As 2013 comes to an end, Unified Threat Management (UTM) has grown up. What used to be an SMB security solution has now matured into a powerful platform for the midsize enterprise. The holy grail of defense-in-depth no longer requires costly point solutions, disparate management consoles, and hundreds of engineering hours to sift through log data. No, times have changed. Today, UTM is helping midsize enterprises overcome the complexity, performance and management challenges associated with protecting the corporate network.
But, don’t take our word for it, the proof is in the data. According to IDC, from 2007 to 2017 UTM is predicted to grow 95 percent, and UTM revenue from mid-market and enterprise has grown 53 percent since 2008. Even more interesting, if you look below at the IDC graph from its most recent Network Security Forecast, it shows that UTM is the largest growing sub-function of the forecast (with the others having small or flat growth).
Below we’ll outline some of the challenges facing midsize enterprise, but you can also watch our recent IDC webinar with John Grady (research manager for security products and services) on this topic, or download our new IDC infographic, sponsored by WatchGuard Technologies, on UTM in the mid-market entitled “Protecting Your Midsize Enterprise with UTM.”
There are three key issues midsize organizations face today when it comes to network security:
1. Complexity – As the security perimeter has evolved, attack mechanisms have become increasingly sophisticated, and as solutions to solve these problems have multiplied, security professionals are overwhelmed with the complexities of securing the network. Mobile devices, virtualization, and cloud applications – all of these create architectural concerns for midsize enterprises. And, since these organizations traditionally have less staff and budget, the realities of integrating complex point security solutions to address these problems become more unrealistic.
2. Performance – The Internet continues to grow (IDC and EMC estimate in the IDC Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC in December 2012, an increase from 2.8 to 40 zettabytes from 2010-2020), as do shipments of mobile devices (19.8 percent by 2017). Organizations are using more applications, have unlimited sharing conduits, are using rich media, and are connected all the time – online activity has exploded. Roll in cloud applications and all of a sudden you have tremendous traffic coming in and out of your network. The gateway appliance can’t be the bottleneck. It must deliver higher throughput, better connection rates, be scalable, and offer layered security at the point of entry or exit (defense in depth).
3. Management – IT is supposed to do more with less. That’s the mandate. Innovate, while reducing operating costs. It’s a constant challenge. It’s why solutions need to do more for less. But, when it comes to network security…threats, regulations and complexity continue to increase, while IT security budgets lag – there’s a gap between organizations’ self-defense and the threats they face. To combat this issue, midsize organizations need security solutions that offer a single pane of glass for management, and solutions that simplify policy creation and integrate across multiple applications.
These three challenges are driving UTM adoption in the mid-market. By combining AV, IPS, firewall, application control, DLP and other security features, UTM can consolidate the visibility of threats, save the organization money, and can increase management and reporting efficiency. And, as threats continue to evolve, UTM will evolve with it, adding new security services and giving organizations the ability to easily visualize their security data (instead of simply reviewing log reports).
Over the past decade, during the journey of server virtualization from primarily dev/test environments to mission-critical deployment on-premise and in the cloud, the applications that have led the way have been the email and web services that power most businesses. And as those business-critical uses keep growing so to do the need to keep them secure. But protection of virtualized and cloud-based deployments is difficult if you use solely traditional security appliances. That changes now with the arrival of WatchGuard XCS 10, the latest operating system for our enterprise content security platform.
With new Microsoft Hyper-V® support, IPv6 support, and outbound anti-spam capabilities, XCS 10 streamlines the implementation and management of content security strategies for small, medium and large enterprises.
According to Gartner, nearly two-thirds of x86 architecture workloads have been virtualized on servers. The growth of virtualization in the SMB and mid-sized enterprise has been accompanied with the growth of Hyper-V market share. As email and Web being two of the most commonly virtualized enterprise applications, having the ability to protect them within the same cloud/virtualized environment in which they are deployed gives IT organizations increased flexibility and business continuity. This streamlines management as well as enables the system to scale. And now they can take advantage of this power on Hyper-V as well as on VMware vSphere.
Unlike software-only solutions, customers do not need to install, maintain, and patch operating systems and other tools in order to deploy rich email and web security with data loss prevention.
WatchGuard XCS 10 also brings support for the IPv6 standard. One of the side effects of the rise in virtualization and the digitization of the world’s workforces is that we have effectively run out of blocks of “classic” IP addresses. In fact, in some parts of the world, IPv6 is now mandatory. WatchGuard XCS 10 not only supports IPv6, but also enables mixed legacy environments to ensure global connectedness and security.