Rather than juggling multiple security tools and technologies, UTM solutions streamline them into one platform for monitoring and responding to threats. This saves IT teams time and money, reduces complexity, and boosts productivity.

A UTM solution can include antivirus, a firewall, data loss prevention, and more. Here are some of the latest trends in UTM solutions:

Integration of Password Management

Unified threat management solutions are an excellent fit for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because they provide a cost-effective way to secure sensitive data. They also offer ease of upgrading and updating, as all security solutions reside in one system.

Unified threat management (UTM) solution platforms are designed to protect against all kinds of cyberattacks, including malware, phishing, social engineering, viruses, hacking, and distributed denial-of-service attacks. They incorporate technologies that remediate and halt these threats, reducing business risk.

In addition to the protections offered by UTMs, password management tools can help reduce the number of vulnerabilities in an organization. These solutions can create, change, and monitor passwords, track employee compliance with mandated changes, and ensure passwords are not reused across different systems. This can dramatically reduce the risk of a business’s digital assets being exposed to hackers. In addition, password management tools can make it easy for employees to comply with a company’s security policy. This can be done by providing them with a heavily encrypted vault, enabling employees to securely store and access their passwords.

Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are being integrated into Unified Threat Management solutions to improve threat detection and enable automated response capabilities. This enables organizations to achieve security and network visibility while reducing human intervention and costs.

ML focuses on pattern recognition and learning from data to make predictions or decisions based on statistical analysis. It is a subset of AI, which can also replicate the cognitive abilities of humans and perform more complex tasks such as logical reasoning and understanding context.

With the increased frequency of cyberattacks and the rising need for secure remote work environments, enterprises are increasingly adopting UTM solutions to protect their networks from unauthorized access. Vendors are investing in research and development activities to enhance the performance of their UTM solutions and add new features. Strategic partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions are also joint in the UTM market as companies seek to strengthen their product portfolios and increase market presence.

Integration of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication is one of UTM’s most essential and growing security trends. MFA requires that users go beyond the typical username and password to verify their identity, thereby reducing risk by limiting access to critical systems and data.

Typically, MFA consists of two layers. The first is based on the user’s knowledge, such as a password, PIN, or security question, which essentially confirms their knowledge of the account. The second is based on something they have, such as a mobile device with an authenticator app or hardware token that scans biometrics or other physical characteristics to identify a user.

Adaptive MFA takes the security a step further, leveraging contextual information to assess the risk of an authentication request. This can be based on things like the location of the device, whether the network is safe, or the time of day, among other factors. This helps to provide robust protection against unauthorized access, even if one layer of authentication is compromised. It also allows organizations to bolster compliance with data protection regulations.

Integration of Web Filtering

Web content filtering is an essential component of UTM solutions. It helps businesses block websites containing malware, improve workflow, and protect data from cyberattacks. Businesses of all sizes and industries use web filters to protect their networks from phishing scams, drive-by downloads, and malicious software.

Government agencies also use web content filtering to prevent employees from accessing websites that could be used for disinformation campaigns or stealing government data. Additionally, they use web filters to block sites that may threaten public safety in other ways, such as by propagating false news stories or promoting illegal goods and services.

Major players operating in the UTM market are leveraging various organic and inorganic strategies to increase their market presence and expand their product offerings. For instance, in August 2018, WatchGuard Technologies launched its new UTM solution, Firebox M270, featuring quick assist technology and Intel atom processors. The new appliance enables organizations to secure their networks from threats that typically bypass conventional firewalls and other point security solutions. Additionally, it offers advanced web filtering capabilities that include whitelists, blacklists, custom categories, and SSL-decryption policies to provide complete visibility into opaque traffic websites.

Integration of Network Access Control (NAC)

The growing number of devices accessing the private networks of organizations requires greater visibility, control, and security. Whether employees bring their devices to work or corporate IT provides them, these endpoints must be authenticated and verified against policies before entering the network. NAC solutions can help.

Unlike traditional IP networks, which enforce policy based on users’ IP addresses, NAC environments verify the security posture of the connecting device before granting them admission to the network. A network administrator can limit the attack surface by creating different access policies for specific user groups, departments, or device types.

NAC can also prevent unauthorized malware from spreading across a private network by blocking and isolating non-compliant devices. This enables remediation to occur without disrupting the rest of the network.

The automation features offered by today’s NAC solutions translate into cost savings by reducing the need for IT resources to manually verify users and their devices as they connect to the network. And, because many of these solutions have built-in artificial intelligence capabilities, they can spot anomalous behavior faster than a human security analyst could.