Tumbleweed upgrades file transfers

Tumbleweed Communications recently added security, authentication and reliable delivery features to its SecureTransport product, bolstering a solution that is already widely used in government agencies to securely transfer large data files.

The additions include support for the Secure Shell file transfer protocol, integration with Computer Associates International's eTrust SiteMinder single sign-on and an update of the AS2 engine to enable multigigabyte file transfers. They were driven by rapidly evolving business requirements, according to company officials.

"File transfer used to be just about FTP," said John Thielens, Tumbleweed's chief technology officer. "It's now about using many more [protocols] that allow secure transfers between wider varieties of partners and applications but that still need to be mapped into the same auditing and control infrastructure."

That latter requirement is proving to be the big attraction for products such as SecureTransport, Thielens said. Many of the protocols are free. But the market is driven by the ability to closely manage file transfers, identify users through tools such as Microsoft Active Directory and track and audit transfers.

In the private sector, return-on-investment considerations make it cheaper to replace older technologies with newer products, Thielens said. That is already happening. Recent events, such as the theft of credit-card data tapes during transport between sites, should help accelerate the trend, he said.

Because of those events, every organization that collects, manages or exchanges sensitive data must consider how they are securing and managing file transfers, said Frank Kenney, a principal analyst with Gartner Research.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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