pull the data off of the FTP server and into a more secure environment. Most of the time this prompt removal takes place, but when it doesn’t, that list and the cataloger are left exposed. Fortunately, technology has reached the point where secure file transfer and FTP servers help to reduce that exposure.

A secure FTP or SFTP adds an additional layer of security beyond a login/password and the manual monitoring of transfers. The secure process is the same for the cataloger, but during the upload, the entire file transfer is encrypted, using a large public-key encryption technique. When the file arrives in the folder, they are automatically transferred to an internal processing workflow and notification is sent to the appropriate contact. This happens because SFTP site folders are continuously monitored for new files, so when new uploads are detected by the monitoring program, they immediately transfer inside. The benefit to the customers is combination of end-to-end encrypted transfers and removal of the files to a secure location within a minute of their arrival. This enhancement adds a strong measure of security and more peace of mind for catalogers. According to Mike, “the automated move is so quick and efficient that sometimes a customer will upload the file a second time because when they check their SFTP folder to make sure the transfer occurred, they don’t see the file they sent only a moment ago because it was already transferred into the internal workflow.”

So catalogers, when evaluating printing and distribution partners, be sure to select a partner who has a secure file transfer server with auto-notification available to you.

At The Dingley Press, we have such a server supporting both FTP and SFTP transfers. In addition, our SFTP is has an additional feature, a Web Transfer Portal where users can log in to the secure server site using any a common web browser, from almost any platform – PC, Mac, Linux/Unix systems, as well as iPad, iPhone or Android devices. After logging in via the portal, our customers arrive at an easy to use web-based interface so in three easy steps they can upload files securely to their folder – a click to the upload files button, a click to select your files, and a final click begins the upload. It’s that easy. Best of all, up to five files of up to one gigabyte each can be sent for processing.

Of course, the end-to-end encrypted file transfer of the security and workflow process runs here too, taking the files out of access to external users and placing them in secure storage, while notifying customer service and list managers at The Dingley Press that your files have arrived and are ready for processing.

One login and password, enhanced security, and ease of use for all your file transfer processes make sending your lists to The Dingley Press simple and secure, whatever platform or process best suits your needs.