unified threat management (UTM)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: How to conduct a next-generation firewall evaluation

Unified threat management (UTM) is an approach to security management that allows an administrator to monitor and manage a wide variety of security-related applications and infrastructure components through a single management console.

UTMs, which are typically purchased as cloud services or network appliances, provide firewall, intrusion detection, antimalware, spam and content filtering and VPN capabilities in one integrated package that can be installed and updated easily. UTMs for enterprise customers may also include more advanced features such as identity-based access control, load balancing, quality of service (QoS), intrusion prevention, SSL and SSH inspection and application awareness.

The principal advantage of a UTM product is its ability to reduce complexity. The principal disadvantage is that a UTM appliance can become a single point of failure (SPOF).

UTM appliances are sometimes referred to as next-generation firewalls.

See also: single pane of glass


This was last updated in June 2014

Next Steps

Expert Ed Tittel provides an overview of UTM appliance features and examines if – and how – a UTM system can benefit your organization.

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