In their efforts to protect networks, applications and data from digital attacks, organizations tend to continually adjust their defenses by adding new security solutions. That is very often a counterproductive approach.
A variety of studies indicate that businesses today typically employ as many as 70 separate network security solutions, most of which serve a single purpose. Each solution can generate tens of thousands of alerts each week — the vast majority of which are false positives. Simply investigating these alerts can become a full-time job for short-staffed IT teams.
Unified threat management (UTM) solutions provide a more efficient approach that saves time, money and staffing resources. By consolidating multiple security functions in a single appliance, UTM allows an administrator to monitor and manage a wide variety of security-related tasks from a single dashboard.
With the integration of multiple security engines into a single appliance, UTM also makes it possible to detect blended threats that employ a combination of attacks — such as a mix of malware and denial-of-service attacks — crafted to circumvent a single line of defense. With UTM solutions, the integrated security engines work together, enabling the system to inspect real-time traffic from multiple vantage points.
UTM appliances were originally designed for smaller businesses that needed to cover as many bases as possible without exceeding budget and staffing limits. As these solutions have evolved to include many different features, they’ve become popular with organizations of all sizes. Analysts report the market is growing by nearly 15 percent annually and will be worth more than $10 billion by 2025.
While UTM solutions integrate multiple security components, we believe organizations will benefit most from solutions that include the following four key components:
Firewall. Unlike earlier types of firewalls that merely filtered traffic based on ports and IP addresses, the best UTM products now feature next-generation firewalls (NGFW) that deliver enhanced protection and increased visibility through application awareness. This allows the firewall to identify threats regardless of address, port, protocol or application behavior.
Antivirus. Antivirus solutions work in conjunction with firewalls to detect and thwart malicious traffic coming into the network. Traditional antivirus solutions use scanning engines and virus signature databases to detect infected files, worms, Trojans, spyware and other malware. Today’s more advanced solutions combine traditional signature-based detection with the latest antimalware technologies to detect threats and mitigate them.
Spam Blocking. More than 90 percent of malware is delivered via unsolicited email. It is the preferred delivery mechanism for cybercriminals because it bypasses many perimeter security measures and creates direct access to the most vulnerable part of any network — the end-user. Spam blockers and email filters can keep the majority of spam out of your inbox, eliminating this threat.
Content Filtering. Not all web content is safe to browse, and even a good employee could accidentally visit an unsafe website that contains malicious code. In instances like this, a content filter keeps your infrastructure safe. Content filtering can also restrict access to specific sites on a per user basis — perfect for the problem employee who can’t seem to stay off of social media.
To learn more about UTM solutions and other security measures, be sure to reach out to us at 715-848-3292. Our professional technicians can work with your business to assemble the ultimate security package.