One of the biggest threats to a company’s health and wellbeing in the 21st century is a data breach.

Data breaches can involve things like ransomware attacks that render all your data unreadable or an attack that steals sensitive employee or customer information. Most of today’s business assets that aren’t physical, like vehicles or buildings, are digital and have a big target on them.

96% of organizations in Singapore experienced a data breach within the past 12 months.

Nearly half of companies affected by a data breach incur direct financial losses and 8 out of 10 incur losses due to a damaged reputation. If your customers can’t trust that the data they give you is protected, it could mean revenue losses that go far beyond an initial data breach incident.

The short-term and long-term costs associated with data breaches, make your IT security strategy one of the most vital parts of your business operations. One way to simplify your data security and ensure that multiple areas of it are properly protected is through the use of a unified threat management (UTM) platform.

What is a UTM and Why Do I Need One?

If you think about all the pieces of your technology infrastructure – email, computers/devices, website/internet use, wired and wireless network, etc. – there are a lot of attack vectors that a hacker can take to breach your network.

All those methods of entry (i.e. places where a breach can happen) mean you need multiple types of protective measures. These include things like:

  • Antivirus software
  • Email spam & phishing protection
  • Network traffic monitoring
  • Web filtering
  • Network intrusion prevention

If you’re using separate applications to handle all those different cybersecurity functions it can mean your administrators having to learn multiple systems and deal with differing features and settings. There also may either be overlap of services or areas left unprotected. Costs are typically also higher when using many different IT security apps instead of a single platform.

What a UTM does is put all those different IT security functions under one umbrella. So, you’re using a single platform to perform multiple cybersecurity tasks, all protecting different areas of your technology infrastructure.

Here are some of the ways that using a unified threat management platform can strengthen your cybersecurity posture.

Protection & Monitoring of Your Network

One of the main parts of a UTM is the firewall and intrusion prevention system (IPS). This ensures your network traffic, both incoming and outgoing, is constantly monitored for any threats and it keeps a watch out for any suspicious traffic and stops it from breaching your network.

Firewalls are your first line of defense against a data breach, catching danger as it is trying to enter your network.

Secure Web Gateway

There are more phishing emails that use URLs to malicious websites than use a file attachment. A UTM acts as a safety net if an employee clicks on a malicious link and can stop it from impacting your data security (even after it’s clicked).

UTMs include things like URL filtering (also known as web protection) to block dangerous sites and warn your employees at the same time.

You can also use the URL filtering that’s available in a UTM to block access to unproductive sites, such as social media pages or other non-work appropriate websites.

Email Spam & Antivirus

UTMs are monitoring all incoming and outgoing network traffic and that includes incoming email. This means they can help prevent spam and protect your employees from malicious phishing emails.

Messaging security can catch and quarantine any malicious-looking emails to help prevent one of the biggest threats to your data security. By reducing spam, they also help increase productivity by keeping all those junk messages out of your staff’s inboxes.

Filtering of Content

Content going through your network can be filtered by a UTM, which includes blocking java script, ActiveX, Cookies, or other modes of entry for malware and viruses.

You’re able to use what’s known as “Application Whitelisting” when it comes to the types of content that can get through your network to a device and run automatically. This means if a certain type of content or file isn’t on your list of approved programs, it’s blocked from running automatically. This is a vital safeguard against today’s zero-day and advanced threats.

Support for Secure VPN Tunnels

A virtual private network (VPN) offers a secure tunnel that ensures your data is protected no matter where you’re connecting from. It’s especially useful when you have employees that log in to your company data remotely and who may be on a public Wi-Fi.

The VPN ensures that even on a non-secure Wi-Fi, traffic is encrypted and protected from unauthorized access.

Learn More about Protecting Your Business Data with a UTM

Does simplifying and strengthening your cybersecurity infrastructure sound good? Managed IT Asia can help you with an efficient UTM solution that will give you a single platform to administer that is designed to protect multiple areas of your technology infrastructure.

Contact us today for a free IT security consultation. Call +65 6748 8776 or reach us online.

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MANAGED IT ASIA, we are an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses across Asia. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!