Jaycee's Networking

May 6, 2009

Unified Threat Management

Filed under: Information, Security — Jaycee @ 10:01 pm

UTM (Unified Threat Management) is the evolution of the traditional firewall into an all-inclusive security product that has the ability to perform multiple security functions in one single appliance: network firewall, network intrusion prevention and gateway antivirus (AV), gateway anti-spam, VPN, content filtering, load balancing and on-appliance reporting.

The main advantages of UTM solutions are simplicity, streamlined installation and use, and the ability to update all the security functions or programs concurrently. So, not only are they a cost-effective purchase, but day-to-day network running costs are also considerably lowered. It provides a comprehensive set of security features in a single product and managed through a single console. Integrated security solutions evolved as a logical way to tackle the increasingly complex blended internet threats impacting organizations.

Traditional point solutions are difficult to deploy, manage and update, which increases operational complexities and overhead costs. UTMs can help overcome these problems. In summary, the fast-paced transition from point to integrated security appliances is largely due to the cost-effectiveness and ease of manageability of UTM devices.

A single UTM appliance makes it very easy to manage a company’s security strategy, with just one device to worry about, one source of support and a single way to maintain every aspect of your security solution. The UTM can prove to be more effective a solution as its strength lies in the bundle of solutions which are integrated and designed to work together. Also from one single centralized console, all the security solutions can be monitored and configured. Thus it tweaks the solutions to perfection.

UTMs represent all-in-one security appliances that carry firewall, VPN, gateway anti-virus, gateway anti-spam, intrusion prevention, content filtering, bandwidth management and centralized reporting as basic features. The UTM can prove highly effective because its strength lies in the bundle of solutions which are integrated and designed to work together without treading on each other’s toes.

Enterprises needs are about leverage, simplicity and integrated management capabilities. Standalone solutions such as AV, AS, Firewall fail to protect against such threats. Enterprises are not only under pressure from cybercrime and insider abuse, but are facing increasing and evolving compliance demands – highlighting the importance of establishing effective and measurable security.

Reduced complexity, through Single security solution, Single Vendor, avoidance of multiple software installation and maintenance, Plug & Play architecture, Web-based GUI for easy management are some of the major reasons why many organizations, both big and small are fast switching to smart, UTM solutions. This, coupled with Zero-hour protection without comprising on performance translates into high ROI for customers who deploy UTMs.

For enterprises with remote networks or distantly located offices, UTMs are the only means to provide centralized security with complete control over their globally distributed networks. Enterprises, thus get zero-hour protection at branch offices against security attacks despite the lack of technical resources at these locations.

UTM vendors include Check Point, Juniper, Fortinet, SonicWall, Cyberoam, Untangle, Astaro and O2Security.

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