According to IDC, UTM (Unified Threat Management) security appliances are defined as:
UTM security appliance products include multiple security features integrated into one box. To be included in this category, as opposed to other segments, the appliance MUST contain the ability to perform network firewalling, network intrusion detection and prevention, and gateway antivirus (AV). All of the capabilities in the appliance need not be utilised, but the functions must exist inherently in the appliance. In these products, the individual components cannot be separated.
Basically, UTM security appliances are charactered as some integration of the follow 6 features in one boxes:
- * Firewall – these devices are typically deployed at the network perimeter, and therefore robust, stateful firewall capabilities with NAT are required.
- * VPN – often deployed as branch office solutions on a corporate WAN, the ability to create a small number of secure VPN tunnels is essential.
- * IDS/IPS – a firewall only enforces policy, and if that policy includes allowing inbound HTTP traffic to Web servers on the DMZ, then there is nothing the firewall can do to prevent HTTP exploits from subverting the target Web server. The IPS capability will detect and block such attempted exploits at the network perimeter, preventing the malicious traffic from ever reaching the server. An IDS-only capability can detect exploits and raise alerts, but will be unable to block the malicious traffic.
- * Anti Virus – gateway Anti Virus prevents inbound virus traffic at the edge of the network, thus reinforcing desktop security solutions and blocking viruses before they reach the desktop. This solution can also prevent infected machines from propagating viruses outside the corporate network.
- * Anti Spam – gateway Anti Spam can tag inbound e-mail, allowing it to be handled more effectively by desktop filtering solutions, or can block suspected spam mails completely. This solution can also prevent internal hosts from sending spam mail outside the corporate network.
- * URL Filtering – using a constantly-updated database of categorised URLs, a gateway URL filtering solution can prevent employees from accessing objectionable or inappropriate Web sites from the corporate network
- * Content Filtering – by scanning Web and mail traffic for specific content, a gateway content filtering solution can prevent objectionable or inappropriate material from passing into, or out of, the corporate network.