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Hosted~FTP~ Security Model Overview

Our cloud-based FTP services are designed to have a high degree of security for logging into the account, administering and configuring privileges and providing audit logs of all transfers. The diagram below provides an overview of the security model which can be downloaded at this link.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Personally identifiable information (PII), or Sensitive Personal Information (SPI), as used in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context.

Protected Health Information (PHI)

Protected health information (PHI) under US law is any information about health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care that is created or collected by a Covered Entity (or a Business Associate of a Covered Entity), and can be linked to a specific individual.

Hosted~FTP~ data location

When you subscribe to the Hosted~FTP~ services all data will then reside in the US at Amazon Web Services West Virginia location.

Secure data transfer

The Hosted~FTP~ SaaS application has been designed to ensure that all PII/PHI information, including data, login credentials, and file-names/folder-names, can be transmitted securely and stored in the Amazon Web Services securely. Hosted~FTP~ provides for data to be 256 bit AES encrypted in transit, on arrival and at rest:

In transit

For transfers by web browsers:

Our website is secured by HTTPS with AES 256 bit encryption (certified by the US government for top secret information)

For transfers by FTP (i.e. FTP client programs, scripts, etc.)

We support FTPS (FTP over TLS/SSL) and  SFTP (see this link for a further description of the FTPS and SFTP protocols) with PKI or username/password authentication with AES 256 bit encryption.

On Arrival

Hosted~FTP~ encrypts the data as soon as it arrives at the Hosted~FTP~ Amazon cloud location and before any processing takes place to ensure that the data is never unprotected. This includes all data, credentials and file-names and folder names; a process that is unique to Hosted~FTP~.

At rest in S3 Storage (256 bit AES)

The encrypted files are then securely uploaded by HTTPS to Amazon S3 cloud storage (see this link), where Amazon encrypts the files a second time before they are stored.

Server Port lock-down & File integrity

Port lock-down

All Hosted~FTP~ servers are locked down completely except for the ports required to serve HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and FTPS

File Integrity (chain of custody)

All files are fingerprinted with an MD5 hash that is stored with reference to the file. When the file(data) is retrieved the MD5 hash is recreated and compared against the original to establish proof that there has been no tampering.

Privacy and Intrusion protection

Login protection & lockout

All Hosted~FTP~ accounts are only accessible by username and password; the account administrator grants sharing and login privileges to the users, contacts, folders, and files in the account.  SFTP supports both username/password and username/PKI key combination. After 3 unsuccessful login attempts the account username is frozen for 10 minutes before the next login cycle is enabled.

Application/program execution on the Hosted~FTP~ site not allowed

Hosted~FTP~ does not allow any user programs to execute at all; our clients can only use our service to upload, retrieve and provide email notifications by our secure email server.

Password Complexity

Enterprise T2/T5/T10 accounts have an additional security level feature. Hosted~FTP~ provides a password policy setting on an account level affecting all users. The setting forces all users of the account to maintain a complex password level of difficulty chosen by the account administrator. Customize your password policy’s requirements on: minimum amount of characters, uppercase, lowercase, numerical, and non-alphanumeric characters. More info can be found here.

Multi-factor authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a simple best practice that adds an extra layer of protection on top of your username and password. With MFA enabled, when a user signs in to a Hosted~FTP~ account, they will be prompted for their username and password (the first factor); then they will be prompted for an authentication code from their MFA device (the second-factor – what they have). We have implemented the Google Authenticator app; it’s available on Android devices, iOS devices like the iPhone, BlackBerry devices, and Windows Phone via 3rd party apps.

Audit Trail of all Logins and File transfer activity

We provide logs of all user login activity and also upload/download activity for purposes of audit and tracking in each user account in the form of daily Excel and/or .CSV files stored in each admin account. The detailed logs track info such as: IP address, direction of transfers, method of protocol, date and time, and more. More info here.

IP Whitelisting

Enterprise T2/T5/T10 accounts have an additional security level feature. Hosted~FTP~ provides IP whitelisting at the account level as well as each individual user level. Once IP whitelisting is enabled the user must be coming from the IP addresses specified, otherwise they will experience login failures. IP addresses can be input individually or by CIDR address range. More info here.

Backup and recovery

We are 100% cloud, meaning that all of our infrastructures is hosted in the Amazon Cloud. Amazon S3 provides a highly durable storage infrastructure designed for mission-critical and primary data storage. ” see this link for further details.

Amazon has many processes and certifications to guarantee the safety and reliability of the files stored in S3. We adhere to all Amazon’s security best practices. Amazon redundantly stores files on multiple devices across multiple facilities in an Amazon S3 Region before we provide a SUCCESS to the user.

File & user deletion policies

  • File/folder deletion: when a contact or user with Read/Write privileges deletes a file/folder it is permanently deleted from the Hosted~FTP~ AWS S3 storage and all links to the database are permanently severed. No files can be recovered under any circumstances
  • User/Username deletion: when a User/Username is deleted the Files tab workspace and all files owned by the user are permanently deleted, all shared folders and the user is removed from the Users tab. Note that the user is still on the Contacts tab.

Hosted~FTP~ maintenance and AWS SLA standards

Hosted~FTP inherits the AWS infrastructure SLA with a commitment as noted below. Please see the links for further info.:

“AWS will use commercially reasonable efforts to make Amazon S3, EC2 and Amazon EBS each available with a Monthly Up-time Percentage (defined below) of at least (see below) in each case during any monthly billing cycle (Service Commitment)
http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/sla/   SLA is 99.95 %
http://aws.amazon.com/s3/sla/   SLA is 99.9%

Hosted~FTP~ has a reserved maintenance window on Saturday from 10 am to 12 PM.  The scheduled maintenance releases are typically infrequent and of short duration. Hosted~FTP~ will make every reasonable effort to make the overall service available with an SLA of 99.95 %.

AWS Component SLA standards

Amazon S3 is designed for 99.99% availability and 99.999999999% durability (see this link)
Amazon EBS volume data is replicated across multiple servers in an Availability Zone to prevent the loss of data from the failure of any single component. HFTP configures multi-availability zones for transparent recovery from any failures. (see this link)
Amazon RDS Multi-AZ deployments provide enhanced availability and durability for Database (DB) Instances, as configured by HostedFTP (HFTP)
Amazon EC2 Service Level Agreement commitment is 99.95% availability for each Amazon EC2 Region. (see this link)
Reference links
Amazon Web Services compliance & security standards
The AWS infrastructure is HIPAA compliant. The AWS cloud infrastructure has been designed and managed in alignment with regulations, standards, and best-practices. Please review the following links
AWS Compliance
AWS Security
SOC 1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402 (formerly SAS70)
PCI DSS Level 1
ISO 27001

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