Office1 Blog

Can a Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewall improve security?

July 5, 2018 | by Gideon Ford

The internet is a dangerous place with cybercriminals lurking around looking to blast through weak spots in your IT security systems. Once a vulnerability is found, your system is open to harmful viruses, data breaches and cyber-attacks that put both your operations and your reputation at risk. But if you have a unified threat management firewall system on the job, the likelihood of your systems being attacked is greatly reduced.

What is Unified Threat Management?

Unified threat management (UTM) is an all-in-one approach to information security. Instead of using separate point solutions for each security function, UTM uses a single piece of hardware or a cloud-based software to provide multiple security functions. This simplifies managing your information security by giving you a single management and reporting point instead of managing multiple security products from various vendors. UTM appliances have gained popularity because they simplify installation, configuration and maintenance of IT security systems.


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With UTM, time and money are saved as the need for multiple appliances, each devoted to a separate security function are eliminated. So is the need for personnel to know how to monitor and operate each separate device. Because of UTM, your network administrators can now run and monitor all your security defenses from one computer.

Why is a UTM Better Than a NGFW?

UTM systems and next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) are often considered to be comparable. But in reality, they aren’t. NGFWs were developed to close the network security gaps that were left open by traditional firewalls. A NGFW will usually provide protection against DoS attacks, intrusion prevention systems and application intelligence. However, when alone, NGFWs cannot provide you with the multiple layers of network security that a UTM firewall system can give you in one place by including:

  • NGFWs
  • Anti-virus protection
  • Spam filtering
  • Deep packet inspection
  • Data loss prevention
  • Application layer firewall and control
  • Web proxy and content filtering
  • Security information and event management
  • Intrusion detection and prevention systems
  • Virtual private network


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How Does UTM Do it All?

So how can a single UTM firewall system replace multiple devices and do everything you need to protect your information systems and keep it easy to use and monitor? It’s simple, by using inspection methods that are used to all different types of security threats.


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Flow-Based Inspection

Flow-based inspection is used to sample data as it enters the UTM device. Using pattern matching, the device determines if the data flow contains malicious content.

Proxy-Based Inspection

By reconstructing the content as it enters the UTM device, a complete inspection can be executed on it to identify any potential security threats. When the content is clean, the device sends it to the user. But if a security threat or virus is found, the suspect content is removed before the URL or file is sent to the user.


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Categories: Security

Gideon Ford

About Gideon Ford

Gideon Ford is a Professional Services Help Desk Technician for Office1 working to solve all issues related to IT. Gideon has worked with IT for nearly a decade and is familiar with Information Systems Security, Networking, SMB and Mobile Technologies, and providing remote support for those users. He has also worked with and supported a Department of Defense Aviation Contractor providing Network and Security support. Provided Mobile device technical support for a wireless carrier and most recently was part of AppleCare’s Senior Technical support team. Gideon Received his Bachelor of Science in 2012 from Westwood College in Denver in Information Systems Security. In addition to his degree specialty, he has trained in the areas of A+, Network+, and Security+ to name a few.

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