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Who has access to your documents?

Ensure security in B2B trading, with AS2; understand who has access to your business documents and e-transactions

03 Apr 2020 by Pamoda Wijesinghe

The last thing you need is your letter to your loved one to be read by the postman on the way. Only because you need it to be delivered and read by the intended receiver for a purpose.

Be it personal or in business, the importance of secure data transfer is becoming crucial by the day; as it’s not only the postman involved - thanks to unstoppable technological advances - but due to the following reasons which evolve every minute that passes by;

  • Growing Value of Data due to the rise of Big Data Analytics, Business Intelligence and accelerated IT trends
  • Data-driven cultures created within an organization as data-based decision-making yields far better results - both in quality and, of course, numbers
  • Transit vulnerabilities due to data in motion are typically at risk, compared to information that stays behind a firewall
  • As an act of contingency for preventing a data breach in advance
  • And of course, peace of mind!

With increasing data, it is advisable for any enterprise to adopt an online trading platform if going ahead with file transfer protocols for various reasons - ease of dealing, affordability, greater control, faster transactions, ease of monitoring, etc. Such platforms are mostly used by financial institutes as an intermediary for exchanging confidential information related to stocks, bonds, currencies or any other investment. Similarly, most industries and B2B enterprises with the need to exchange such confidential data have freely adopted such protocols to streamline transactions with their vendors to maintain uniformity in the process.

A trading platform can be explained, in simple terms, as a trading software that is easy enough to integrate with the existing systems. Businesses today, look for secure methods and tools that provide the expected data security, automated processes and compliance, as almost everything to do with businesses take place online. Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), File Transfer Protocol - Secure (FTPS), Hypertext Transfer Protocol - Secure (HTTPS), Applicability Statement 2 (AS2) are a few of such protocols used in business data exchange.

AS2 (Applicability Statement 2) is one of the most popular protocols used in business that allows the exchange of secured data even using an unencrypted HTTP connection suitable for electronic data interchange.

One might think that the use of AS2 is slightly being replaced by newer technology unless they are aware of a sophisticated platform that helps to retain the switching cost of most businesses out there to keep using AS2 in a more advanced set-up. AS2 Gateway is a recommended solution for assured trading for AS2 for B2B messaging with security and reliability. In a more technical explanation, AS2 Gateway is a SaaS EDI/AS2 trading platform with a simplified process for sharing complex information.

Fully compliant with AS2 specifications published by Drummond and Morberg, the platform provides key security functions for any business partner:

  • Data Encryption
  • Digital Signature Verification
  • MIC (Message Integrity Check) Hashing
  • Supplementary SSL/TLS channeling

Simplified digital certificate manipulation through the AS2 Gateway user interface makes life easy for the user to generate, import and export certificates in different formats. This is basically generating a secure access passcode for each unique user to further certify the trust and reliability within parties involved at both ends of the file transaction. This platform is also capable of connecting internal systems with dedicated SFTP connectivity that can automatically upload inbound documents to relevant SFTP locations by allowing a seamless integration point for an existing internal system.

It might sound a bit too technical when you take the process in a nutshell, but despite your knowledge in this technical jargon, AS2 Gateway provides the perfect monitoring platform for your decision-making requirements.

AS2 Gateway web dashboard

This dashboard consists of few noteworthy options for any general user;

  • Statistics view where users can monitor the number of messages transferred within a particular time frame
  • API that allows listing messages (inbox/sent), fetch details and download content/attachments of a specific message and its receipt (MDN), and send a message out
  • Audit trails for organization administrators to monitor the actions executed by users
  • Automatic notification emails to relevant users of the organization

Well, it doesn’t end there! AS2 Gateway is developed in a way where corporates are allowed to run the software on Cloud or On-Premise. This option to run on their own servers gives full control of AS2 trading to the business itself. The AS2 Gateway On-Premise deployment can be integrated with your backend systems using any desired protocol, while also enjoying the benefits of the powerful mediation, fault tolerance and high availability features offered by the core UltraESB runtime. The On-Premise version has been trusted by corporates around the world - eShopbox, GeoSwift, and to name a few.

No matter how traditional you are as an organization, there is no chance to compromise with technology during an era where everything is being exchanged online. The organization that does not deal with change management is unfortunately left behind. It’s good to go online to keep up with the trends.

BUT, this is just a reminder to make sure that your data is safe…