Unified Threat Management (UTM) is a method or technique for providing high-end security in the information technology infrastructure. In UTM, a single hardware or software installation on the device provides ample options for security such as firewalls used for networks, intrusion detection, gateway antivirus, and web filtering, etc. It is contrasting to the more commonly used security methods, which emphasize having solutions for each problem as they approach them.
UTM provides a dynamic approach to the already common security methods. It makes information security management simpler and more dynamic by having a single solution for the administrator instead of managing multiple resources and products. Due to the “all in one” approach, UTM products have been gaining more popularity in the market since 2009.
This technique simplifies not only installation but also configuration and maintenance are enhanced. People save time and money when compared to the management of multiple resources at once. UTMs are now typically considered as next-generation firewalls.
In this article, we will look through the best UTM products in the market and compare them with each other highlighting the pros and cons.
The Best UTM Products Worth the Try
When selecting and evaluating a UTM product, this must be adequately ensured that the device’s functionalities adhere to the rules and regulations of an organization’s policy. Some important questions should be addressed to such as What security risks are your way? Is this UTM product best suited for you and your organization? What are security features of paramount importance to you? Is the appliance easy to manage and deploy? Etc. Other factors include performance, domain, and, most importantly, cost of the UTM appliance.
Fortinet Fortigate UTM
The Fortinet Fortigate UTM is one of the leading UTM products and applications in the market. The Gartner, in its annual UTM Magic Quadrant Report of 2008, has been recognizing Fortinet Fortigate UTM appliances and applications as one of the best UTM products in the tough competition. It supports various deployment methods across many environments consisting of cloud-based and virtual approaches.
As a dynamic product, it is available in various versions such as basic-level hardware devices for small businesses and offices and also high-end appliances for multi-tenant organizations. Fortigate uses FortiOS Software. It is an enhanced and adaptive software used for detection and response to cyber security threats. It uses advanced AI algorithms for detecting security risks and their protection. Salient features include:
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
- Next-Gen Firewall (NGFW)
- Cloud sandbox
Check Point UTM
It is also considered one of the best UTM products in this competitive market for minuscule, broad, and data-centered companies. It is also recognized as one of the leaders in the UTM Magic Quadrant by Gartner for the ease of deployment for its users and quality security assurance. The Check Point UTM comes in two different variants:
- NGTP (Next-Generation Threat Prevention) includes salient security features such as network and secure firewalls, VPN, IPS, anti-bot, email security, and anti-spam application control, along with hundreds of others.
- TX (Next-Generation Threat Prevention and Sand Blast) is a rather enhanced appliance with improved OS-level software, which comes with sandboxing level technology called SandBlast Threat Emulation to prevent targeted attacks.
The company also has a high-end industrial-based appliance for organizations called “UTM-1 Edge N”. It is specifically made for industrial and large-scale environments. The easy-to-use and user-friendly interface of Check Point UTM makes it one top-rated product to opt for efficient functions.
Zyxel Zywall Security
The Taiwan-based company produces high-end quality UTMs that tend to be largely focused on organizations having a small group of employees. This award-winning UTM is considered to be one of the best UTM products in the market for small organizations and has a massive number of very good reviews. The customers and companies that have experienced the UTM are all satisfied with the quality of the product.
The application-aware functionalities can block viruses, malware, web content, spam, and other potential threats. The product also includes some advanced and high-end technologies, including gateway antiviruses, gateway web filtering and gateway IDP and application control, etc.
Sophos SG UTM
Sophos is considered among the premium UTM vendors in the world popular for its ease of use and rich security integration. Sophos is also rated by Gartner as one of the leading UTM producers with its security products. The deployment methods for Sophos come in three different levels:
- Software appliance
- Virtual appliance
- Cloud-based appliance
The Sophos UTMs come in desktop models and also as virtual machines. The desktop models are the company’s premium entry-based variants. The 1U desktop models are designed to adhere to the medium-scale market, and the 2U desktop variant is designed specifically for large-scale high-end market users. The top-class software and user-friendly interface make Sophos a great choice as one of the best UTM in the market. Following are the salient features of Sophos SG UTM:
- NGWF Protection
- Endpoint Protection
Cisco is a diligent and reputable name in the security world and in the information technology infrastructure hence making it a great and upcoming competitor in security, which is one of the domains of UTMs. This dynamic product is awarded in the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant of 2018.
Cisco offers UTM hardware and software appliances along with virtual appliances for public and domestic use, consisting of a cloud-based environment. All of the appliances are managed by a policy called “Firepower Management Center.” Cisco provides various options for organizations in need of a dynamic number of products and services that sum up adequately with the firewall. The licensing, however, is subscription-based and covers all the required security options. Licensing comes in subscription and premium support.
Key features of the Cisco UTM are:
- DDOS Protection
- Filtering such as VPN
- Web Gateways
Huawei Unified Security Gateway (USG)
Huawei, as the name suggests, is one of the leading pioneers in the best UTM products in the market and is considered to be the leading vendor for integrated security for midsize and large-scale organizations. Huawei is a well-known brand in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Due to its repute, USG seems to gain more popularity day by day in the UTM market space.
Huawei UTMs come in desktop, software virtual models with the option to deploy it as hardware or software in a physical or virtual environment. Some of the unique features of Huawei UTM are:
- Innovative AI capabilities
- IPS Bandwith Management
- Application Control
As the demand for UTM appliances is increasing at a rapid pace, so does the competition in the market, and the selection of the right UTM appliance and product for one’s own business and budget can become quite challenging.