Why do businesses maintain the behaviour of buying multiple security vendor products when more cost effective, industry proven, consolidated alternatives exist? Unified Threat Management (UTM) takes away the need for complicated, mulit-vendor security implementations for most small and medium sized businesses.
Many businesses are concerned about staffing capabilities and budgetary constraints. This is leading to strong UTM adoption to provide solid information security capabilities, at a compelling price, without the need of a huge professional services investment to get it to work. Industry Research experts such as Gartner (www.gartner.com) believe the UTM market will continue to grow faster than many other security markets.
Even in the face of strong evidence, some people are still skeptical.
I do believe UTM offers a strong value proposition for most of the small and medium business sector, regardless of the industry. If you connect to the internet for just about anything, UTM is worth serious consideration, especially in Australia where the National Broadband Network (NBN) will drastically improve e-commerce capability, the number of business interactions via the internet and the cloud services readily available.
UTM has been around for many years and has really made a name for itself, especially as the economic conditions have tightened. Most reputable UTM vendors offer the following key security features:
- Web Security
- E-Mail Security
- Web 2.0 Security (the most prevalent being facebook, twitter and the like)
- Intrusion Detection Services (IDS)
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
- Intrusion Protection Services (IPS)
Some UTM vendors have additional features to add even more consolidated value, such as integrated endpoint (desktop/notebook) antivirus security features.
From a commercial standpoint:
- Do you have multiple vendor products in place for your technology security?
- What does each product cost….think acquisition and lifetime cost? (For example, people, training/certification, subscription renewals, additional hardware to run it on, supporting electricity or carbon costs, physical real estate space, etc.)
- If you’ve got multiple vendor products have you considered the additional burden of complexity? (For example, if something goes wrong – and there’s a very high chance it will at some point)
- Do you (or your IT partner) have the skills to diagnose and fix security issues?
- How long will it take to figure out where the problem is coming from? What’s the real impact to your business while the issue is being resolved? (cost, credibility, downtime, etc.)
- What happens if your vendors can’t agree on who owns the root cause of the issue?
- Do you know how much time staff spend surfing the internet (each day/week/month), on what sites (facebook, twitter, ebay) and publishing what type of content?
UTM makes a lot of sense to a great number of businesses, both technically and commercially.
If you’ve got an opinion or a question, I’d like to hear about it.