Cyberthreats Managed File Transfer (MFT)

Cloud secure file transfer risks and how enterprises can face them

Cloud secure file transfer risks and how enterprises can face them

Secure file transfer is critical for preventing data breaches. Cloud-based file sharing has many benefits, such as lower TCO, more robust risk management, and greater scalability and flexibility. At the same time, modern ecosystems expand your surface area for attacks, as we’ve seen with ongoing ransomware hacks.

If you transfer files in an unsecured environment, the potential for a costly data breach increases. However, a secure cloud environment can be achieved with the right partner. In fact, MFT cloud security is the one investment large enterprises cannot afford not to make. According to one report, exploitation of cloud systems rose by 95% in 2022.

In the context of modern cybersecurity risks, secure file transfer needs to be top of mind. The best way to underscore this need is by looking at the fallout of unsecure cloud file transfer.

Scenario #1: a costly data breach

In 2023, IBM reported the average data breach cost was $4.45 million — a notable 15% increase from three years prior.

A big reason for this increase is around the type of data that’s accessible digitally; depending on the sensitivity of records that an enterprise stores, a data breach can cost well beyond that average, and the ripple effects of a data breach become more pronounced.

Consider the rise of remote work and collaboration. More businesses are leaning on cloud file transfer to support productivity and flexibility. If these files are unsecure in transit or when stored, malicious actors can take advantage of this gap in a company’s security infrastructure. Hackers can enter the cloud environment and access valuable and sensitive business data.

See also: What you need to know about ongoing ransomware attacks

Sometimes this data can be internal; other times, the data involve third parties. If the files shared externally aren’t encrypted, a malicious actor can intercept the sensitive data of a partner. The partner is left to deal with the fallout of the data breach, from operational disruption to costs associated with mitigating the breach.

The pressure to avoid these types of breaches is increased as new or stricter regulations emerge around compliance, IT governance, and SLAs.

Scenario #2: unauthorized access

Unauthorized access to critical data compromises its confidentiality. It’s also possible the unauthorized user could alter the file or delete it. Doing so can compromise data integrity or result in data loss.

Not every unauthorized person who accesses a transferred file does so with ill intent. If access controls aren’t properly configured, a colleague could unknowingly access a file that isn’t intended for them.

In the context of cloud file transfer, managing permissions and user access can be especially difficult. For one, you’re dealing with multi-layered access hierarchies. What’s more, the collaborative nature of cloud file sharing can cause unintentional misconfigurations or vulnerabilities left unpatched.

And then, there are the very real risks of ill-intentioned actors: just last week, the public learned of a new critical vulnerability that made it possible for unauthenticated attackers to create new admin users.

Scenario #3: compliance violations

As mentioned above, most businesses operate under strict data protection and privacy regulations, from healthcare organizations to financial institutions. If a regulatory agency finds that a business fails to comply with secure file transfer, it can impose significant fines. To put this in perspective, a single HIPAA violation can cost an organization anywhere from $100 to $50,000.

Businesses with unsecured cloud file transfer also have to deal with reputational repercussions. If the non-compliance news is made public, it can deter potential customers from working with the business. Meanwhile, negligence can cause current customers to seek more secure alternatives.

Read more about the importance of MFT when it comes to enterprise compliance here.

Secure cloud file transfer can’t wait

In 2022, 49% of businesses reported over 40% of their cloud data as sensitive. A year later, this number of businesses rose to 75%. Yet, according to the same industry report, less than half of the average cloud data is encrypted.

With the trend in cyberattacks on the cloud increasing, it’s a critical point for businesses to ensure secure file transfer. Think of secure file transfer as the linchpin of your security posture. It is a key line of defense to protect sensitive data from myriad threats.



With Axway’s MFT solution, transferring files has never been easier or more secure. Our managed cloud service adheres to the most stringent security standards. Robust security measures ensure compliance with industry standards.

You can protect your business from potential threats, vulnerabilities, and intrusions. And with more than 20 years of experience in managing secure file transfers, we have the track record to prove it.

Learn more about how Axway Managed File Transfer powers mission-critical business on the ground and in the cloud.

Key Takeaways

  • Secure file transfer is crucial to prevent data breaches, especially with the increased threat of cyber attacks.
  • Unsecured cloud file transfers can lead to costly data breaches, with potential impacts on remote work and collaboration.
  • Unauthorized access and compliance violations pose significant threats, highlighting the need for proper management of permissions and adherence to regulations.
  • Axway's Managed File Transfer solution offers a secure and user-friendly option, backed by extensive experience and adherence to industry standards.