Routers, Firewalls, ID Ses, Ip Ses, BPNs, the list of appliances and technologies we can use to protect our networks to the outside threat of the world (wide web) is extensive.
Even more extensive is the amount of rack space these devices can consume, the experience an individual must have to manage them, and the impact it can make in an end users IT budget. Management, effectiveness, and scalability, is where a Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliance shines in providing a consolidated solution to security at the edge of a network.
There are already well known and established brands for UTM devices (WatchGuard, etc.) that take what was traditionally, multiple security devices, and streamline them into a single all-in-one solution. This allows URL blocking, gateway antivirus, intrusion detection, and more from a single box. Higher end devices can even include advanced features such as multiple WAN, load balancing, faster throughput, more VPNs, etc. This approach allows for a much more streamlined solution by cutting down the number of devices that are traditionally deployed for network security.
As a front-line defence for a network, UTM appliances allow a system administrator a single point to monitor and manage threats to a company’s IT infrastructure. UTMs can also be configured for off premises management, allowing a business with multiple locations to be monitored. With this, we as solution providers, can leverage this ability and add this to the list of services that we can manage for our smaller clients who don’t have the staff or experience to manage their infrastructure themselves. In the same respect we can offer a larger client a way to monitor multiple locations from a single interface.
Most manufactures (if not all) of UTM appliances offer a wide selection of devices. This gives all users a plethora of options to fit their needs and budgets. Be it a large enterprise or a corner florist, you can find appliances to fit almost any requirement and budget. Take a quick look at the various brands of UTMs out there and you’ll find that most vendors offer multiple devices that range in size and cost but not features. A device priced for a small business typically has the same core security features that can be found in its enterprise sibling, making this solution extremely scalable across the industry.
It seems that you can scale a UTM solution for most any sized organisation. From the smallest network closet to a large server room, a UTM appliance is an attractive option for managing security at the edge of a network. If you’re looking to free up some rack space, consolidate your network management, and lower operating costs, then a UTM device may be worth taking a look at.