SFTP and SSL are commonly used when discussing security within file transfer protocols. What is the relationship between these two terms and how do they differ?
Definition of relevant terms
- SSL –This is a cryptographic security protocol that is designed to provide the user with cyber security over an insecure computer network.
- SFTP – This is a secure File transfer protocol that is built on a Secure Shell protocol. It serves to allow the users to transfer files between them in a manner that is both efficient andsecure.
Why would they be compared?
There are two points of comparison between SFTP and SSL:
- The first is SSL Vs SSH. Since both SSL and SSH are security protocols, it would be viable to compare the two, bearing in mind that SFTP cannot exist or run without SSH, but SSH can be used independently of SFTP.
- Is it more secure to run FTP over SSL or use SFTP? This would be the same as comparing SFTP to FTPS, which is viable, since they are both file transfer protocols.
There is no direct relationship between SFTP and SSL, other than the presence of SSH, which is a security protocol similar to SSL and the existence of FTPS (FTP over SSL), which has the same primary function as SFTP. SSL and SFTP are different programmes that are designed to perform different primary tasks.
Is SFTP the same as FTP over SSL?
No. SFTP is not directly related to FTP in any way, not even to FTP over SSH. FTP over SSL is the same as FTPS, and is directly related to FTP because it uses the basic FTP protocols and adds a security layer by wrapping it in encryption.