Many customers need help with APIs for their integration needs. They need a flat file solution to communicate and synchronize small data packets periodically.
SFTP works at the file level and is ideal for batch processing. It’s unsuitable for real-time data exchange because it’s not designed to notify custom applications about changes in the file system.
When it comes to integrating data, businesses have many choices. These options include SFTP and APIs.
SFTP is a secure method for file transfer that uses shell encryption to ensure that all data files transferred are protected from unauthorized access.
SFTP uses encryption to protect data as it moves through the system. This cipher process scrambles the original data into a new form, so only a particular key can unlock it. Using strong user passwords and ensuring that users only access the data they need is also necessary.
SFTP vs API, API may require human intervention to validate file transfers and ensure that nothing is corrupted or altered during the transfer process; SFTP allows a business to use a simple command line interface to automate file transfers. In addition, SFTP offers an option for businesses to pair with virtual private networks (VPNs) to create a secure online tunnel to move data.
As a result, SFTP can help companies meet regulatory requirements and keep sensitive information out of the hands of cybercriminals. SFTP is the preferred method for many IT departments to transfer files. Its advanced security features include tunneling, data encryption, and public key authentication to prevent unauthorized access. This makes it a reliable, safe, and secure file transfer solution.
SFTP expands on the capabilities of SSH and allows for multiple authentication methods to secure file transfers. This includes host-based, password-based, and public key based.
Password-based authentication is the most common method of authenticating SFTP connections. It involves creating an account for the user and assigning a password. The client then connects to the SFTP server using their username and password, which is checked for authenticity.
Key-based authentication is similar to password-based in that the client uses their private key to sign and authenticate with the server, but it’s much more secure. This method of authentication is designed to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks.
Public key authentication is also popular for SFTP connections. The client software requires a private key. The SFTP server checks the public key to validate it as authorized. This is a great way to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and protect against stolen credentials. However, it’s important to remember that neither passwords nor SSH keys are immune from hacking.
SFTP’s encryption and authentication methods ensure data files and credentials remain secure during transfer. The strength of the transfer protocol depends on which options are negotiated between the client and server.
Unlike APIs, which require a programming language, SFTP has graphical user interfaces clients, allowing authorized humans to access the files. It also offers a command line interface to automate processes without writing a single line of code.
While SFTP is still the preferred method for integration between systems, many companies are turning to APIs because of their scalability and real-time data exchange capabilities. It is essential to weigh your business needs and technical capabilities when choosing between SFTP and API.
The type of integration architecture you choose will depend on your specific data transfer needs. For example, if you need to send and receive large files frequently but at scheduled intervals, SFTP might be the better option as it’s secure and straightforward.
SFTP uses the SSH protocol’s tunneling feature to protect all transferred data, including authentication credentials. This provides a high level of security that’s important for compliance-driven organizations like healthcare, financial services, and government agencies.
When deployed on a compliant system, SFTP can also meet the encryption requirements of the most effective regulations, including HIPAA, FedRAMP, and GDPR. In addition, SFTP Gateway enables you to manage encryption keys, so you control what information is accessed and shared. Additionally, SFTP Gateway logs all file activity, crucial for security incident response (SIRT) reporting and eDiscovery. This makes it easy to identify anomalies and demonstrate compliance with regulatory mandates. This level of visibility and logging isn’t available with FTP, making SFTP the superior solution for complying with compliance-driven organizations.
While APIs may be more useful when solving a specific data need, SFTP can also be an excellent option. This is because SFTP uses an underlying transport mechanism that’s incredibly fast and secure. Plus, it only requires one channel (port) to open. This makes network and firewall configuration more manageable and protects your data.
However, leveraging SFTP has its drawbacks. For example, if you want to transfer information in real time, this method isn’t ideal since it relies on flat files scheduled to be uploaded and accessed at specific times. Additionally, the file must be manually validated regularly to avoid any errors.
This can take up valuable IT resources and is prone to human error. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these limitations with the help of a third-party provider.