How Does a UTM Firewall Protect Your Business?


When you pick up a personal computer from a vendor, chances are that it will have an extremely basic firewall pre-installed. These consumer-grade firewalls leave much to be desired, especially in the business environment. You’ll want to make sure that your organization is equipped with enterprise-level solutions designed to protect on both a fundamental level and an advanced level. To do this, you want to take advantage of a Unified Threat Management solution.

Unified threat management (UTM) is a solution in the network security industry and the leading network gateway defence solution for organizations. Perceivably, UTM is the transformation of the traditional firewall into an extensive security product able to operate numerous security functions such as intrusion prevention, anti-virus scanning, load balancing, bandwidth throttling, advanced threat protection, and a number of others that I will go into in detail about, all within one single system. What UTM does is it unites all of the multiple security functions instead of having separate systems performing independently of one another.

A UTM appliance offers many key advantages for managing data threats and protecting networks and sensitive information. Here are some of the advantages of deploying a UTM appliance:


Intrusion Prevention: Intrusion prevention is one of the easier concepts to fathom. It’s a precautionary approach to network security used to pinpoint possible threats and react to them promptly. The primary functions of intrusion prevention systems are to identify virulent activity, log the pertinent information about this activity, try to forestall it, and then report it.


Deployment of anti-malware tools: Malware is troublesome at best, so your organization needs to take proactive measures to keep your systems secure. This includes updating your security solutions with the latest threat definitions, which a UTM can automatically accomplish as needed.


Load Balancing: A load balancer is a mechanism that acts as a reverse proxy and apportions network traffic across various servers. Load balancers are used to increase the soundness and capacity of applications. A load balancer is a device that directs network traffic and its duty is to moderate network traffic density so as to not cause traffic jams. Effectively, the load balancing device directing network traffic is responsible for maintaining the efficiency of traffic. This, as it is with traffic guards, allows for applications to run smoothly, much like allowing city services to navigate roads smoothly. So, next time you find your application or network struggling to run efficiently, it is because your little electronic flagger is off duty or inadequate.


Bandwidth Throttling: Bandwidth throttling is the willful tempering of internet service by an internet service provider (ISP). It is a reactive amendment utilized in communication networks to control network traffic and curtail bandwidth traffic jams. Now, what do we encounter every day that operates in a very similar fashion? Ah, yes. The speed bump. A speed bump is a traffic appeasing apparatus that relies on vertical deflection to moderate motor-vehicle traffic in order to improve safety conditions. Speed bumps are used in locations where very low speeds are reasonable and desired. Like a speed bump, bandwidth throttling regulates traffic by slowing it down. Now, this is not necessarily for safety, unless you run the risk of a crashing system thereby losing valuable data or time. Bandwidth throttling simply abates traffic to avoid congestion. A lot like slowing down traffic to allow intersections to function smoothly. Without speed bumps, traffic would back up at intersections. Without bandwidth throttling, traffic would backup in networks.


Content and spam filtering: If you are using a UTM, you’ll also have access to content filtering and spam blocking–both of which are extremely important for enterprise-level security. You can block access to dangerous or wasteful websites, or keep annoying spam messages out of your inbox in the first place.


Traffic monitoring: Traffic monitoring lets your infrastructure determine priority, based on what the traffic is. For example, VoIP generally needs high priority to ensure that calls aren’t dropped. If you notice that these problems happen more often than you’d prefer, consider reaching out to your ISP about upping your bandwidth.


Advanced Threat Protection: Advanced threat protection (ATP) relies on numerous types of security technologies to fight these threats from the network’s core to the end user’s device, with each mechanism operating a different role, but still performing together seamlessly. Cybercriminals continue to invent, hoodwink, and basically penetrate existing security solutions of organizations with advanced persistent threats, multi-stage malware, and targeted attacks. As security solutions used by organizations evolve to protect themselves, assailants continue to adapt their attacks. The seemingly endless cycle and back-and-forth between advanced threat protection systems and advanced threats is an all too common aspect of the internet business and there doesn’t appear to be any clear end to the conflict in sight.


Email Filtering: Email filtering is the processing of email to organize it according to specified criteria. The typical uses for mail filters include organizing incoming email and removal of spam and computer viruses. A less familiar use is to scan outgoing email at some companies to make certain that employees adhere to relevant laws. Users might also utilize a mail filter to prioritize messages, and to file them into folders based on subject matter or other criteria.


This is quite obviously similar to manual mail sorting that happens at post offices and large corporations. Mail sorters will categorize incoming and outgoing mail for efficiency, effectively prioritizing certain mail. This is largely to reduce costs by receiving discounts on selected mail, however they are employed to handle other important responsibilities such as scanning incoming mail for hidden dangers and threats or outgoing mail for the theft of property and information. Having email filtering is like having a little digital human meticulously and ruthlessly scanning all of your email to make sure you receive the harmless and important messages and that you send only the appropriate ones too.


Now that you are slightly more informed about UTM appliances and their services, you are in a better position to decide what your company needs. You may be thinking to yourself that your company really isn’t big enough to require such advanced network security with so many benefits, and you may be right. However, have you thought about each and every web site that you have on your network, or perhaps intend to have on your network? Having a reliable security appliance not only protects your company, but it protects all those who are affiliated with you via a secure network you are providing. Additionally, you would be perceived as a reliable network provider if you did in fact have efficient network security, giving you an advantage over your competitors. Not such a bad idea after all, right? Not at all.


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