U Is For UTM

Guest Commentary by
Pierluigi Stella, CTO, Network Box USA

The idea for unified threat management (UTM) has always been that an effective response against blended threats can only come from blended security. And there is absolutely no way to blend security when you are dealing with 10 different devices – most likely originating from 7 different vendors, with not a single one of them integrated with each other.

We must be clear from the onset – there is no such thing as “an email attack” or “a web attack”.  Attacks come in many forms, via the network, through email, from the web. A sound network defense must be able to understand all that the attack is trying to do, and stop it with any and all possible tools available.

A word of caution though: UTM or not, a protection device that is not properly configured is, simply put, useless. Yes, useless, no matter how good the technology is. Security is not, and never will be, just a device.

The market will grow, but if all we are doing is replacing our set of firewall/IPS/VPN/email scanning/web filtering with one device, yet still leaving them poorly configured, we have resolved nothing. Zero. As the UTM market grows, it is increasingly crucial that the managed security services market grows as well – to ensure such devices are adequately configured by expert hands who understand risks and best practices, and can go a long way toward ensuring the successful protection of a network.

About the Author
After 15 years at IBM, Pierluigi Stella co-founded Network Box USA (the American division of Network Box Corporation Ltd) in 2003.  In his capacity as Chief Technology Officer, he has acquired extensive knowledge of security issues with emphases on the financial, banking, hospitality and travel, healthcare, and education sectors. 

1 Comment on "U Is For UTM"

  1. The term UTM was originally coined by market research firm IDC . The advantages of unified security lie in the fact that rather than administering multiple systems that individually handle anti virus, content filtering, intrusion prevention and spam filtering functions, organizations now have the flexibility to deploy a single UTM appliance that takes over all their functionality into a single rack mountable network appliance.

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