Attacks/Breaches
5/9/2013
11:10 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Unified Threat Management Vendors Don't Excel

Our survey shows users aren’t fond of UTM appliances.

We asked IT professionals who've used or evaluated unified threat management products to tell us about their performance and features in our latest vendor evaluation survey. The upshot? Few are enthusiastic about the performance of these appliances.

UTM appliances incorporate a dedicated firewall, a URL filter, a standalone network malware-detection system and more into one device. Users just need the appliances to be good enough, while they get cost savings from not having to buy multiple threat management tools.

chart: UTM Overall Vendor Performance

Our 183 survey respondents rated five UTM vendors -- Check Point Software, Cisco Systems, Dell SonicWall, Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks -- on overall performance, which included reliability and acquisition costs, and on specific features.

Cisco, Juniper and Dell had top overall performance scores of 75%. Check Point was close behind with 74%, and HP 72%. If this were a school report card, these vendors all have C averages.

Respondents rated reliability and performance as the two most important features (averaging 4.6 and 4.5, respectively, on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being "very important). No surprise there. The one surprise is how low product innovation scored, landing No. 8 out of 10 criteria. Given the rapid innovation in malware vectors and zero-day threats, it's odd that UTM product innovation isn't a priority.

On specific performance criteria, almost all of the scores fell somewhere in the mid-3 range. Cisco stands out with both the lowest score for any product category (a 3.1 in acquisition cost) and the most scores of 4.0 or better (breadth of product line, performance and reliability). Check Point had performance and reliability scores of 3.9, and a 3.3 acquisition cost score. Given that reliability and performance are the criteria rated most important, it seems that Cisco and Check Point are targeting customers' needs well, but at a price.

Price-conscious buyers should take a look at Dell SonicWall and Juniper, each of which rated most favorably on acquisition cost, at 3.7. Both companies are known for offering reliable products. Dell tied Check Point's scores in performance (3.9) and reliability (3.9) while topping Check Point in breadth of product line (3.8), post-sales support (3.7), service innovation (3.6) and acquisition and operational cost, both at 3.7.

chart: Vendors Face Off
Jack Of All Trades

When asked to rate 12 UTM features on their relative importance, respondents say anti-malware, high availability for failover, central management and URL filtering are most desirable. The lowest score for a particular UTM feature was a 3.5 for Juniper's ICAP integration and the highest was a 4.2 for Juniper's HA and Cisco's VPN termination features. In general it seems as if each of the UTM products did at least acceptably well for each evaluation.

We also break out respondents' evaluations of vendors' performance around individual features. It's worth noting that Dell SonicWall earned ratings of 4.0 or 4.1 in six individual categories, the most among the vendors evaluated. Check Point and HP each had five categories with ratings of 4.0 or higher.

UTM products do most things well enough, without excelling in any area. Which you go with depends on your risk profile, industry, budget and IT expertise.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, January 2015
To find and fix exploits aimed directly at your business, stop waiting for alerts and become a proactive hunter.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7402
Published: 2014-12-17
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in request.c in c-icap 0.2.x allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a crafted ICAP request.

CVE-2014-5437
Published: 2014-12-17
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in ARRIS Touchstone TG862G/CT Telephony Gateway with firmware 7.6.59S.CT and earlier allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) enable remote management via a request to remote_management.php,...

CVE-2014-5438
Published: 2014-12-17
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in ARRIS Touchstone TG862G/CT Telephony Gateway with firmware 7.6.59S.CT and earlier allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the computer_name parameter to connected_devices_computers_edit.php.

CVE-2014-7170
Published: 2014-12-17
Race condition in Puppet Server 0.2.0 allows local users to obtain sensitive information by accessing it in between package installation or upgrade and the start of the service.

CVE-2014-7285
Published: 2014-12-17
The management console on the Symantec Web Gateway (SWG) appliance before 5.2.2 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary OS commands by injecting command strings into unspecified PHP scripts.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.