First off, FTP (or File Transfer Protocol) first came into the picture back in the 1970s. Back then the concern of security wasn’t really in the picture. Early developers of the internet mainly focused one functionality and getting things to run properly. If you really think about it there weren’t that many threats to worry about especially when dealing with data. Although now, things have taken dramatic change over the last few decades. We live in a technological based era where internet-based threats are always lurking. Which makes FTP systems more vulnerable to different attacks.
Now, many people know that FTP originally transmits files in simple plaintext. The problem with this is that these files will be more vulnerable to eavesdropping. Which means any attackers can easily grab any confidential information along with both passwords and usernames.
Another problem with FTP files is that they don’t have any variation for a built-in integrity mechanism. You’d have to turn to a third party solution just to perform checks on any of your files. FTP files are mainly unsuitable for this era’s business file transfers because of the lack of security mechanisms they have. In any case, it leads you to not only wonder why people stick with them but to figure out the best alternative. People normally stick to FTPs because of its ability to transfer large files or even a large number of files as well. But the security measures are still lacking, and there is ftp server alternative choices available that you could go with.
Finding an alternative is one thing, but keep in mind that it must have the same capabilities as FTP. You’d get the capabilities of FTP file but you won’t have to deal with the lack of security mechanisms along the way.
FTPS Is Great For Businesses
Essentially, FTPS would be a great thing for businesses who still can’t totally get rid of FTP altogether. With it retaining the functionality of a FTP, it really works as a security upgrade of FTP. This is a switch that can provide both client and server authentication through digital certificates. With a combination of asymmetric encryption and symmetric capabilities, you will also gain incredible data privacy. The best thing about this switch is that you will gain data integrity checking. All of which is done through MAC (message authentication code) algorithms. It’s just one of many alternatives would be a better choice rather than sticking with FTP.
An Entirely Different Protocol
While FTPS is a great alternative as well, so is SFTP which is a completely different protocol than FTPS. This is a protocol that’s originally based on SSH, and this is where it draws all of its security functions. Now SFTP does also support client authentication, data integrity, and even data privacy as well. With it operating on a single port, the firewall will be more friendly than the FTPS alternative. Being that SFTP is more firewall friendly you won’t have to worry about any firewall issues coming into the picture.
Now We Have The HTTPS Alternative
HTTPS is another suitable alternative to FTP due to its firewall capabilities. As an admin, you will be able to set your firewalls to allow a number of things like:
- HTTPS-Based File Transfers
- HTTP/S Traffic
A standout benefit that makes HHTPS the most appealing is the ability to use web browsers. You can use different ones like Firefox, Internet Explorer, and even Google Chrome. This is great because you won’t have to worry about having to use any file transfer clients. This alternative even has an extension (WebDAV) that also works as an alternative for FTP as well.