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A unified threat management (UTM) appliance is hardware that features an all-inclusive security solution to common networking and IT protection problems. IDC, a leading market research company, was the firm that originally coined the popular term "UTM". Since its recent introduction in the IT security field back in 2004, the UTM appliance has proven its mettle in the industry and has gained a lot of credibility when it comes to being a principal online gateway protection solution for small and multinational businesses.
More to the point, UTM solutions came about as a response to the alarming growth and variety of cyber attacks on commercial information networks via hack assaults, worm infections, social engineering manipulations, phishing scams, inside jobs, viruses, botnets, vulnerability exploits, and a blend of insider and outsider hazards. Moreover, attack techniques nowadays target actual users as the weakest link in the company security hierarchy, so getting your database exposed through human error seems almost inevitable at present.
Theoretically speaking, the UTM appliance can be considered as a product of the continuous evolution of the conventional firewall into a comprehensive security package that has the capability of performing an assortment of defensive functions in one single device: on-appliance reporting, load balancing, content filtering, VPN, anti-spam gateway, anti-virus gateway, network intrusion prevention, and network firewall.
The main advantage of integrated security solutions roots from the fact that organizations gain greater flexibility when they deploy just one UTM appliance that manages all sorts of security functions in a single rack-mountable hardware device (especially when it's compared to the option of administering multiple and confusing systems that individually supervise spam filtering, intrusion prevention, content management, and anti-virus services).
The main benefits of a UTM appliance include streamlined installation and use, the ability to simultaneously update all protection functions or software, and simplicity. Therefore, this device isn't only an affordable purchase; it can also considerably lower the running costs of daily networking or computing operations. Many corporations cite the UTM appliance's wide-ranging degree of functionality and versatility to justify the replacement of comparatively obsolete, more basic firewalls. After all, these gadgets literally do it all when it comes to total IT protection.