SFTP as a Service: Benefits Explained

While it is possible to set up your own on-site FTP server, there are many advantages to using SFTP as a service. When signing up for any service, businesses need to weigh the benefits. Going with hosted SFTP can offer benefits in terms of cost, usability, security, and file access.

Remote worker logging into FTP site on laptop.

How can you benefit from SFTP as a Service?

Any company that conducts business online or with the aid of computers to move data can benefit from a hosted SFTP service. SFTP solutions allow you to securely share files via SSH File Transfer Protocol plus the accessibility and features that keep your business moving forward.

Ease of Setup

SFTP as a service is turnkey. It requires you to do little other than sign up. Once you are signed up, all of the features of the SFTP site are immediately available to you.

If you were doing this on your own, you would need to provision the hardware, install an operating system, apply all the necessary patches, purchase a domain name and certificates, along with keeping all systems up to date and in compliance with security requirements. SFTP as a service takes care of all the hardware, software, and maintenance for you — all you have to do is set up your account.

Signing Up for a Hosted SFTP Account.

Most often the process consists of signing up through an online form and providing the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Email
  3. Account name
  4. Password

Additionally, a business name, address, phone number, or purchasing information may be required to grant you access to the SFTP hosting services on an ongoing basis.

Then, the SFTP account should be ready for you to log in. You can start setting up additional users, change any preferences, start uploading files, organizing folders, and more. After the initial set up is a great time to review online support documentation. You can learn more about the service or discover new features that will help streamline your business file sharing processes

Centralized File Access

SFTP as a service means your team has a single location to store business files. However, you still have complete flexibility and control over your files. You get access to a secure SFTP server that is maintained by professionals. You and your colleagues can access your files from anywhere. Files are uploaded to the server and can be downloaded by anyone you’ve authorized with the right permissions. And, with centralized cloud storage, you don’t have to check multiple file locations or log into various accounts to transfer files.

Client using ExaVault's SFTP service on their laptop.

Security

In today’s evolving threat environment, security is not a trivial undertaking. You need to keep up to date on the most recent threats and security patches. You want your files to be protected and stored where there are modern intrusion detection systems and denial of service mitigations in place.

If you’re dealing with confidential or sensitive documents, data security can be a concern. Professional SFTP providers will offer several means of secure data transfer. SFTP file transfer options include requiring a username and password, or using SSH keys. Store public keys in your account and proper key authentication will allow for passwordless login. SSH keys are helpful for automated file transfers.

When you are paying for a service, it is the company’s job to provide a secure, easy to use service that meets the needs of their clients. Otherwise, they won’t have any clients.

Convenient File Management

When you sign up for SFTP as a service, you’ll get better file management than you would otherwise with in-house attempts. This includes online resources, a web-based file manager, user permissions, logging, and more.

Web-based file manager: While SFTP may be necessary to upload large files, a modern interface lets you organize those files anywhere you have an internet connection and a web browser.

Admin Portal: The admin portal is where authorized users can log in to check the administrative aspects of the account. You can use the admin portal to update emails and contact information, upgrade or downgrade storage space, view invoices, or adjust the payment method.

SFTP Permissions: Permissions are vital to file management for any business. Use permissions to grant users access to specific folders or limit the actions they can perform. An upload only user comes in handy when you have clients who need to upload files to your account via SFTP.

Online Resources: Support documentation should be easy to search or navigate with helpful topic headings and detailed examples, or videos to walk you through common questions.

Hassle-Free SFTP Transfers

Companies that deal with massive amounts of business data need a reliable way to get their files and data from point A to point B. SFTP as a service provides just that, allowing a business to send multiple files and folders all at once. 

The benefit is that you get uninterrupted transfers of large files with a secure SFTP server to receive and store those files. SFTP as a service that includes FTP resume ensures that your files will still get uploaded even if there is an unexpected interruption of service such as a temporary loss of internet connection.

Disaster Recovery

Off-site disaster recovery and secure backups are another benefit of SFTP as a service. A robust backup and disaster recovery strategy means that your data will always be available and secure. For example, ExaVault’s disaster recovery facility is physically separate from other locations and is fully capable of taking over should that become necessary.

Compliance 

Compliance can be a daunting task for an individual or small business to try and achieve on their own. With SFTP as a service, the service provider does all the work to get certified and maintain compliance.

Some common certifications and compliance standards include:

  • PCI-DSS
  • ISO 27001
  • Privacy Shield Certification
  • SOC 2 Type 1 & 2
  • GDPR Compliance (General Data Protection Regulation)

In summary, if you aren’t familiar with SFTP as a service, it is more than just using an SFTP client. The service part of “SFTP as a Service” means peace of mind in terms of data security and compliance, ease of use when dealing with remote workers and clients, a resource for any help with technical issues regarding file transfers, and cost savings over hosting your own server.

Laptop with logo for ExaVault FTP service.

Need SFTP as a service for your business? Sign up for ExaVault today!