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April 2012

Unified threat management devices for the enterprise

At its core, unified threat management (UTM) brings together three main ideas: multiple security features, integrated on the base of a firewall, in an appliance form-factor. UTM’s appeal is obvious: Why have two, three, or four security devices performing separate functions, when a single appliance will do? Managers of small and medium-sized business (SMB) networks have been quick to adopt  unified threat management devices. By activating UTM firewall features such as antimalware, Web content filtering, and intrusion prevention, network managers have reduced costs, simplified configurations, and gained a unified view of their security policy. In response, almost every significant firewall vendor has added UTM features to their product line. Large enterprise networks use the same firewall software (but different hardware) as many SMB networks, but enterprise network managers have not been so quick to enable UTM features. Look at the edge of most large enterprise networks, and you’ll see devices with UTM features, but most will ...

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