Protecting The Gates:  Why A Unified Threat Management Device Is Right For Your Network

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We see it far too often. Unprotected small business networks. Closed networks

Top 5 reasons Why We Recommend a Unified Threat Management Device to Protect Your Network

1) They're worth every dime - As opposed to buying a basic firewall, then buying content filtering software, UTM's come fully loaded with a whole host of features.

2) Content filtering - With the rise of social media, almost every client we have is interested in restricting or limiting the access that their employees have to Facebook. UTMs come loaded with categories of websites that you can either block or restrict access to with everything from online shopping to social media or pornography.

3) Quality of Service - Especially for organizations that utilize hosted VoIP providers, these boxes come with fairly advanced QoS capability that allows you to prioritize voice traffic over other types of network traffic like instant messaging or web browsing. Entry level routers that you can pickup at Best Buy or come with your Internet service can be quirky and offer limited functionality.

Don't think you're home free though. When purchasing a UTM there are a couple things that you will need to consider.

4) Subscription fees - Most UTM products require some form of monthly or annual maintenance plan which will ensure that the device receives the latest updates to functionality and data that it needs to remain effective. There are open source alternatives on the market such as Astaro and Untangle but the non-paid versions usually come with only basic functionality.

5) Advanced features - Out of the box, a UTM might come ready for a core set of features that will apply to most small business networks, but if you're looking to use more advanced features such as WAN failover/balancing (for multiple internet connections), site-to-site VPNs (Virtual Private Networks for multi-location businesses) or e-mail archiving.

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