Can I Interpret the following statement given in documentation as below ?

You import plain text data into your Marketing Cloud account, which encrypts that data as part of the import process. The Marketing Cloud then decrypts any extracted or exported data. The Marketing Cloud exports any data using a data extension export to an FTP location as unencrypted data. You can use PGP encryption on data imported using SFTP as files.

My Understanding : If you use option of configuring encryption during Import using PGP key , then it is not possible to encrypt the data for data extract files Any automation using data extract and transfer activity will still send the exported data as un-encrypted.

1 Answer 1


No. It is still possible to encrypt data coming from SFMC data extensions even if decrypted on import.

The process from import to export is:


  1. File is dropped with PGP encryption to FTP
  2. File transfer to decrypt and send to safehouse
  3. import activity aiming at file in safehouse

This will decrypt your data and store it unencrypted in SFMC. From there, you have 2 choices on encrypting and exporting your information.

Export manually:

  1. Go to the 'records' section of your desired Data Extension
  2. Select 'Export' option
  3. Check the 'encrypt file' option under 'Export Options'

This is a simple usage and is great for 'one off' needs, but is not available for automation.

Export via Data Extract Activity and File Transfer:

  1. Create a data extract activity aimed at your DE. (this will create an unencrypted file that lives in your safehouse)
  2. Create a File Transfer activity that utilizes the 'Move file from safehouse' option
  3. write in the file naming that you had from data extract and then select 'Encrypt file'
  4. Here you will be able to select PGP or GPG encrypt

This will then let you take the file, encrypt it in PGP or GPG and then place it on your FTP. Using Data Extract and File Transfer allows you to place these in an automation for scheduled or trigger based usage.

If you really want to, you can also remove the UI completely and create the Data Extract, File Transfer and automation via the API.

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