Unified Threat Management (UTM) platforms are complex and sophisticated security solutions that combine multiple technologies to provide comprehensive security coverage. They act as an essential layer of defense for businesses, allowing them to manage and mitigate a variety of threats in real-time. Typically, UTM platforms consolidate several threat management tools including firewalls, anti-virus, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention, and content filtering, amongst other technologies.
UTM solutions allow organizations to streamline and consolidate security infrastructure into one manageable platform. Rather than having to juggle multiple security tools and technologies, organizations can leverage a singular platform to monitor, detect, and respond to threats. This not only eases the administrative burden, but also provides a comprehensive view of the security landscape, enhancing an organization’s ability to identify and counteract threats effectively.
When a potential threat is identified, the UTM platform will cross-reference it against a database of known threats to understand if it has been encountered before. If it is a known threat, the UTM solution can respond effectively to counteract it. The range of technologies available to UTM solutions means that new threats can be addressed robustly and effectively.
The consolidated nature of UTM solutions also means that there are fewer points of failure, tighter security, and better overall performance. For end users, the centralized approach results in robust protection without the need for constant manual interventions. For IT administrators, it means having a singular, coherent dashboard through which they can enforce policies, monitor network traffic, and manage security alerts. With a single closed system, there are fewer opportunities for threats to slip through the cracks. When multiple tools are used, there is a greater chance of information not being correctly transferred and threats not being addressed effectively.
This guide will explore the top enterprise UTM platforms available on the market. We will evaluate their features, as well as the range of security functions they offer, scalability, and overall effectiveness.
Everything You Need To Know About Unified Threat Management Platforms (FAQs)
What Are Unified Threat Management Platforms?
Unified Threat Management (UTM) platforms are security platforms made up of multiple security tools. The individual security tools can be delivered as stand-alone products that a company would then integrate into its security stack. UTM solutions pull these tools together, thereby reducing any coverage gaps and streamlining management. Rather than having to integrate, incorporate, and configure multiple tools, UTMs can be managed centrally, drastically cutting management time.
Unified Threat Management platforms often incorporate technologies to remediate and eliminate malware, phishing, social engineering, viruses, hacking, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. This list accounts for some of the biggest risks facing your digital accounts and network; as such, implementing a UTM platform can drastically cut your cybersecurity risk.
One of the main benefits of UTM solutions is that, by uniting multiple technologies within a single platform, there are fewer points of failure. This results in tighter security and better overall performance. If you use a range of standalone services, you must ensure that a threat is actually addressed by one of the tools, rather than just being passed from tool to tool. A unified solution removes these gaps, ensuring that you have oversight of threats and can ensure they are addressed effectively.
What Are The Benefits Of Unified Threat Management?
Unified Threat Management platforms work by unifying and consolidating security tools so that they can be managed from a single platform. This means that UTM solutions have extensive coverage over your IT estate, allowing them to detect network threats as well as email and web-based risks.
From an administrator or SOC team’s perspective, UTMs are much more efficient to use than having to deal with a plethora of individual tools. Not only is it easier to set up and configure, but ensuring that a threat is properly dealt with is more efficient too. You do not need to export and then import contextual data between security tools; as the tools are unified, this information can be shared seamlessly. This reduces the chance of any oversight, where problems are identified, but not properly resolved.
What Features Should You Look For In Unified Threat Management Platforms?
Unified Threat Management platforms are powerful and important aspects of an organization’s security infrastructure. However, it can feel risky to trust one solution to address such a broad range of security threats like malware, phishing, viruses, DDoS attacks, and hacking. Because of this, it’s important that you select a platform that suits your organization, works in the way you expect, and provides effective coverage. In this next section, we will highlight some of the key features that you should look for when selecting a UTM platform.
Customizable Dashboard – UTM platforms have great insight across your entire network and digital estate. The information gathered will help you understand where your organization is vulnerable and what you should be wary of. Ensuring that admins and other relevant parties can access this information and understand more about their network is important. Not making the most of this information is a missed opportunity.
Extensive Integrations – It is essential that your UTM platform can integrate across your entire digital estate. A security solution is only effective if it is comprehensive. Otherwise, you may be operating under a false sense of security – if parts of your network cannot be monitored, you will be unable to understand your risks.
Range Of Technologies – When unifying multiple technologies into a single platform, it can be harder to know exactly what tools are in place. You should check that your solution offers a broad range of technologies. This means that if there are any gaps in coverage, you can make alternative arrangements. Knowing what technologies make up your UTM platform allows you to understand how it works, meaning that you can rest assured that it will protect you. Technologies commonly offered as a part of UTMs include:
- Antivirus / anti-malware
- Intrusion prevention
- Web filtering
- Data loss prevention
This is not an exclusive list, but a starting point from which to work from — many UTM platforms go further and incorporate more capabilities.