Small to mid-sized businesses can’t always afford the same IT structure as their larger counterparts. This is why unified threat management appliances (usually, a box that plugs into the company’s network) is often so popular. With criminals targeting small companies, due to how simple it can be to hack through their systems (flimsy protection), it’s now more important than ever to make sure that your business has all of the safeguards that it needs to remain untouchable.
What Do Most UTMs Include?
From most UTMs, you can expect a firewall, to keep people from accessing and taking advantage of your network; gateway security, which will keep an eye out for incoming viruses; network intrusion prevention; secure remote access, so your employees can safely access the company’s database from elsewhere; and automatic updates. There are often more advance options, depending on how free your budget is. Read more on unified threat management here.
Particularly for small businesses, the best thing about UTM is that you make one payment, and it covers all of your security needs, without any effort on your part. If anything does go wrong, another company is liable, rather than yourself, and they will have to work hard to rectify the issue. It will free up your IT team to focus on their already full schedule.
Top tip: get in touch with your UTM provider and run through what you will need from this technology, to make sure that you’re not paying for extras that you don’t need.
UTMs can process vast amounts of data, and keep your computers clean of viruses. It does stumble a little in network performance, when outside of the local network, but considering the positives that you gain from further security, this may or not be a genuine concern for you. Definitely buy yourself a UTM with plenty of bandwidth to go around, so you don’t see a drop in network performance. It will cost you more, but it’s often completely worth it, in terms of maintaining high levels of productivity around the office.
Top tip: look for UTMs with double the bandwidth of your current internet connection (or more).
Anti-virus software can be a bit of a head-scratcher. Which one do you get? What’s the best deal? You will need to install endpoint anti-virus software, otherwise you’re not going to be secure at all. The good news is that most UTM providers also deal in anti-virus software, and you can often get a great deal, if you’ve already purchased their UTM technology.
But why do you still need anti-virus software, if you have UTM?
It’s possible to get receive a virus before your UTM has updated to protect you from it, so there’s a chance that it will still get into your system and infect other machines on your network. The virus can be easily removed, once the UTM is equipped to deal with the new infection.