Why have a managed firewall (UTM)? 4 reasons.

We’ve seen it happen. Maybe the person responsible for your company’s IT and firewall management recently retired or left. No one else really ever had to pay much attention to this stuff, so what happens now? Actually, the term “firewall” is dated. If you’re doing it right, it’s actually a Universal Threat Management (UTM) security appliance, including protections for your network like gateway anti-virus, intrusion prevention, botnet and GEO filtering, application filters for social media, as well as controls for where your users are browsing and spending their time. That’s quite a lot to keep up.

Here are four good reasons to use a quality UTM management company.

• Who’s paying attention and reacting to what your network security appliance is telling you?
Your UTM appliance generates logs of activity and alerts that provide information to enable you to take proactive steps to mitigate potential threats as they are happening. If you don’t have a seasoned professional monitoring and acting on this information, you are leaving your network more vulnerable to exploitation.

• Who’s keeping your UTM appliance updated with the latest firmware and software?
Your security appliance manufacturer releases software and firmware updates, likely up to 4 or 5 times a year, to keep up to date with constantly evolving threats and to introduce new features. Unless you have someone in tune with these releases, and able to implement them, you aren’t keeping your network current against potential loopholes that have been found and are being used to circumvent your gateway security. You also aren’t getting the most value out of the licensing you’ve purchased.

• Who knows if your UTM appliance is optimized and configured properly?
If your network security appliance wasn’t configured and installed with the best practices to ensure you are properly protected, you likely don’t know it. A UTM appliance management company works with network security appliances daily and they are experts at ensuring your UTM is optimally configured to the latest recommendations, including compliance with HIPAA and PCI standards. A quality UTM appliance management team advises on these standards and works with auditors to prove you are conforming as required.

• Who knows how to make changes to your UTM appliance if needed?
If you are trying to access a file download from an important client or vendor, you know how frustrating it can be to find out it’s being blocked by the network security appliance. If no one is minding your UTM appliance, you are pretty stuck. Furthermore, if you don’t know who has the username and password to access your firewall, you are really up a creek. When a change is made, it’s important to have a backup of your configuration before the change is made in case you need to roll it back. Configuration backups are an important routine for proper UTM appliance management and are often overlooked by self-maintainers.

Using a company that specializes in universal threat management keeps your gateway security continuously monitored and updated by a team of experts that work with security appliances like yours on a daily basis. They are able to get to the heart of any issue you face and resolve it quickly, keeping you secure and productive. You’ll have confidence your primary layer of network security is being updated and maintained by a team of trusted members and not dependent on just one inside source with limited expertise.

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