The Case For A Unified Threat Manager On Small Business Networks

A Unified Threat Manager Appliance

Using a consumer router to power internet connectivity in a small business or organization could be an open invitation to hackers looking to steal business-critical information. To provide advanced security and protection from cyber crime, a Unified Threat Manager or UTM is needed.

While a router provides an easy way to get online, did you know that it can also give hackers an easy way to steal from your business?
A quick search for ”router exploits” in your favorite search engine will produce a long list of security flaws in most routers, some discovered only months ago.

Once hackers are in your network, anything goes. They can steal your customer records, inject spyware, and even empty your bank accounts. A major breach can wipe out a small business in less than a day.

Routers Cannot Secure A Network Like A Unified Threat Manager Can

Many routers have basic firewall protection built in, but that is not nearly enough to stop today’s advanced cyber crimes.

  • A router cannot detect and block attacks on your network.
  • A router cannot block emails that have viruses and malware.
  • A router cannot stop employees from visiting malicious websites.
  • Technical support is often lacking when problems occurs.
  • Consumer routers may actually spy on you.
    In April 2017 Netgear decided to spy on their routers by adding something they refer to as “router analytics” to the firmware of the Nighthawk R7000 and three Orbi routers (RBK40, RBR40, RBS40).

Simply put: a router cannot protect against the many attacks that hit small businesses every day like a unified threat manager can.

Unlike A Unified Threat Manager, Millions Of Routers Are Flawed

Routers from popular brands like ASUS, D-Link, Linksys and NETGEAR can have dozens of security flaws the moment they are installed. More flaws are discovered all the time and hackers always develop new tactics.

That is why a router must be updated regularly. Unfortunately, this is a manual task that few people bother with. The result is that tens of millions of routers have expired security, with many more having firmware that were last updated by the manufacturer almost five or six years ago. Hackers can break into networks “protected” by these broken routers at will.

Your business or organization is not safe with just a router providing security for your computer network. You need a unified threat manager.

What is a Unified Threat Manager?

As cyber criminals become more sophisticated and organized, it is calculated that the the average cost of cyber crime for an organization increased US$1.4 million to US$13.0 million in 2019. It is therefore incumbent upon business owners, IT team leaders, and key stakeholders to invest in cybersecurity systems that make sense for their size and budget.

Thankfully, for small organizations that prefer not to overburden their IT resources, or can’t support a complex system of different cybersecurity devices, unified threat management products are a popular investment—and a strategic one. By consolidating cybersecurity features traditionally managed by multiple appliances, services, and hardware into one comprehensive package, unified threat management platforms allow organizations to secure their networks, even in today’s fast-paced and increasingly dangerous online environment.

A Unified threat manager, commonly abbreviated as UTM, refers to a single security solution, and usually a single security appliance, that provides multiple security functions at a single point on the network. A UTM appliance will usually include functions such as:

  • Antivirus: Also known as anti-malware, is used to prevent, detect, and remove malicious software like computer viruses
  • Anti-spyware: Antis-spyware software is designed to detect and remove spyware – stand-alone programs that can secretly monitor system activity and detect passwords and other confidential information and relay the information back to a cyber criminal.
  • Anti-spam: Services and solutions that focus on blocking and mitigating the effects of illegal emails – or spam – on email users.
  • Network fire-walling: A network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. A firewall typically establishes a barrier between a trusted internal network and untrusted external network, such as the Internet.
  • Intrusion detection and prevention: Intrusion detection is the process of monitoring the events occurring in your network and analyzing them for signs of possible incidents, violations, or imminent threats to your security policies.
    Intrusion prevention is the process of performing intrusion detection and then stopping the detected incidents.
  • Web Content filtering: Content Filtering is a highly effective way to help boost productivity and increase security by limiting the websites employees can visit by preventing access to certain items, which may be harmful if opened or accessed.
    The most common items that are filtered are executable files, and malicious links embedded in emails or websites.
  • Data leak prevention: Data leak prevention (DLP) is a suite of technologies aimed at stemming the loss of sensitive information that occurs in organizations. By focusing on the location, classification and monitoring of information at rest, in use and in motion, this solution can go far in helping a business or organization get a handle on what information it has, and in stopping the numerous leaks of information that occur each day.

Benefits of A Unified Threat Manager

  • Complete Network Security with Zero Effort

A Unified Threat Manager or UTM offers complete computer network security with zero efforts on your part. UTMs are an all-in-one solution for total network security.

Designed for small and medium-size offices, a UTM automatically blocks threats like hackers and spam so you can forget about security and get back to business.

  • Security made easy

A unified threat manager can monitor and protect your network 24/7, hands-free with comprehensive features that automatically check everything that tries to enter or leave your network. Hackers cannot get in and your data cannot get out, so you can rest easy.

  • Advanced protection for less

A unified threat manager gives you powerful security at a small-business price. Comparable solutions from brands like Cisco and Sonicwall are more expensive and very complicated.

  • Updates every 24 hours

Cyber threats change every day, and so does a unified threat manager. It has automated service checks and applies security updates every day when available. Your security never goes out of date and your business stays safe from the latest threats online.

  • Simple and safe access

A UTM – Unified Threat Manager, gives you a secure connection to your network anytime, even from home and on the road. Many provide robust management interfaces that will allow you or your IT people to manage your network without stepping foot into the office. Network problems get solved faster and easier than ever before.

If you are not sure what kind of network device you have supposedly protecting your business or organization, contact us for a complimentary network assessment for peace of mind.