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Top Three UTM Solutions

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By: Nihad Hassan

May 18, 2021

In today's Information Age, organizations heavily depend on digital technology to store and process their data. Most information is now created digitally and never finds its way to paper. The increased dependence on technology has resulted in shifting major criminal activities from the physical world into what is now known as Cyberspace.

Cyberattacks are advancing in both sophistication and number. Global spending on security solutions to protect data and IT infrastructure is expected to have a significant boost. According to Statista, global spending on IT security services reached $64.3 billion in 2020. Another forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) expects that global spending on security-related hardware, software, and services may reach $174.7 billion in 2024.

To survive in today's ever-changing and complex cybersecurity landscape, organizations must deploy various security solutions to protect their digital assets and stored data. A traditional approach used by organizations to secure their networks is to deploy different security components such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), intrusion prevention systems (IPS), web filtering, antivirus, and antimalware solutions from various vendors. These security components are implemented into an organization to patch all security holes that adversaries can exploit to gain an entry point into the network.

Managing several security appliances is cumbersome, especially for small and medium-sized organizations that may not have the budget and expertise to run their IT defense system. This was the driving force to invent the Unified Threat Management(UTM) solution to address this issue.

A Unified Threat Management solution is a software or hardware network security appliance (and can run from a cloud environment) that performs different security functions such as firewall, intrusion detection/prevention, data loss prevention (DLP), antivirus, antimalware, SPAM/web filtering, and more. The purpose of deploying a UTM solution is to run and manage all security network systems from one consolidated solution.

UTM solutions provide numerous benefits for organizations. For instance, it simplifies network monitoring by offering complete visibility over everything within the monitored network. UTM also helps organizations lower IT administration and management costs by having different security solutions combined in one appliance.

A UTM helps organizations to achieve compliance with a variety of data protection laws, such as HIPAA. For instance, some UTM solutions offer identity-based security to track users' activities across the monitored network. They also generate compliance reports, which are automatically submitted to the compliance office.

This article will mention the three most popular UTM solutions that organizations can use to protect their digital assets from the growing number of cyberattacks.

Top Three UTM solutions

A UTM solution can be operated and managed by one administrator; most UTM solutions have an easy-to-understand user interface and do not require advanced skills to operate.

Darktrace

Darktrace is a popular UTM solution trusted by over 4000 organizations. It leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect new and emerging threats by learning the normal life pattern from every user across the network. Darktrace can learn from ordinary user's behaviors to defend against identity-based threats.

Darktrace comes with the following key features:

  • Real-time threat detection and response
  • Visualize threats over the network by providing a graphical threat map of all day-to-day threat activities
  • Conducts searches within logs and events
  • User-friendly dashboard for all functions
  • Learn from ordinary users' behaviors to defend against identity-based threats

Kerio Control

Another UTM solution, Kerio Control, has Next-Generation Firewall capability (NGFW) in addition to IDS/IPS, antivirus, and web filtering capabilities. Kerio is beneficial for small and medium-sized organizations seeking all-in-one security solutions to protect their network from cyberthreats. Kerio comes with the following key features:

  • Next-Generation Firewall
  • IDS using Snort
  • Scans network traffic for malicious code and potential attacks
  • Offers robust VPN service
  • Manages network bandwidth and internet traffic of all devices across the network
  • Deploys as a software solution, hardware appliance, or virtual machine

Azure Security Center

Another UTM from Microsoft, Azure, provides Advanced Threat Protection against cyberattacks for hybrid cloud environments. Azure Security Center offers the following essential functions:

  • Threat detections for on-premises servers, virtual machines, and Azure cloud services
  • Adaptive applications control
  • Centralized security policy management that facilitates adhering to various compliance regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR
  • Prioritize security alerts and events, focusing on the most critical ones
  • Automatic and continual security assessment to discover security threats early
  • Equipped with Azure Defender to protect hybrid cloud workloads such as servers, data, storage, containers, and IoT devices
  • Easy to deploy, even for a large-scale environment due to its easy-to-understand user interface

Summary

Unified Threat Management solutions offer a variety of security functions in one device or program. Although it was initially developed for small and medium-sized organizations, many new UTM solutions have scaled to work within large environments.

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