What is Unified Threat Management (UTM)?

Unified threat management (UTM) systems consolidate multiple security functions into a single appliance. By doing so, UTM eliminates the need for sprawling standalone products and simplifies security visibility and management. This enables security teams to more quickly and efficiently perform threat detection and response and lowers total cost of ownership (TCO) for an organization.

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What is Unified Threat Management (UTM)?

How Does Unified Threat Management (UTM) Security Work?

Historically, organizations have deployed an array of point security products to address specific cybersecurity threats. For example, an organization may have a standalone firewall, antivirus, etc. A UTM solution eliminates the need for this collection of standalone solutions by performing a range of network security functions in a single appliance.


Unified threat management solutions are deployed at the network perimeter and scan all data entering and leaving the network. Using deep packet inspection (DPI), the UTM solution gains the necessary visibility into network packets to identify incoming threats and block web requests to inappropriate or dangerous sites. Additionally, UTM provides a single dashboard for a security team to manage all of these features.

Features of Unified Threat Management

The objective of a UTM solution is to consolidate a wide range of security functions. Some of the core features of a Unified threat management include:



Beyond these core capabilities, a UTM security  solution should be able to adapt to changing security trends. This includes the ability to incorporate additional security technologies as they become available.

Benefits of UTM

The goal of a Unified threat management is to improve security team efficiency and effectiveness by reducing the number of standalone security solutions that they must deploy, configure, monitor, and maintain. Some of the primary benefits of UTM security solutions include:


  • Security Consolidation: Unified threat management solutions integrate multiple security functions into a single solution. This enables security teams to more quickly detect potential threats based on richer and more contextual data and supports rapid response across the entire enterprise environment.
  • Reduced Complexity: With UTM, an organization transitions from multiple standalone security products to a single solution. This single tool is easier to configure, update, and manage than an array of independent solutions.
  • Cost Savings: UTM solutions replace multiple security products. This consolidation enables an organization to take advantage of significant cost savings.
  • Security Flexibility: Unified threat management is designed to adapt and integrate new security functions as they become available. This provides a higher level of flexibility than an approach that requires deployment of a new appliance to support new functions.
  • Centralized Management: UTM centralize monitoring and management into a single console. By eliminating context switching between dashboards, this improves the efficiency and effectiveness of security staff.
  • Simplified Compliance: UTM solutions with identity-based security policies simplify the process of implementing access controls based on least privilege. This makes it easier to meet the access control requirements of regulations like PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR.

Next-Generation Firewalls vs. Unified Threat Management

Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) and Unified threat management (UTM) solutions are both designed to consolidate multiple security functions into a single solution. The difference between the two is not clear and has evolved over the years as newer security technologies became integrated into network firewalls.


IDC, a global market intelligence firm, defined the term UTM in 2003 to track the security appliance market. In 2008 Gartner, a global research and advisory firm,  introduced the UTM Magic Quadrant report and defined the unified threat management (UTM) market as multifunction network security products used by small or midsize businesses (SMBs) of less than 1000 employees. This was a separate report from the Gartner analysis of the enterprise firewall Magic Quadrant report.


The term NGFW was introduced in 2003 by Gartner to describe a firewall that integrates additional functionality beyond that of a simple stateful firewall. Over time, additional features were consolidated into a single solution. Today the two terms are interchangeable. Customers decide which security functions in the integrated network firewall device they need to secure their organization.

Unified Threat Management from Check Point

Check Point has been a leader in the UTM space for several years. Before 2019, when Gartner merged its UTM Magic Quadrant (MQ) into the Network Firewall MQ, Check Point was a Leader in the Gartner UTM MQ for eight years. Check Point has been a Gartner Network Firewall MQ leader 21 times.


Check Point’s NGFW offers all of the capabilities of UTM, including the most advanced threat prevention and consolidated management. Check Point NGFWs are available in a number of different form factors, including hardware appliances for on-prem deployments, virtual firewalls for securing public and private cloud deployments, and a Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) offering in a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) model. This enables organizations to deploy security suited to their unique needs while taking advantage of the reduced complexity and cost associated with a UTM solution.


With UTM, organizations can more quickly and effectively prevent, detect, and respond to a wide range of potential threats to their networks. To learn more about what to look for in a NGFW/UTM solution, check out Check Point’s NGFW Buyer’s Guide. You’re also welcome to request a demo to see the capabilities of Check Point NGFW for yourself.

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