Unified Threat Management Firewalls

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A firewall is a hardware or software system that prevents unauthorised access to or from a network. They are configured to protect against unauthenticated interactive logins from the external world. A firewall may be developed in hardware, software or a combination of both forms. The unified threat management (UTM) is a network security concept which promises integration and consolidation of essential network perimeter protection technologies. This section seeks to look more into the UTM firewalls.

The UTM system has been designed to offer network security that was formerly offered by several systems. It has been designed to tackle any type of harmful activity on a computer network. It offers a centralized management through one console and does not impair the network’s performance. The UTM has several advantages including ease of installation and high convenience. Other advantages include; reduced complexity, where there is a all-in-one approach which simplifies product integration and selection, The ease of troubleshooting where if a box fails its swapped making the system get back online rather than the tedius work of troubleshooting and integration capabilities where the UTM can easily be deployed even on remote areas with the help of a professional.

Despite the many advantages of the unified threat management firewalls, it also faces a main challenge whereby a decision to use the UTM means acquiring one product that is stronger in some areas and weaker in others. Another challenge is that most organisations already possess set of point solutions installed. This becomes a challenge when it gets to the time replace all that for a UTM where it may get quite expensive for the organisation involved.

Why would an enterprise decide to use a third generation firewall over a UTM if financial support is not an issue?

The UTM systems are only helpful when protecting servers and infrastructure components. It however, leaves the user endpoints vulnerable to malicious activity. For example if a person inserts a USB drive with a virus to a laptop, it gets infected without a way that a network based control may stop this. Also data that is only protected using network based means is easily acquired by someone with physical access.

Do you believe these UTMs/next-Generation security solutions are negatively impacting the IT security market?

No I do not. I think that the advantages that the next generation security solutions bring outweigh the disadvantages by far. The efficiency and workload performed by these systems is a positive influence on the IT security market.

Software based firewall solutions

ZoneAlarm Free firewall 2017

Anti Netcut3


Hardware based solutions

Hillstone T-series intelligent firewalls

Linksys routers

What is the benefit of having hardware based firewall against a software based solution and how could they work together in an effort to protect the end node?

Hardware firewalls are located directly behind the router meaning that each packet of data coming from the internet must go through these firewalls before settling on your computers drives. An added advantage of hardware firewalls is that they are ever on.

A hardware firewall protects your computer from the outside world and a software protects a specific device from other internal systems. Working with these two incorporated together, means that if someone tried to access your system from outside, they get blocked by the physical firewall. As well, if you accidentally land on a virus-laden site on the internet, your software firewall protects your computer from being infected. Therefore incorporating the two means better protection for you.

September 04, 2023


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