The use of any form of firewall is important for cyber security; it concerns device or network security as well as data security for every individual or company.

Today, we have the NGFW firewall that helps to improve security. At the same time we have another alternative, the UTM (Unified Threat Management) device, available for a rather multi-purpose application. Most users tend to use these two terms interchangeably, namely NGFW and UTM.

The Firewall and its goals

We addressed the operation and functions of the firewall program in many of our earlier posts. The firewall checks input and production data packets, searches for inappropriate or malicious material and allows the data packet to be blocked. NGFWs, either hardware or software-based, go a little further than conventional firewall programs. Including sorting and blocking / allowing data packets, NGFWs also perform other functions. These include application awareness, comprehensive inspection, fully-integrated intrusion prevention, active directory / LDAP identification and others. Bridged or routed modes are available for NGFWs.

The UTM system and its goals

Unified threat management systems are always hardware, with advantages and disadvantages, unlike NGFWs. We still believe in stressing the positive rather than the negative and therefore let us speak about the benefits first.

UTM devices work in various ways, preventing and performing data leaks such as spam control, anti-virus gateway, network load balancing, appliance reporting, network detection and prevention, URL filtering, email security, content filtering, web application firewalls, wireless security, VPN termination, continuous automated updates, mitigation of DDOS, and more. For UTM phones, all data are centralized and can be interpreted in a comprehensive manner. Therefore, users can get a better real-time summary of the status of risks.

Okay, these are the advantages; let’s take the drawbacks now. There is a slight drawback–a UTM system only operates if it is linked to the main network.

UTM Vs Firewall: Which firewall should you select?

It is quite clear that the UTM system provides all NGFW features, plus some other services. (Maybe because of this a lot of people, including security professionals, use terms interchangeably!) Not only the utilities, both UTM and firewall fall within the same range with regard to price range. The choices to be made should therefore be based on the requirements. Since the NGFW functionalities are included in the UTM, you can either use the NGFW or you can opt for the UTF program if you need the extra services the UTM provides. Only ensure that you stay in front of cyber threats.

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