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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

UTM: A Unified Approach to Security

Vimali Swamy
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Vimali Swamy
These varied solutions can be integrated together to leverage one’s security measures but security experts agree that a single weak link in security can compromise an entire security implementation. Therefore, what organizations require today, is a unified approach that not only protects their networks and business users from blended attacks and technology misuse but also is also equally cost effective. This ever-changing landscape of security threats has created a demand for Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances.

What is UTM?
The term UTM was coined by IDC about five years ago. Typically, UTM is used to describe network firewalls that have many features in one box, including e-mail spam filtering, anti-virus capability, an intrusion detection or prevention system (IDS or IPS), and Web content filtering, along with the traditional activities of a firewall. These are application layer firewalls that use proxies to process and forward all incoming traffic, though they can still frequently work in a transparent mode that disguises this fact.

Advantages of UTM
For some years, businesses were inclined towards the software based point solutions but the rapid rise in blended threats combined with widespread access to information has greatly contributed to a need for the flexible, highly integrated functionality that UTM delivers, especially in small organizations where there is always a shortage of the technical staff. Some of the areas where UTM score over software or point solutions are:
Reduced Complexity: The all in one approach simplifies product selection, integration and ongoing support.
Easy to Deploy: Customers or more often VARs and VADs can easily install and maintain the products. Nowadays, this process is handled remotely.
Synergies with high-end software solutions: Appliances are used in remote sites where an enterprise does not have security professionals on the ground. A plug and play appliance like VPN can be installed and managed remotely. This management is synergic with large centralized software based firewalls.

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