Unified Thread Management

Keeping IT infrastructure secure is a complex task and few small and midsized businesses can afford dedicated security specialists.

Another reason for their popularity is that criminals are targeting smaller companies

“Hackers have always targeted large enterprises but they generally have got good security defences “If hackers want to commit financial fraud or steal credit card details it is much easier for them to go after small and medium sized businesses which have no security staff.”

So what exactly do Unified Thread Management (UTM’s) offer? Key features include:

  • A corporate firewall to keep unwanted traffic off the company network.utm-1
  • Internet gateway security (which includes scanning incoming traffic for viruses, malware or malicious attachments and web address blacklisting).
  • A network intrusion prevention system (IPS) to prevent hackers attacking unpatched Windows PCs and servers.
  • Secure remote access, enabling employees to connect to the company network while out of the office.
  • The ability to update automatically with the latest security updates, anti-virus definitions and new features so that minimal manual intervention is required beyond initial set-up.

More advanced features may include: a web application firewall to protect the company website; secure wireless capabilities to enable guests to connect to the network; next generation firewall features, including the ability to control or prevent employee use of specific applications such as peer to peer programs


The benefit of a UTM for smaller businesses is simplicity -a single purchase covers every security need, and all the security features can be controlled and configured from a single management console. Some UTMs offer a base level of security in the initial purchase price, and extra security services, such as an intrusion protection system (IPS), can be enabled for an additional licence fee.

“The alternative is for a company to seek out point solutions for each of these security needs, but as well as leading to complex licensing there is also the question of having to carry out multiple device configurations and making sure that it all works well together,”