Top 8 Unified Threat Management (UTM) Tools

WatchGuard FireboxMeraki MXSophos UTMJuniper SRXUntangle NG FirewallJuniper vSRXSophos Cyberoam UTMStormshield Network Security
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    There are many fantastic features.I like that this product has very few issues.
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    Meraki makes it easy to be secure and know where the holes are to fix them. We have been fixing anything that we have ever found for 20 years. We keep up-to-date with firmware upgrades. We just try to stay on top of everything for security, like maintaining updates and getting rid of old systems. I feel like we're on top of it.
  3. Find out what your peers are saying about WatchGuard, Cisco, Sophos and others in Unified Threat Management (UTM). Updated: May 2021.
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    The stability, overall, is excellent. I haven't had a problem in the last two years.It's a stable solution.
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    What I like the most about Juniper is that they have the same CLI on all routers, switches, and firewalls. If you have worked with any Juniper device, such as a Juniper router, you will be able to work with an SRX, which is really cool. It is a nice experience to work with every device of Juniper, not only firewalls.
  6. Its detection, antivirus, and filtering features are the most valuable. The facility to connect by using the VPN connection is also a very valuable feature. It is very strong, secure, and reliable. We have implemented the Untangle solution in all hardware. It is also a user-friendly solution. It is easy to learn and easy to configure.
  7. It is deployed on the customer site, and we manage the firewalls on this side.The dashboard, customization, API, and pricing are good.
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  9. The main features I have found best are the load balancer and ease of use.The solution is easy to use.
  10. A very robust product. Easily manageable in a variety of environments.

What is a Unified Threat Management System?

A UTM is an all-in-one information security approach in which a single converged platform (application or appliance) provides multiple security services. This can resolve implementation and integration challenges that might result from using different products from different vendors. A UTM may include network firewalls, anti-spam, anti-spyware, anti-virus, intrusion detection and prevention, email and web content filtering, NAT (network address translation), and business VPN (virtual private network). Using a UTM simplifies information security (infosec) management, providing one central management and reporting point instead of multiple appliances from different vendors.

While UTM solutions solve some network security issues, they also have drawbacks. The main issue is that since a UTM device offers one single point of defense, this means it also has one single point of failure. For this reason, many organizations choose to supplement their UTM appliance with a second software-based perimeter that will stop any malware that manages to get through or around the UTM firewall.

A UTM might not provide the best protection in every area, but it can solve a lot of problems at a lower cost than you would pay to use a different vendor for each security service. If you have a small to medium-sized company, you may not have a very large IT team that can configure and manage a security solution that is made up of point solutions. UTMs are much easier for a small (even one-person) team with modest security skills to manage.

What is a UTM Appliance?

A UTM appliance is a hardware device that plugs into your network at the network perimeter. It serves as a gateway to your corporate network, and provides all the security services necessary to protect your network from unauthorized intrusion, malware, and other security risks.

A UTM security appliance, at the most basic level, acts as a standard network hardware firewall to restrict access to your network. Then you can turn on additional functions as necessary.

Typical security functions that a UTM security device may offer include:

  • Site-to-site and remote access VPN support
  • Secure web gateway functionality (this should include URL and content filtering and anti-malware scanning)
  • A system to prevent network intrusion
  • Application control
  • Bandwidth management
  • Web application firewalling
  • Data loss prevention (DLP)
  • Load balancing
  • Identity-based access control
  • Wireless access management
  • DDoS protection
  • Email security

Many organizations, especially if they are small, might not need all of the security features on the list, but they should be available in case you do.

What is the Difference between UTM and Firewall?

Originally, firewalls only filtered traffic based on ports & IP addresses. They evolved over time to become “stateful,” which means that they keep track of the state of network connections passing through the appliance. However, as cyber threats also evolved and diversified, organizations began to deploy multiple appliances to defend against different classes of attacks. They now needed:

  • A stateful packet inspection firewall to allow inbound and outbound traffic on the network
  • A web proxy to scan content and URLS with antivirus services and filter them
  • A separate Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) to detect and block malicious traffic
  • An appliance to filter spam such as junk emails and phishing attempts
  • VPN servers to connect remote offices or allow users to access company resources remotely

As more threats evolved, new types of appliances and services were created to meet the challenge. It was too difficult for the traditional stateful appliance approach to scale along with growing businesses.

An antivirus tool like a firewall just protects PCs and servers. Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) are more effective than traditional firewalls, but they still lack critical features for detecting and responding to all the latest threats. Therefore, UTM systems are used to protect the entire network, as well as individual users. It does this by scanning all network traffic, filtering any potentially dangerous content, and then blocking intrusions.

Why is UTM Required?

UTM appliances have become popular due to combinations of different types of attacks and malware, known as blended threats, that simultaneously target multiple parts of the network. It can be difficult for separate appliances from different vendors to prevent these types of attacks. A UTM:

  • requires fewer resources, including minimal security staff, because there is only one system to monitor and maintain. All security logs are also centralized in a single location.
  • provides better security coverage because all the components are designed to work together, which is not the case with a collection of point solutions.
  • is easily scalable as your organization grows.
  • Is guaranteed to be compatible, unlike point security solutions.
  • can be centrally managed and configured, which removes the need for training on multiple solutions and saves time and reducing the likelihood of misconfiguration errors.
  • costs less than purchasing a standalone product for each area. It will also take up less data center space, consume less power, and involve less hardware replacement costs.
  • can act as a standalone firewall appliance as backup to point solutions as necessary.

UTM solutions make it both easier and more affordable to deal with varied threats from a single point of defense and a single console.

Find out what your peers are saying about WatchGuard, Cisco, Sophos and others in Unified Threat Management (UTM). Updated: May 2021.
479,763 professionals have used our research since 2012.