Zero Trust MFT in a Hybrid Cloud World

Most businesses only prioritize a secure file transfer system once they have a breach. Learn why Zero Trust MFT is so critical.

Managed File Transfer (MFT) Gets a Security Upgrade to Meet Today’s Business Demand

In 2020, each person generated 1.7 megabytes of data every second. Since then, the volumes of data under the stewardship of organizations have only grown.

With the pandemic’s remote work imperative, infrastructure accelerated its leap to the cloud. IT teams met the demand to transfer vast quantities of large files across hybrid cloud environments—while cyber threats accelerated and governmental regulation increased. That’s a lot to juggle, and the stakes are high. By 2025, some estimates suggest cybercrime will cost $10.5 trillion annually.

In 2021, 47% of U.S. businesses saw an increase in cyberattack volume, severity, and scope.

Outdated File-Sharing Solutions Pose New Security Risks

Threats are pervasive, but most businesses fail to prioritize a secure file transfer system until they have a breach. Unfortunately, that impacts every aspect of business operations.

Business processes are dependent on sharing data. For example, 55% of all system integration is completed through file transfer.

In the past, businesses relied on three primary file transfer tiers:

  • Email and flash drives for exchanging small files
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for sending batches of unsecured files
  • Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) for sending encrypted files

Even encrypted SFTP solutions have risks. First, encryption requires custom setup and IT expertise, making it an expensive way to send files. FTP clients are faster and less costly, but they don’t protect passwords and user IDs or address security weaknesses that protect files from being intercepted by bad actors. Custom coding, lack of logs, and other headaches pose business problems in the battle to solve file transfer problems.

To improve security, many businesses upgrade to Managed File Transfer (MFT), an approach that increases both security and volume compared to FTP and SFTP. It also gives them increased visibility and more control in the form of security alerts and monitoring. Some MFT solutions are based on machine learning so IT leaders can predict—proactively avert— file transfer issues.

But moving to an MFT solution doesn’t resolve all issues. Some MFT platforms are open-source with limited functionality and support. They handle case-by-case file transfers, but not complex transfers. And they may not come with the kind of logging required in today’s compliance environment. Instead, it may require extensive IT time and effort to manage an MFT solution as with previous FTP and SFTP solutions.

Zero Trust MFT Upgrades Security and Features

What is zero trust?

A zero trust solution means no user, network, location, or device is trusted until the system authenticates them. Even then, it provides multiple safeguards designed to limit access, reduce system breaches, and ensure files reach their destinations safely. Whether users are within the organization or working remotely, zero trust systems verify all data requests. They establish protection across workloads, people, data, networks, and devices.

A zero trust MFT solution consists of four major components.



Secures data, protects against data loss, and meets compliance standards.



Multi-factor access, maintenance, and fewer redundancies built-in.



Continuous monitoring, auditable stream tracking, and a unified view of team environments.



Strong protocols and high-speed transfers are the default, unlike weak open-source solutions.

Vital Zero Trust Benefits

At its core, a Zero Trust MFT solution protects the organization no matter where transfers take place.

  • Covers multiple security functions: A zero trust MFT solution includes a centralized file gateway, point-to-point, advanced security, visibility, and onboarding.
  • Flexible and cloud-savvy: A zero trust MTF solution seamlessly connects cloud, hybrid, and traditional environments.
  • Reduces exposure and costs: Transfers are efficient by consolidating and standardizing exchanges with trading partners.
  • Provides transparency into transfers: Centralized tracking, reporting, and alerting provide real-time knowledge of your data movement.

Zero Trust is Made for Solving Security, Modernization, and Cost Challenges

Struggling to modernize legacy systems? Trying to reign in security alerts? Concerned about the difficulty with which current file transmissions or partner exchanges are currently happening? These core business problems were made for a zero trust MFT solution.

Security and Governance

Zero trust MFT provides stricter security for governance, risk, and compliance initiatives. They’re primed to reduce security incidents, lower costs associated with data recovery, reduce security issues that lead to alerts, and lower the time it takes to identify a breach and respond.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fines in the third quarter of 2021 were triple those of all of 2020, costing companies over $1.14 billion.

Modernization and Automation

Zero trust MFT platforms help organizations modernize as part of their broader digital transformation but from a scalable perspective. Reduce complexity by automating and modernizing critical business exchanges. The best zero trust platform comes with seamless integration, which means less manual interaction and more time spent on strategic initiatives.

Two-thirds of businesses are automating their business processes. Of those who haven’t initiated their pilot projects yet, 50% plan to do so within the next year.

Lower Costs and Increased Efficiency

Zero trust MFT helps your interactions with external partners in a hybrid-cloud environment run smoothly. Reduce operations costs by adopting cloud technologies and improve partner onboarding time by up to 75%. It all leads to less time to ROI and revenue.

The average cost of a breach is $1.76 million less when zero trust is adopted.

Securing File Transfer with Eliassen Group

More files, more places, and more risks make for a complex cybersecurity environment. Rather than waiting for issues to emerge, organizations are positioned to rethink security as a tool for scaling, ensuring billions of bytes of data are flowing smoothly no matter how and where they’re doing business.

Enlisting the help of an experienced partner means won’t be on your own instituting zero trust. Unlike siloed support with limited expertise, an experienced partner can help implement zero trust correctly to ensure you’re solving problems and not creating more frustrations.

Misconfiguration issues are responsible for two-thirds of cloud breaches.

Eliassen Group Professional Services can help. With dedicated support and a wealth of file transfer, data, and security knowledge, we help organizations protect data, get visibility into their data, mitigate risk, and reduce complexity so they can scale faster.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you.

About the Author


Written by Eliassen Group

Eliassen Group is a leading strategic consulting company that provides business, clinical, and IT services for our clients as they seek to transform and execute strategies that will drive exceptional outcomes. Leveraging over 30 years of success, we focus on three main areas: technology solutions, clinical solutions, and financial, risk & compliance, and advisory solutions. Eliassen Group prides itself on its purpose to positively impact the lives of our employees, clients, consultants, and the communities in which we operate.