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Top 8 Unified Threat Management (UTM) Tools

Meraki MXSophos UTMWatchGuard FireboxJuniper SRXSophos Cyberoam UTMUntangle NG FirewallJuniper vSRXStormshield Network Security
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    Its ease of configuration and management is very useful for us and for other companies that don't have an onsite IT person. It is easy to configure and easy to manage. It is easy to configure the VPN with the Auto VPN feature.
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    The three most important features for us are web protection, web server protection, and network protection. Sophos UTM is very user-friendly and has good integration with other solutions.
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    Their support is excellent, and the stability is very good.This product offers great protection using the default settings.
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    We're primarily using Juniper's EPA feature, but not the other things. We use it to manage different points of firewalling of routing. The technical support is quite good.
  6. We are using it as a security shield. It does not allow access before that in case we have restricted a few things from users, so it helps me in that.
  7. What I like about this product, which is the reason that we continue to use it, is that you can install the software version on your own hardware. In case there is a problem with the hardware, we can just install the firewall in another machine and restore the configuration.
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  9. The most valuable features are application filtering, content filtering, the intrusion prevention system (IPS), and definitely the application firewall.
  10. I like how you can configure the rules. There is the task for the rules and a task for the network configuration. It also provides SMD filtering, and it can be integrated with the active directory for the users, their mission, and the VPN configuration. We are here in Sudan, and Stormshield didn't work in Sudan for more than a decade. Stormshield is a very strong firewall and very easy to configure and maintain. I am just working with the firewall solution, and we don't have any other solutions like endpoint solutions or something like that.
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 Cisco, Sophos, WatchGuard and others in Unified Threat Management (UTM). Updated: January 2022.
564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.