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File Transfer Guidelines

Transferring data (files) to and from servers in the Server Farm opens the possibility of a security issue for both the data and the systems. The Systems Administration group supports the use of encrypted protocols during file transfer. Using an encrypted protocol reduces the chance of a security issue.

This article applies to: Managed Servers


Several protocols are recommended. See the chart on the Choose a File Transfer Protocol page for information about which protocols are recommended for specific client/server combinations.

Keep the following points in mind when choosing from the recommended file transfer protocols.

  • In some cases the protocol you choose is dictated by the requirements of an external client, for example, a government agency. Be sure you know the requirements of the client and server for your transfer.
  • FTP over SSL for file transfer to/from Unix servers should ONLY be used because it is required by an external client. Most file transfers can be completed using either SFTP/SCP or WebDAV.
  • Unattended server to server file transfers require SCP.
  • Microsoft File Sharing (SMB/CIFS) is "deprecated" because the data is not encrypted over the network. For servers that store confidential data, Microsoft File Sharing (SMB/CIFS) is not allowed. See Policy 5.10, Information Security for details about which data is considered confidential. If you are unsure which protocol to use, send e-mail to systems-support@cornell.edu. The Systems Support group will work with you to find a secure solution.

Note: If you are performing a file transfer using a system not listed above, send e-mail to systems-support@cornell.edu. The Systems Support group will work with you to find a secure solution.

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