Readers' Choice Awards 2011

Best Unified Threat Management Products 2011

Readers voted on the best unified threat management products, including UTM appliances that feature firewall, VPN, gateway antivirusm URL Web filtering and antispam.

In this part:

Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance

Cisco Systems
The Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance received top honors in this year’s contest, winning high scores from readers for breadth of security functions and features, as well as for form factor effectiveness. The UTM also earned points for the depth of security provided by its individual functions, versus a standalone product. Readers also liked the vendor service and support Cisco provides with the appliance.

The Cisco appliance integrates firewall protection, VPN technology, intrusion prevention, content security and unified communications security. It’s designed to stop attacks before they breach the network perimeter, control network and application activity and protect corporate resources. The product features what Cisco calls “context-aware” firewall protection to provide deeper security insight by correlating real-time global threat intelligence with in-depth local network context. The firewall works to determine who is trying to gain access and what content they’re trying to access.

The Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance also provides fast throughput and high connection setup rates, and its architecture enables customized security services deployment. The product’s remote access capability is integrated with IPS and Web security to ensure secure mobility.

Expert's market reflection:
“The UTM market has traditionally been viewed as a niche for SMB due to concerns about performance and best-of-breed functionality. Larger enterprises are becoming more comfortable with multi-function gateways, but what’s generating the most buzz are next-generation firewalls, which combine enterprise firewalls, application controls and intrusion prevention systems -- what a UTM vendor might call UTM-light.”
--Andrew Braunberg, research director, Current Analysis

SonicWALL E-Class Network Security Appliance Series

Readers awarded the silver to the SonicWALL E-Class Network Security Appliance Series, giving the UTM high marks for the depth of security provided by individual functions versus a standalone product. Readers also like the UTM’s breadth of security functions and features and its form factor effectiveness. The SonicWALL E-Class Network Security Appliance (NSA) Series uses patented Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection technology together with multi-core security microprocessors to provide gateway antivirus, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention and application intelligence without sacrificing network performance. The UTM includes integrated support for standards-based VoIP, virtual local area networks (VLANs), enterprise-class routing and quality of service (QoS).

Check Point UTM-1

Check Point Software Technologies
Check Point UTM-1 from Check Point Software Technologies received the bronze, scoring high in the areas of form factor effectiveness and choice of optional/add-on security applications. Readers also liked the UTM’s ease of installation, configuration and administration. The Check Point UTM-1features integrated centralized management that allows administrators to manage multiple Check Point gateways from a single console. The UTM has extensible, on-demand security through Check Point’s Software Blade Architecture, which includes firewall, IPS, antivirus, anti-spyware, URL filtering, Web security and anti-spam Software Blades.