VanDyke Software

Understanding File Transfer Security Protocols

Understanding File Transfer Security Protocols

The ability to send data across a public network (e.g., the Internet) has made business operations more time-efficient and cost-effective. However, older protocols used for file transfer may leave your data vulnerable to threats. A number of secure file transfer protocols have been developed to increase security for data in transit.

Overview of Secure File Transfer Protocols

FTP is one of the most commonly used file transfer protocols, but it provides no data security. Both control data (usernames and passwords) and file contents are transmitted in the clear. Data security can be increased by using a secure file transfer protocol. SecureFX® supports three standards-based* secure protocols—SFTP, SCP, and FTP over SSL.

Protocol Description Advantages Disadvantages


Secure file transfer protocol  that expands SSH2 capabilities to include file system and file transfer operations

Uses SSH2 port, minimizing number of ports open on the firewall

SSH2 security mechanisms provide:

  • Strong data encryption
  • Host identity verification
  • Data integrity (message authentication)
  • Increased file management capabilities, including remote file editing and directory creation



The secure version of RCP based on SSH2

Uses SSH2 port, minimizing number of ports open on the firewall

SSH2 security mechanisms provide:

Remote file access limited to copying files to server (upload) or from server (download)


FTP Protocol extensions developed to provide security for FTP clients by supporting Transport Layer Security (TLS)/Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols

  • Support for TLS/SSL enables encrypted connection to protect control and content data
  • Supports host identity verification
  • Increases file management capabilities, including remote file editing

Server compatibility may dictate the secure file transfer protocol used for operations. Servers must be SCP-, SFTP-, and/or FTPS-aware in order for connections to be established and operations to continue. SecureFX's multi-protocol support minimizes the possibility of server incompatibility.

Get Started

In addition to multi-protocol support, SecureFX is also available for multiple platforms—Windows, macOS, and Linux—making it the ideal file transfer client for your organization to standardize on. Increase data security organization-wide. Download SecureFX for a free 30-day evaluation.

Download SecureFX.

Please contact us for assistance in finding the right solution for your organization.

* SFTP and SCP are based on SSH2, the main elements of which are documented in IETF RFC 4250, 4251, 4252, 4253, 4254, 4716, 4819. The standards for FTPS are outlined in RFC 4217.

VanDyke Software — Strong Security, Easy Access, Anywhere, Any Time

VanDyke Software uses cookies to give you the best online experience. Before continuing to use this site, please confirm that you agree to our use of cookies. Please see our Cookie Usage for details.