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Designing an architecture for FTP file transfer

I am in the process of designing the architecture for FTP file transfers between my company and our business partners. We are using PGP for encryption and scripts to automate the entire process. The FTP server will reside in the DMZ. Should the scripts reside on the FTP server? Should I install PGP on the same server or inside the network? Should the PGP keys reside on an internal server?

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I wouldn't leave the private key anywhere in the DMZ and I would take a long hard look at any scripts that you may plan to leave there. Is FTP your only option for accomplishing this task? FTP is one of the most hacked applications. I would use a more secure protocol if possible. There are companies like vandyke.com that make secure FTP products, or there are other options like SSH.


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  • This was first published in August 2005

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