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How to create secure Windows FTP automation

Securing Windows FTP automation can be easier than you think, according to network security expert Mike Chapple. Consider using Microsoft's free FTP utility.

What's a good tool for windows FTP automation? Basically, I'm seeking a tool that runs as a service, watches a file path, and ftps any new files every few minutes.

I'd strongly recommend that you consider using RichCopy. This free FTP utility from Microsoft uses normal Windows file-sharing channels to allow the multithreaded copying/synchronization of files over a network.

Since you asked this question in a security forum, I'll offer some security advice at the same time. First, except in highly unusual circumstances (such as a closed network or a read-only public download site), I would never advocate the use of FTP for the transfer of files. This protocol is inherently insecure, as it transfers authentication credentials and file contents in the clear. Instead, use RichCopy or another such tool over a secure connection, or use the ssh-enabled alternative to FTP: SFTP.

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This was last published in June 2009

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