In their efforts to protect networks, applications and data from digital attacks, many organizations keep adding new security solutions to address specific threats. That is very often a counterproductive approach.
According to various studies, the average organization employs 45 to 75 separate network security solutions, most of which serve a single purpose. Even small organizations have 15 to 20 security tools. 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 staff resources. By consolidating multiple security functions in a single appliance, UTM allows an administrator to monitor and manage a wide range of security-related functions from one 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 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 organizations that needed to cover as many bases as possible without exceeding budget and staff limits. As these solutions have evolved to include many different features, they’ve become popular with organizations of all sizes. According to a new report by Market Research Future, the global UTM market is growing by more than 11 percent annually, thanks to increased demand for consolidated security solutions.
While UTM solutions integrate multiple security components, we believe organizations will benefit most from solutions that include the following four key components:
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. Leading solutions also integrate features of an intrusion prevention solution (IPS).
Advanced Threat Protection
Advanced threat protection (APT) works 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 and mitigate threats.
More than 90 percent of malware is delivered via unsolicited email. It is the preferred delivery mechanism for cybercriminals because it enables them to directly attack the weakest link in the security chain — the end-user. Email filtering reduces this risk by keeping the majority of spam out of the user’s inbox. Best-in-class solutions have advanced algorithms that accurately detect and block spam while minimizing false positives and negatives.
Malicious web content can lurk within seemingly legitimate websites, particularly those that aren’t kept up-to-date with the latest security patches. Cyber criminals may embed malicious code on these sites or use them to harvest data in phishing attacks. In these instances, content filtering helps protect users and the IT environment. Content filtering can also allow or restrict access to specific sites on a per-user basis. For example, organizations can prevent most users from accessing social media while allowing access for the marketing team.
Trust the Experts at IronLogix
IronLogix employs a range of solutions to protect our customers from today’s sophisticated threats. Give us a call at 803-454-6255 to learn more about UTM solutions and other security tools. Our experts will work with your organizations to assemble the best security package for your needs and budget.