The Risks Of Using FTP To Transfer Files In The Cloud
When we talk about cloud, we speak about endless advantages: flexibility, scalability, availability and capacity, but do you already know what some practices such as the use of FTP can cause in your company?
The year 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the well-known File Transfer Protocol (FTP), a standard released in April 1971 and has the purpose of exchanging files between computers. In the year of its appearance, the Internet was not available for everyday use, and web pages did not exist. It is worth mentioning that this standard changed over time; in 1980, it adopted the TCP/IP protocol on which today’s web pages and Internet are based, and in 1985 FTP was officially born, which is the same standard we use today.
The most common cases of FTP are transfers between local client computers and provider servers. There are two types of transfers: ASCII and Binary, ASCII being the type that allows only texts to be transferred, while Binary transfers files such as images and videos, among others.
To carry out these transfers, several factors intervene, such as the FTP server, software connected to the Internet or to a LAN network, with which it is possible to carry out this exchange of files. It is also necessary that this software is under a TCP/IP network that connects to the VPS, Cloud or Dedicated server.
There are many examples of FTP servers on the market, such as FileZilla Server, Proftpd, Vsftpd, CrushFTP, Cerberus, and FTP Server; your selection will depend on your selection needs and the operating system used, which ranges from Windows to MacOS.
There Are Two Ways To Connect To An FTP Server:
PASV-type commands are sent from the client’s communication channel, where the port to which it should connect is indicated to the client. Performing this same action in reverse, it is possible to establish the connection and perform the necessary transfers. Setting passive mode is suggested when FTP connections are blocked by a firewall or transfers consistently fail.
In this mode, port number 20 is specifically used to establish the connection to the server, which is based on a PORT-type control command; in this way, both are connected, and the transfer is possible.
This practice may have significant advantages such as its speed, ability to transfer and availability of files bidirectionally. Additionally to its high degree of usability: however, we must talk about its disadvantages and why it is recommended not to use it:
- User data such as your username and the information transferred may be exposed by not having an SSL in between.
- Automation is not possible in this type of standard.
- It is considered obsolete technology, as its updates are not adapted to the modern digital network.
- It is not possible to download or upload files in parallel. It must be done file by file.
- It does not allow to resume the downloads or upload of files; the files can be corrupted if there are errors in the network.
Now that you know what it is, how it works and its advantages and disadvantages, could you trust its operation to transfer your most confidential assets through an FTP?
The FTP was totally revolutionary at the time, it is still valid, but today it is considered obsolete technology and can endanger the information and data of those who use it.
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