EITN SECURITY ROUNDTABLE: Seeburger Sees To Secure Business Integration

“Automate the mundane, manage the exception,” said James Hatcher, managing director of Seeburger Asia Pacific. This is one of the fundamental principles behind Seeburger’s IT solutioning that he shared during a recent EITN roundtable about security.


(L-R) McAfee’s Alagesan Alagappan, Cybersecurity Malaysia’s Adli Wahid and Seeburger James Hatcher


Seeburger started off as a company providing EDI (electronic data interchange) solutions targeting the automotive industry. EDI became prominent after the Internet came to the industry and before XML was created. Back in those days, EDI was the standard for data integrity. It was most critical for industries which consumed a lot of paperwork; which needed to be manually entered into computer systems; such as banking, logistics and freighting, automotive, public sector and etc.


The core idea of EDI is to reduce data entry errors and improve data communication efficiency and optimisation. As the industry grew, Seeburger innovated its offerings which up till today, are capable of supporting the bulk of everything – just what one needs for business integration. The Seeburger business integration suite (BIS) is an integration platform for B2B. Its core features are integration functions such as SOA/EAI, data exchange for B2B and secured or managed data transfer.


“Technology is converging, therefore business integration is a natural path. As Big Data gets even bigger and unavoidable for businesses, the efficient and secured management of file tranfers (MFT) becomes increasingly crucial for key data, so that there is the ability to archive and perform traceability. The challenge is about gluing systems together in a secured manner,” said Hatcher.



Services delivered via the cloud

Security used to be the main deterrent whenever organisations considered cloud computing, just 2 years ago. How do they feel now about having services delivered via the cloud? How secure can it all be?


Hatcher:  FTP is “unsecured.”


Hatcher commented that when it comes to implementing cloud computing, the best practice for any organisation is the hybrid model where core applications will always be self-managed on premise while non-core applications can be cloudified and hosted elsewhere to benefit from the advantages of better accessibility and outreach, scalability, quicker speed to adopt new trends and cost savings.


Meanwhile big data makes things more complicated. Businesses cannot ignore it because in this day and age, every single bit of information is critical to gain a business competitive advantage.


Companies cannot afford to ignore big data information which has to be properly addressed and managed. One way to do that is to implement B2B data exchange between trusted servers such as between enterprises and data centres and cloud providers.


“Organisations need to wake up to the fact that the familiar FTP upload is truly completely unsecured, YET almost all of them are still doing it every day. Almost every company that Seeburger has interacted with still has some FTP servers actively running,” said Hatcher.


Seeburger has a solution called SEE Managed File Transfer (MFT) which they propose to replace conventional emailing and FTP data exchange for good. It provides a single, consolidated view of all your file transfer activity across your supply chain, your trading relationships and your business.


On improving email communication, Hatcher advocated the deployment of an intelligent layer that will reduce the inefficiency of traditional email systems by means of identifying (sensitive privacy) keywords or file size.


This additional layer will be fully automated and works in the backend, allowing end users to not have to change their behaviour while also preventing email communication with huge file size to bottleneck enterprise email system.


According to Hatcher, MFT works as a single platform powerful enough to cater for 3 forms of data communication, namely system to system, human to system and system to human.


Each file transfer made through MFT – whether system-to-system, system-to-human or human-to-human – is checked against pre-defined policies such as who is authorised to send what to whom, whether a given file must be routed with a specific protocol like SFTP or AS2, and who has access to that file. Each is also encrypted, authenticated, monitored to ensure delivery, and logged in a central location for easy tracking and auditing.


There is reduced risk of data theft, and also enforcement of corporate and regulatory information security policies. A centralised control over and visibility of all file transfer activity also means better traceability. Files exchanged via mobile devices are also protected and the elimination of multiple FTP servers equals cost savings in the long run.


Seeburger also provides cross-industry WebEDI portals – for efficient, cost-effective and standardised exchange of business data with small business partners for order processing and delivery schedule processing.


Staying true to the principle of automating the mundane and managing the exception, Seeburger envisions that through its offerings, enterprises will experience and need only manage 1% of exceptions, albeit more efficiently and in a targeted manner because more resources would be free for them to do so.




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