Survey Finds More Than Three-Fourths (78%) of Respondents Are Still Using Unencrypted Protocols to Transfer At Least Some of Their Files

Today we released a summary of findings from a VanDyke Software-commissioned survey conducted in September 2019 by Amplitude Research.

The findings reflect that less than safe security protocols abound for file transfer in the workplace. In total, 450 professionals who use or are involved in decisions about data protection and file transfer solutions at their organization completed the survey. The margin of error was +/- 4.6%

Throughout 2019, it was not uncommon for news reports to document data breaches and cyber hacking of small, medium and large enterprises alike. Perhaps the scariest data breach thus far in 2019 was the one suffered by Capital One, reported this past summer, which affected about 100 million people. According to the IBM-sponsored study by the Ponemon Institute released this year, which queried 507 organizations across 16 geographies and 17 industries, the average cost of a single data breach was $3.92 million, and in the United States the average was $8.19 million per breach. Meanwhile, file transfers continue to be a critical, high-volume part of corporate operations.

The VanDyke Software-commissioned survey conducted by Amplitude Research in September 2019 queried professionals from small, medium and large organizations working in a variety of industries and found that nearly half (48%) of companies are transferring files at least multiple times per day and sometimes “continuously.” File servers today are likely to be running Windows and hosted in the cloud, and the transfers themselves are often unencrypted and not protected with two-factor authentication.

The following are a sample of some of the key findings from the survey:

  • More than three-fourths (78%) of companies are hosting their file transfer servers mostly or completely on Windows, compared to 36% for Linux / UNIX, and 25% for macOS.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of companies are hosting some or all of their file transfer servers in the cloud.
  • HTTPS was the secure protocol used most often (60%) when connecting to their file transfer server, while slightly more than one-third used FTPS (35%) and SSH2/SFTP (34%). More than half (58%) use non-secure HTTP at least sometimes when connecting to their file transfer server, and more than one-third (38%) use non-secure FTP. The most common type of authentication when connecting to a file transfer server was using a password (55%), followed by two-factor authentication (44%), single sign on (SSO) (32%), and public key (22%).
  • A correlation exists between compliance requirements and authentication. For those companies that do not have to comply with any standards or regulations, just 27% use two-factor authentication. If, however, a company does have compliance requirements, 47% use two-factor authentication.

Danielle Argiro, Product Director at VanDyke Software noted, “Considering the impact that a data breach can have on an organization, it is concerning that fewer than half of the respondents to this survey use two-factor authentication to connect to their file transfer server.”

To read the full press release, please visit the Press Release section on the VanDyke Software website.

About Amplitude Research, Inc.
Amplitude Research is a full-service online survey company and market research firm headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida that serves a wide variety of industries and markets throughout the United States and globally. Amplitude specializes in all kinds of consumer, b2b and IT market research studies, b2b customer satisfaction studies, and job satisfaction / employee engagement surveys. Amplitude’s services include study design, survey administration, sampling, data analysis, custom report writing, and a full range of additional reporting and survey administration services. For more information about Amplitude Research, visit the company’s website at