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FTP reporting tool eases mainframe compliance

With FTP causing compliance headaches in many organizations, mainframe software firm Software Assist has released a tool designed to corral FTP and get a handle on users.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Software Assist Corp. recently launched a new software tool, FTP/Reporter, to help Big Iron shops manage FTP usage and deal with regulatory compliance issues.

In an age where compliance with regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have become increasingly critical for IT managers, Software Assist said FTP/Reporter will ensure z/OS users are compliant with regulatory archive and audit requirements. According to the z/OS and Windows software firm, FTP/Reporter will also allow organizations to track FTP usage, get exception reporting and identify security exposures.

According to Software Assist president Scott Myers, FTP usage has exploded in the last five years because it's free and easy to use. But FTP -- especially when done over the Internet -- can also leave a company's data exposed and most organizations not knowing what's really going on with their FTP.

"It's a totally unsecured environment. [Many companies] are flying blind hoping nothing will happen," Myers said. "That's what this does. It allows people to transfer their data securely."

FTP/Reporter maintains a regulatory-compliant master log of FTP activity, supports interactive analysis of usage in Interactive System Productivity Facility (ISPF) software and Windows, generates the actionable information, and supports custom analysis and reporting.

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All FTP log data is accumulated in a Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) file to provide the long-term archive and audit capabilities. FTP/Reporter supports FTP management by exception and trend analysis, and the generated information enables companies to identify non-compliant FTP activity and protect it from FTP security breaches that could lead to fines from regulatory violations.

"The limited reporting tools in use today do not effectively monitor who is using FTP, what they are doing with it, and what type of data is traveling in and out of the enterprise," Myers said. "That's what it comes down to. We're a tool to help companies get a handle on what going on with it."

The tool is also used to identify FTP bottlenecks, usage periods and usage.

FTP/Reporter is licensed by a host system, and enterprise licensing is available on request.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Luke Meredith, News Writer

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