FTP Hosting Security - Comparison between SSL, TLS, and SSH
« on: September 27, 2007, 08:10:05 PM »
FTP Hosting Services – A Security Overview

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) defines the set of rules to transfer files over the Internet. FTP hosting services allows the service holder to exchange large files from one computer to another in a secured mode. FTP Hosting service has two main components – FTP Server and Client Server. Irrespective of file size and file type, you can exchange information through FTP server. People with authentic FTP account can download the copies of the files from FTP server. Each FTP account comes with unique user name and password. Therefore, only the authorized user can access the uploaded files.

File Transfer Protocol has several advantages over Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. Compared to FTP, exchanging large files over the Internet through HTTP is less secured and allows unauthorized user or hackers to access the information. FTP hosting services restricts unauthorized users to access digital data by providing separate FTP account for each user.

Security features

It can be said that there is nothing better than FTP hosting services to exchange digital information in a secured mode across WWW. The importance of FTP hosting services has increased significantly in all types of industries. Be it a Health Care Sector or large Engineering Firm, FTP is the right option to share all types of files (e.g., text, image, audio, multimedia etc.) through a single server – FTP Server. FTP hosting services, which are HIPAA compliant encrypts contents and upload the files in the server. Encryption is the secure method that converts readable information into unreadable format by keeping the content unchanged. This is considered as the ultimate security measure and restricts unauthorized to view the actual content of the files.

Following are some remarkable security protocols:

SSL

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a significant security protocol that offers privacy of communication over the Internet. You can make File Transfer Protocol more secure by using the system over Secure Sockets Layer. The basic objective of SSL is to maintain privacy and trustworthiness in web based communication system. Following are some basic properties of connection security in SSL Protocol:

    * SSL Protocol use symmetric cryptography for data encryption and maintains ultimate privacy during web based

      communication.

    * All the messages, which are exchanged over the Internet, are checked during transmission. This feature provides the reliability of the web based communication.

Secure Sockets Layer comes with the feature of cryptographic security to create secured connection between two computers over the Internet. Moreover you are free to incorporate other encryption methods in a SSL framework. This will lower the effort of installing new security library as well as eliminate the requirement of creating new set of protocols.

It is observed that cryptographic operations, especially key operations, depend upon the hardware configuration of CPU. Secure Sockets Layer protocol comes with the feature ‘optional session caching’, which optimizes the number of connections and network activity to make the communication process efficient.

TLS

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is another security protocol to ensure privacy and data-integrity during web based communication between two applications. Like SSL Protocol, TLS Protocol also comes with two components – TLS Record Protocol and TLS Handshake Protocol. Basic properties of TLS Protocol are as follows: TLS Protocol encrypts data by symmetric cryptography and ensures privacy during web based communication process. All the messages, which are exchanged over the Internet, are checked while transmitting from one computer to another. This feature provides the reliability of the web based communication. TLS protocol restricts unauthorized users to interfere as a third party in the middle of a communication process over the Internet. The third party will take part in the communication only after detected by the two authorized communicators or users.

Transport Layer Security Protocol comes with the cryptographic security to provide ultimate privacy between two users. Like SSL, Transport Layer security Protocol is extensible, i.e., you can incorporate new encryption methods in the TLS framework. By this you can reduce the effort of creating new protocols as well as eliminate the necessity of implementing new set of security library.

Cryptographic operations provided by Transport Layer Security Protocol depend upon the technical configuration of the CPU. These features are also similar to Secure Sockets Layer Protocol. ‘Optional session caching’ is available in TLS Protocol that optimizes the number of connections and network activity to make the communication process efficient.

SSH

Secure Shell (SSH) comes with the feature of encrypted channels. You can use Secure Shell to access another computer over the Internet and can execute command on a remote computer. Moreover, like File Transfer Protocol you can transfer files from one computer to another through WWW (World Wide Web). Transferring files over the Internet requires sufficient security measures to protect the privacy of digital information. With Secure Shell you can efficiently establish encrypted communication between two computers by protecting the information from accessing by any unauthorized third party.

Standard FTP hosting service does not encrypt digital information while transferring files from over the Internet. Secure FTP or SFTP, on the other hand, comes with the features of Secure Shell and encrypts digital data when transferring from one computer to another. Further, SFTP also prevents passwords and responsive information from being transferred from one computer to another over the Internet. Since the Protocols are different in Standard FTP and SFTP, it is not possible for the users to integrate a standard FTP client with an SFTP server or a simple FTP server with a client using SFTP service.

Adam is a Network Engineer with "InstantFTPsites.com". You can learn more about "FTP Hosting" services online at http://www.InstantFTPsites.com.

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« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 01:24:51 AM by Kailash »