Dangers of Sending Files Unsecured via FTP

Sophisticated digital content is the stock in trade of media professionals. But these aren’t the only pros to rely on digital media. The legal industry increasingly uses large files, which puts ever-greater pressure on legal support staff to become adept at handling those files. With high-dollar cases riding on a legal team’s ability to master the tools, delays and errors are very costly.

Of course, delays and errors are common with old internet technologies. In the early days of the net, computer professionals were the net’s only users, so the software tools were built with no bells and whistles such as email notification, SSL encryption, or web upload. Everybody used FTP to upload and download large files. They logged into servers using weird little FTP client applications, they navigated directories, they made guesses as to what file to get or to put, and they did all of it by typing, if you can believe it.

One example of the problems and dangers of using FTP for this is when one law firm working on a huge lawsuit needed legal support from a law firm across the state. Their own staff had been struggling along with FTP but the new firm was from a much smaller town and used FTP maybe once or twice a year. When the legal secretary from the new firm uploaded critical medical files not to the bigger firm’s server, but to her own hard drive by mistake, the team missed a major filing deadline as they attempted to phone-support the legal secretary, who insisted that the files had moved. She was right, they had moved, just not to where she thought they went. That kind of thing happens with FTP all the time.

If instead of FTP, she had FilesDIRECT, a click on a web page would be all she needed to get it right and on time. The alert emails would be automatically sent, the right file gets to the right place and the right people are alerted every time, and a multimillion-dollar judgment goes your way instead of the highway.

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