FTP has been described as easy to intercept as transmissions are delivered in clear text.
According to Axway, usernames, passwords, commands and data can be easily intercepted and read while files transferred via FTP are uploaded or downloaded without any encryption.
In a survey of 500 public sector IT workers, it found that 61 per cent do not monitor FTP usage despite 76 per cent having concerns about the current security of file transfers.
Stuart Feargrieve, managing director of Axway UK, said: “It is important that the public sector remembers its basic responsibility to protect government files and eradicating FTP has to be a priority.
“Although the public sector is facing cuts and efficiency measures, ignoring the issue of FTP of for file transfers is a false economy. By investing in the right technology to help IT managers handle interactive, user-driven communications and automated file transfer over the internet and private IP networks, they could save money and time by consolidating disparate systems."
Tony Pepper, CEO of Egress, said: “These statistics are powerful but only reveal the tip of the iceberg. Sending email messages with attachments or transferring large files (typically using FTP servers or hosted file sharing websites) needs to have a collective security focus.
“Demonising how organisations monitor and upload files to FTP servers is only looking at one aspect of a much broader industry problem. Every day we win more accounts because customers are increasingly asking for a holistic approach to sharing confidential information.
“This modern trend demands technology that promotes secure collaboration and delivers ‘follow the data' protection, irrespective of how the information has been sent.”