The bedrock of Aspera and how it affects the security of your data transfers

In today’s world, where file sizes are rapidly growing and the transfer distances are increasing, companies across different industries such as media and entertainment, life sciences, and oil and gas are all searching for a solution that will transfer large data files securely.

While some cloud-based services such as Dropbox or Google Drive can lend a helping hand, these can quickly become cost-ineffective for companies relying on sending multi-gigabyte files regularly.

Additionally, the commonly used file transfer protocol (FTP/SFTP) that utilises traditional transmission control protocol (TCP) has its inherited limitations. TCP was built in the 1970s as the underpinning Internet technology to accommodate small file transfers over shorter geographic distances. However, as today’s round-trip time (RTT) of a packet transfer is longer due to the transfer distance, the TCP transfers cannot help but slow down.

In response to this emerging demand for accelerated file transfers across great distances, IBM has developed a proprietary network-optimised technology called FASP (Fast Adaptive and Secure Protocol). This unique technology circumvents TCP’s limitations by using a combination of a faster and simpler transmission protocol called UDP (Datagram Oriented Protocol) and IBM Aspera’s custom software.

This patented technology outperforms the traditional TCP-enabled file transfer modes by applying its adaptive rate control that optimises the network’s available bandwidth on the fly and ensures other TCP-based mission-critical applications run uninterrupted.

While the demand for speed and efficiency is satisfied, IBM Aspera’s underlying technology also delivers an innovative approach to transfer security. Read on to find out more.

Aspera encryption at rest

Companies that use the public network to transfer large data files risk having their data intercepted, resulting in compromised data security. Furthermore, some technologies provide data encryption in transit but may not be sufficient to secure data while at rest.

Aspera provides security features that deliver encryption on-the-go and at rest to guarantee the end-to-end data file transfer security while sustaining its high performance.

The FASP protocol provides encryption of content at rest both at client and server side. Server-side encryption at rest can be used in combination with client-side encryption at rest, which then encrypts the content twice.

This is extremely useful for use cases where collaborators need to send pre-release content or sensitive financial information to multiple office locations. Aspera prompts users to create a passphrase to protect the files with encryption. The sender enters a passphrase to encrypt the files, and the receiver can gain access to the files after entering the passphrase to decrypt them. Moreover, Aspera offer a choice to decrypt the files during the download transfer, or after the download is complete.

Aspera meets the security needs of various use cases

Aspera’s FASP technology leverages the standard open-source OpenSSL toolkit to deliver built-in security to all stages of the data transfer. With this level of security, companies that must send sensitive data files using their existing infrastructure — in the cloud, on-premises, or hybrid — can rest assured that their file transfers are accompanied by military-grade protection.

  • Various use cases can benefit from Aspera’s security, some of which include:
  • Sending large medical files (e.g., MRIs) across the globe to obtain a second opinion and enable more accurate patient diagnosis
  • Facilitating fast response by sending sensitive legal or financial information
  • Ensuring the intellectual property is protected for production studios sending files across several office locations

Additionally, Aspera’s security features ensure peace of mind with transfer reports, which allow users to know where their data resides at all times and help maintain compliance with data privacy regulations.

This type of secure data file transfer eliminates the need to build a complex bespoke network architecture to facilitate emerging transfer demands. Users can simply utilise their existing infrastructure to run Aspera securely and efficiently.

DOT delivers Aspera with a hug

While security demands are ever-growing, companies still need to find an optimal security configuration to ensure their files are also distributed with ease-of-use in mind.

Aspera’s security delivers outstanding capabilities to streamline and protect the file transfers, however, companies still need key insight about its efficient deployment. Not every use case requires the same security configurations, therefore, sometimes extra user authentication steps (such as multi-step authentication) can hinder the efficiency of the transfer process.

As the Aspera experts in the UK and passionate data engineers, DOT’s team delivers comprehensive knowledge to help companies ensure their Aspera runs most efficiently.

We provide in-depth reviews of your current data estate to find opportunities to optimise your configuration, determine the most appropriate workflows, and identify the licensing model that best fits your business requirements.

For those who need a little extra, our data archiving, privacy and storage services will further help optimise your data management even further by shining a new light on your data estate and designing inventive approaches to resolve your most complex data challenges.

To discover holistic answers to any of your data transfer questions — contact our Aspera experts today.

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