Unified threat management (UTM) is a security solution or appliance that brings together multiple security functions, such as antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, network firewalling, intrusion detection and prevention, content filtering, leak prevention, and often threat intelligence.
Its popularity lies in simplicity. As there are so many different security products and services around, efforts at consolidation tend to do well in the market.
Here are some of the top trends in UTM:
1. Optimization and security focus
With recessionary forces lurking across the world’s economies, most organizations are looking at how to reduce growth spending.
Instead, the focus leans more toward optimizing what already exists. Optimization technologies are all about doing more with less, which essentially could take many forms.
“Technologies that help increase the development velocity of existing teams, decrease friction in end-to-end engineering processes, and reduce spending on cloud and other SaaS providers will all gain traction,” said Shiva Nathan, founder & CEO, Onymos.
Coupled with the geopolitical turmoil that is ongoing, there has been an uptick in cybercriminal activity. Securing against cybercriminal activity is something that is no longer the concern only of large enterprises. Smaller businesses are every bit as much at risk. These are some of the factors driving UTM adoption as well as the adoption of other security solutions that bring together multiple tools and services in one package.
2. Password alternatives gain traction
Nathan with Onymos thinks password alternatives will grow in importance but won’t yet end traditional authentication methods.
“There will be increased adoption of more secure technologies than passwords, particularly with the onslaught of cybercriminal activity and increased focus on privacy. More websites and apps will offer alternate authentication mechanisms to passwords, many of which will involve biometrics,” Nathan said.
“The two major platform players — Apple & Google — will increase the adoption of passkeys/FIDO.”
Passkeys enable users to sign into apps and websites via a biometric, PIN, or pattern, and does away with the need to remember and manage passwords. Expect this technology to be incorporated into UTM packages going forward.
3. Hybrid UTM
Digital transformation continues to act as the main driver of organizational change. Its impact on security teams is substantial.
As organizations move to the cloud or migrate across cloud environments, the attack surface they face expands and UTM tools struggle to cover the full spectrum. Everything from cloud presence and on-prem, SaaS products to code repositories. and endpoint security cannot be covered by traditional UTM. Thus, organizations supplement their UTM packages with many other single-function tools to cover themselves from every angle.
“A trend for the coming year will be companies embracing hybrid solutions,” said Yoran Sirkis, co-founder and CEO, Seemplicity.
“Platforms are needed that pull data from the various security tools and aggregate and deduplicate that data into actionable findings for the remediation team, while also empowering the security teams to manage the fragmented aspects of both sides to get them working together in the face of rapid scale and change.”
4. Automated incident response
As cybercriminals continue to increase the frequency of their attacks, enterprises are looking to incorporate automation into their digital forensic and incident response workflows, according to Adam Belsher, CEO, Magnet Forensics.
“The risks from both internal and external threats have only intensified over the past year with the shift to hybrid and remote work models,” Belsher said. “The success of a cybersecurity strategy now lies both with the individual employee and the environment created to protect them.”
5. Security application coordination
Apu Pavithran, founder and CEO of Mitsogo, said that security risk is so high that tools like UTM need to be able to talk more with IT service management (ITSM), mobile threat defense (MTD) and extended detection and response (XDR) solutions.
With these tools collaborating more, and perhaps eventually coming together completely, cyberthreats would be more easily dealt with.
Pavithran’s logic is simple: We live in an era where everything is interconnected – there are about 29 billion connected devices. Despite the apparent benefits, it’s hard to turn a blind eye to the security flaws inherent in the internet of things (IoT). IoT has entered almost every enterprise, and just as with every mobile device and PC, the need to manage IoT will soon be predominant.
“With devices and data no longer perimeter-based and insider threats increasing to 44% within the past two years, the concept of zero trust has gained impetus,” Pavithran said.
“Forrester’s study on ZTNA revealed that 68% of the organizations that participated in the research plan to expand their investment in zero trust. Investing in UEM is one step towards achieving zero trust.”