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Securing Your Flow with RheoWorx from Entegria Systems

We can all agree that secure file transfer should be the bare minimum communication method for critical information, right? No more emailing account numbers or other personally identifiable information (PII) in clear text to other people. That is the utopia we should all be trying to accomplish. Sadly, we’re not there yet. We still get documents mailed in the clear where they can be intercepted or stored in a manner which could lead to compromise. There has to be a better solution.

Secure Workflow Transfers

Enter RheoWorx from Entegria Systems. I had the opportunity to get a briefing from them shortly after the launch of the product and I was very thrilled to see they take security as seriously as I do. It made sense to me as I spoke with CTO and co-founder Tony Tancredi. He came from a medical background and I can assure that the regulations around medical information leaking out would make your head spin. Making a secure file transfer application for that environment is a must.

Entegria didn’t stop there, however. While FTP might have been the most popular method of file transfer there isn’t always a direct connection between two endpoints that would allow for a more secure connection. Some of these systems are isolated by design. So RheoWorx includes the capability to transfer files through the Entegria cloud intermediary. Systems can upload the files to Entegria’s cloud, which runs on IBM’s cloud platform, and notify users on the other side to download them. The files are not stored directly in the cloud but instead are just transferred. You can verify that the files were sent and also that they were removed from the cloud to ensure chain-of-custody or even audit guidelines for specific data. Communications use message queues or TCP/IP and are TLS 1.3 secured. That means you’re using the best possible method for keeping data private in transit.

If all RheoWorx did was transfer files it might not stand out. However, the real power behind the system in the demo was in the workflow manager. This is where the power of the platform can really be extended. RheoWorx lets you build custom workflows to do things with transfers. This solves a huge problem of what to do when you have data that needs to be sent but you don’t always have someone there to send it. Imagine something like an unattended kiosk that has data captured, like camera footage or survey documents. You want to send those files securely but you don’t have anyone manning the kiosk all the time. Do you just have the machine download the files every night? That could leave the data exposed for hours. Do you have someone stop by every few hours to dump the data to a secure server? That is going to increase your costs.

With Rheoworx, you can build a simple workflow that has multiple parts and intelligence built in. If a file is saved in a directory RheoWorx can be configured to see the file and initiate a secure transfer to a remote system. Once verification is received it can then delete the file to ensure it isn’t being stored and is susceptible to being stolen. Because the workflows can be configured to be one-way only you can also ensure that data can’t be siphoned back in the other direction should your kiosk become compromised. Workflows are a powerful way to build systems with checks to ensure security is followed at every step while also removing the need for a human to be involved at every point of the process. You can also create manual workflows that aren’t dependent on time and can be initiated whenever someone wants to get the data.

All of this must cost a fortune, right? After all, security is only really valuable if you’re paying through the nose. Thankfully, Entegria must have missed that memo because RheoWorx is a reasonably priced software-as-a-service offering that’s based on the number of agents and workflow connections and not on usage or transfers. For users that have a low number of systems but a large amount of data, such as a hospital MRI machine or a business transferring large image files, the data caps could be deal breakers. However, RheoWorx is priced to be used by companies that have the need to keep their data transfers safe. They even have a free account with two agents and five workflows for you to try out!

Bringing It All Together

The world doesn’t need another simple file transfer system. What we need is one with the logic and capabilities to build secure workflows that happen to include file transfers. That kind of thinking and planning ensures that we can audit every step of the path to ensure data is never caught out in the wild unsecured. That means that the power behind RheoWorx is more than just a simple point-to-point secure FTP solution. It’s the brains behind it that ensure you set up your transfers the right way every time and keep regulators, auditors, and users happy.

For more information about Entegria Systems and RheoWorx, make sure you check out the RheoWorx product page.

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

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