If you handle critical file transfers for your business, you likely recognize the risks and costs of using old protocols like FTP and HTTP. As a data analyst with experience implementing MFT solutions at Fortune 500 companies, I can tell you that modern managed file transfer (MFT) platforms are a must for securely exchanging files with customers, partners and employees.
This comprehensive guide will discuss the top 7 MFT solutions to help you identify the right one for your business needs and use case. I‘ll provide detailed analyses of features, pros and cons, and insider recommendations from my experience consulting enterprises on their MFT selection process.
By the end of this guide, you‘ll be equipped to answer the question “Which is the ideal MFT platform for my organization?” confidently based on your specific requirements. So let‘s get started!
Why You Need an MFT Solution
Before analyzing the top vendors, it‘s important to understand why you need an MFT platform.
Significant Risks of Using FTP and HTTP
According to Verizon‘s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, misconfigured FTP servers accounted for 30% of data breaches. Meanwhile, plaintext HTTP transfers can expose sensitive files to eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Relying on insecure protocols like FTP and HTTP can lead to:
- Data breaches: Intercepted credentials and unencrypted data gets into the wrong hands
- Compliance violations: Failure to protect sensitive personal data breaches regulations like HIPAA and GDPR
- Lost productivity: Time wasted troubleshooting failed, interrupted transfers
As a business, you simply cannot afford to take these risks just to exchange files.
Key Benefits of Switching to Managed File Transfer
MFT platforms eliminate the drawbacks of FTP and HTTP by providing:
- Enhanced security: Encryption, data loss prevention, antivirus scanning
- Reliability: Guaranteed and accelerated delivery of large files
- Visibility and control: Detailed audit trails and reports for any transfer
- Automation: No manual effort needed for routine transfers
- Compliance: Adherence to data regulations like HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc.
According to a Ponemon Institute study, using MFT reduced file transfer costs by 59% on average. The upfront investment pays for itself in risk reduction, productivity gains, and cost savings from automating transfers.
Now let‘s analyze the top MFT platforms that can provide these benefits.
Comparison of Leading MFT Solutions
|Vendor||Key Features||Protocols Supported||Ratings*|
|ActiveBatch||Workload automation |
File transfer automation
|FTP, FTPS |
|GoAnywhere MFT||Advanced workflows |
Detailed audit trails
|FTPS, SFTP |
|MOVEit MFT||PGP encryption |
Hot folder automation
|FTP, SFTP |
|IBM Aspera||High-speed transfers |
On-premise or cloud
|Aspera (fasp) |
|Serv-U MFT||Centralized administration |
Active Directory integration
Automation via scripts
|FTP, FTPS |
|Thru MFT||Cloud-native |
|FTP, FTPS |
|JSCAPE MFT||B2B integration |
On-premise or cloud
|AS2, OFTP2 |
*Based on ratings from Capterra, Gartner, and G2
This high-level comparison gives you an overview of the key capabilities of popular MFT platforms. Next, let‘s dive into detailed analyses.
Detailed Analysis of Top 7 MFT Solutions
Based on extensive research and real-world experience deploying MFT solutions at large enterprises, here are my in-depth assessments of the top vendors:
ActiveBatch delivers workload automation alongside robust and secure data transfer capabilities.
- End-to-end security through built-in encryption, decryption, signing and verification, and host authentication
- Guaranteed delivery through checkpoint restart of interrupted transfers and automated retry of failed transfers
- Detailed audit trails for compliance reporting and forensics
- Extensive protocol support including FTP, FTPS, SFTP, HTTPS, AS2, and WebDAV
ActiveBatch provides advanced job scheduling capabilities in addition to MFT. This combination makes ActiveBatch suitable for:
- IT teams looking to schedule routine batch transfers alongside other automated workloads
- Growing businesses that expect their workload automation needs to become more sophisticated
With ActiveBatch, you get the benefits of a robust enterprise-grade MFT solution along with tools to automate all your business processes for operational efficiency.
2. GoAnywhere MFT
GoAnywhere streamlines and secures data exchange through an intuitive browser-based interface with extensive controls.
- End-to-end encryption using FIPS 140-2 validated algorithms
- Detailed audit logs capturing every transfer, user action and error
- Automation workflows for hands-off processing of transfers
- Broad protocol support including SFTP, FTPS, HTTPS, AS2, OFTP2
GoAnywhere‘s dashboard provides centralized visibility into all data exchanges between your systems, trading partners, customers and employees.
With robust encryption, automation and detailed audit logs, GoAnywhere MFT is ideal for:
- Highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance needing strict compliance
- Enterprise integration projects involving seamless transfers between systems
GoAnywhere offers all the essential features you need in an enterprise-grade MFT platform.
MOVEit supplies reliable and secure file transfer through centralized control, automation and end-to-end encryption.
- PGP encryption to encrypt files and messages
- Automation through hot folders, APIs and PowerShell SDK
- Detailed monitoring through real-time dashboard
- Compliance with regulations including HIPAA, GLBA and PCI DSS
- Over 45 pre-configured workflows for ease of automation
MOVEit integrates seamlessly with existing infrastructure through its set of APIs and cloud service integrations.
MOVEit is an ideal MFT solution for:
- Healthcare companies to enable HIPAA compliance for protected health information (PHI) transfers
- Banks and insurers needing to adhere to GLBA and PCI DSS for data transfers
- Highly regulated industries requiring end-to-end encryption and audit trails
With its robust tracking, security, and automation capabilities, MOVEit is purpose-built for regulated enterprises.
4. IBM Aspera
Aspera focuses on high-speed transfers of large files across global distances using its patented FASP transfer technology.
- Transfer speeds up to 100x faster than FTP using FASP transfers
- End-to-end security through SSH authentication and encryption
- Seamless embedding into custom applications through Aspera APIs and SDKs
- Line-speed bandwidth control for maximum WAN utilization
- On-premise or cloud deployment for flexibility
Industries that benefit from Aspera:
- Media companies transferring large, high-resolution video files
- Genomics research sharing massive genomic data sets rapidly
- Software and gaming firms distributing large software builds and updates across continents
If you routinely transfer terabytes of data worldwide, Aspera is purpose-built for high-speed managed transfers at a global scale.
Serv-U offers enterprise-grade on-premise FTP/FTPS servers with extensive security, automation, and centralized administration capabilities.
- User access control through Active Directory and LDAP integration
- Secure protocols including FTPS, SFTP, HTTPS and SSH
- Automated file handling through scripts and receipts
- Centralized administration through web-based console
- High availability through geographically distributed server clusters
Serv-U provides robust MFT capabilities for total control over FTP/FTPS-based file transfers.
It is well-suited for:
- Enterprises with large numbers of internal and external FTP users
- IT teams managing multiple FTP servers across locations
- Organizations upgrading from plain FTP to secure FTP
With enterprise-grade security and centralized controls, Serv-U enables replacing risky plain FTP with fully managed and audited transfers.
6. Thru MFT
Thru provides a cloud-native MFT platform combining security, compliance, ease of use, and automation.
- Intuitive browser-based interface enabling rapid onboarding
- HIPAA and PCI compliance out of the box
- Automation through workflows minimizing manual processes
- APIs and SDKs for ecosystem integration
- Military grade encryption for data security
As a cloud platform, Thru is ideal for:
- High growth companies wanting quick onboarding without infrastructure overhead
- Distributed teams needing MFT access from anywhere
- Regulated industries like healthcare and finance where compliance is mandatory
Thru delivers easy cloud-based MFT perfectly suited for the digital business era.
7. JSCAPE MFT
JSCAPE secures B2B data exchange and integrations with its on-premise and cloud MFT platform.
- Universal messaging module supporting AS2, OFTP2, EDI INT, etc.
- Secure protocols including SFTP, FTPS, HTTPS, AS2, and OFTP2
- Visibility and monitoring through centralized dashboard
- High availability through clustering and failover of MFT servers
- APIs and CLI for integration and automation
JSCAPE MFT is ideal for:
- EDI and supply chain integration in manufacturing, retail and logistics
- Secure business-to-business transfers between partners and customers
With extensive B2B protocol support and robust integration tools, JSCAPE enables seamless transfers and process automation across extended supply chains.
6 Essential Capabilities in an MFT Platform
Based on my experience implementing MFT solutions at large companies, here are 6 must-have capabilities to look for in an MFT product:
1. Encryption and data security
The MFT platform must provide robust encryption (TLS, SSH, PGP, etc.) to secure data during transfers and storage. Capabilities like data loss prevention, antivirus, sandboxing and intrusion prevention further enhance security.
Built-in automation through workflows, scripts, APIs and event triggers minimizes manual steps in transfer processes. This enhances productivity while lowering costs.
3. Comprehensive protocol support
Support for modern protocols like SFTP, FTPS, HTTPS, OFTP2, AS2, and FASP ensures secure transfers in diverse business scenarios.
4. Centralized visibility and control
An administrative console provides IT teams a unified view and control over all transfers for management, monitoring, auditing and compliance reporting.
The platform can scale to handle increased users, file sizes and transfer loads cost-effectively as your business grows over 5+ years.
6. Availability and reliability
Through clustering, failover, and recovery mechanisms, the solution ensures 24/7 availability and reliability of file transfers.
Evaluating solutions against these core criteria will help you select the right MFT platform aligned to your needs.
Buyer‘s Guide – Choosing the Best Solution for You
When it comes to identifying the ideal managed file transfer system for your organization, here are 8 tips:
1. Understand your specific business needs
Analyze your use cases, security requirements, integration needs, and scalability expectations. This will determine must-have features.
2. Prioritize capabilities that provide maximum value
Shortlist solutions that meet your essential criteria such as protocols required, automation needs, and compliance coverage.
3. Select established, reputable vendors
Trust vendors with a long track record, robust roadmap and enterprise customer references to minimize risks.
4. Evaluate options hands-on before deciding
Download trials to test the admin interface, automation capabilities and ease of integration into your environment.
5. Consider cloud-based solutions for greater agility
Cloud MFT solutions provide faster deployment, scalability and anywhere access without infrastructure headaches.
6. Review Total Cost of Ownership not just license costs
Factor in implementation services, training, maintenance, and operational expenses over the lifetime of the solution.
7. Check that vendor professional services fit your needs
See if the vendor offers the level of training, migration assistance, custom integration help and support you‘ll need.
8. Ask peers about their experiences
Leverage reviews and peer recommendations to validate your analysis and selection. Reaching out to the vendor‘s customers can provide valuable insights.
By taking these steps, you can make a well-informed MFT choice aligned to your specific requirements.
Switch to Modern MFT for Secure, Smooth File Transfers
MFT solutions transform legacy file transfer processes through security, reliability, visibility and automation. This guide has equipped you to evaluate the top MFT platforms like ActiveBatch, GoAnywhere, MOVEit, Aspera, Serv-U, Thru and JSCAPE based on your unique business needs.
My recommendation is to start by identifying must-have capabilities, shortlisting vendors that meet them, and piloting the solutions in your environment. This will reveal the right MFT system for your workflows, integrations, and compliance needs.
The upfront investment in selecting and implementing an MFT solution will pay dividends through substantial risk reduction, productivity gains, cost savings, and peace of mind.
If you need help navigating the MFT selection and adoption process, feel free to reach out to me. I‘ll be glad to offer personalized recommendations based on your specific requirements and priorities.