Unified Threat Management (UTM) - All in one Internet & Network Security
UTM is a comprehensive solution that has emerged in the network security industry, and since 2004, has gained widespread success as a primary network gateway defense solution for organizations. It 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 firewalling, network intrusion prevention and gateway antivirus (AV), gateway anti-spam, VPN (IPSec & SSL), content filtering, load balancing and reporting.
UTM solutions emerged out of the need to stem the increasing number of attacks on corporate information systems via hacking, viruses, worms - mostly an outcome of blended threats and insider threats. Also, newer attack techniques target the user as the weakest link in an enterprise, the repercussions of which are far more serious than imagined.
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. Such a great degree of functionality provided by a UTM appliance is held as the justification for the replacement of older, more basic Firewalls in favor of a Unified Threat Management firewall appliance that does it all.
The ultimate goal of a UTM is to provide 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.
Employing UTM 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. In this context, 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 is, a highly integrated quiver of security solutions, working in tandem that systematically provides network security to organizations. As there is a customized OS holding all these security features at one place, they work in unison, providing a very high throughput.
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 get zero-hour protection at branch offices against security attacks despite the lack of technical resources at these locations.
For situations requiring redundancy, UTM devices can be configured in HA (high availability) mode mitigating the risk of a single device failure.
One salient feature of UTM appliances is that they provide best-of-the-breed security technology that can handle the increasingly regulatory environment across the world. Regulatory compliances like HIPAA, GLBA, PCI-DSS, FISMA, CIPA, SOX require access controls and auditing that meet control data leakage. UTMs that provide identity-based security give visibility into user activity while enabling policy creation based on the user identity, meeting the requirements of regulatory compliances.
Identity-based UTMs deliver identity-based reports on individual users in the network. This offers short audit and reporting cycles and facilitate the meeting of regulatory compliance requirements in enterprises.