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Why You Should Consider AS2 for Secure File Transfers

Applicability Statement 2 (AS2) protocol ensures a secure transmission of data over the internet.

Hirudinee Liyanage
Hirudinee Liyanage

In a world where every aspect of life has become digital, sensitive data must be stored and transmitted securely and reliably through the internet. Regardless of the industry or size, businesses that collect, store, and share business or personal data have to ensure that their systems are protected against unauthorized access and data breaches.

Applicability Statement 2 (AS2) protocol ensures a secure transmission of data over the internet. This is one of the popular choices for electronic data interchange (EDI) in industries such as retail, and shipping. This blog will focus on the various benefits of using the AS2 protocol, why it is an excellent option for secure file transfers, and its specific advantages for EDI transactions.

Understanding AS2 Protocol

AS2 is a specification for secure and reliable file transfer over the Internet. Files transferred using the AS2 protocol will be encrypted and signed, ensuring the security and authenticity of the transmitted data. Many businesses around the world use AS2 to exchange documents such as purchase orders, invoices, and other sensitive information securely and efficiently.

The AS2 message will be signed and encrypted before transmission. Once received, the message will be decrypted, and its authenticity will be verified. The sender will receive an acknowledgment indicating the state of the received message, which can be used as proof of data integrity and non-repudiation.

How AS2 Work ? How AS2 Work ?

AS2 Protocol Benefits

1. Security

  • Encryption and Decryption:

AS2 protocol supports data encryption using industry-standard algorithms. AS2 Service providers like MFT Gateway support various strong encryption algorithms such as AES, and 3DES. This ensures that the sensitive pieces of information are protected during the transmission process.

  • Digital Signatures:

Digital signatures are used to enforce the authenticity and integrity of the transmitted data. The sender’s signature will be verified by the receiver using shared keys before the AS2 communication

2. Reliability

  • Message Disposition Notifications (MDNs):

MDNs are electronic receipts that confirm the successful delivery, decryption, and authentication of the AS2 messages. AS2 supports the use of sync or async MDNs. This ensures that the sender knows the status of the received message and can take appropriate actions if necessary.

  • Error Handling:

AS2 systems are capable of monitoring and handling AS2 transmission errors. For example, AS2 service providers like MFT Gateway can indicate received error MDNs, retry transmission failed AS2 messages, and notify users via email or webhook notifications when something went wrong during the transmission.

3. Cost-Effectiveness

  • Internet-Based Transfers:

AS2 operates over the Internet and does not require any dedicated lines or proprietary networks. This reduces costs associated with AS2. MFT Gateway SaaS offerings for AS2 communications start as low as 9 USD per month.

  • Reduced Paperwork:

Once converted to digital transactions, the need for manual paperwork is eliminated. This increases the efficiency of the overall process.

Secure File Transfer AS2: Key Use Cases

1. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

  • Retail and Supply Chain:

AS2 is widely used in Retail and supply chain industries to transfer EDI documents between business entities. These documents include Purchase orders, Invoices, Advanced Shipment notices, and many more. World-renowned Retailers like Walmart and Target use AS2 for B2B communication.

  • Healthcare:

The healthcare industry trusts AS2 for sensitive data transmissions. Patient data, insurance claims, and other highly confidential documents can be securely transmitted through AS2 as it provides the required security levels and compliance with regulations such as HIPAA.

2. Financial Services

  • Banking:

Same as the healthcare sector banking and financial services leverage the benefits of the AS2 protocol to transfer their financial statements and other data. AS2 is an ideal choice for these kinds of highly secure transactions

3. Government

  • Government Agencies:

AS2 is in line with most regulatory requirements provided by governments making it the best choice for government agencies to transfer their data within and between different sectors. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medical Agency (EMA) are two examples of this.

AS2 for EDI: Advantages

1. Interoperability

  • Standards Compliance:

AS2 is compliant with EDI standards, ensuring seamless interoperability between different systems and trading partners. This is crucial for businesses that need to exchange data with multiple partners using various platforms.

  • Wide Adoption:

Most agencies that use EDI, have already employed AS2 communications for file transfers. Therefore having AS2 capabilities will make it easier to communicate between already established AS2 users.

2. Scalability

  • Adaptability:

Businesses of all sizes and scales can adopt AS2 easily since it has the capability of handling file sizes from a few kb to several Giga Bytes. There are AS2 service providers with all types of service tier offerings so whether it’s a small business or a multinational organization, AS2 can cater to their needs.

  • Future-Proofing:

AS2 can grow as the Organization grows. You may start with a few transactions per month, and when the volume changes to several transactions every minute, AS2 will be able to adapt and provide you with seamless service.

3. Regulatory Compliance

AS2 helps businesses comply with data protection regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and HIPAA. All the security measures that have been implemented in the AS2 protocol ensure that the regulation standards are met.

Conclusion

For businesses and organizations who want to protect their data during transmission, AS2 is one of the best options in the market today. Its security features, reliability, cost-effectiveness, and interoperability make AS2 advantageous for EDI transactions. For any business regardless of its type or size, AS2 provides a reliable solution for secure file transfers in today’s digital age.

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Hirudinee Liyanage

Hirudinee Liyanage

Hirudinee has worked on a variety of products at Aayu throughout her career and has hands-on experience in planning, designing, and executing testing activities. She is the QA manager of the team with more than 7 years of experience in delivering top-notch software solutions. Outside of work, she loves traveling, trying new foods, and her dogs.


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