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Common Network Security Options

Popular with business and enterprise, Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances combine firewall, gateway anti-virus, and intrusion detection system (IDS) or intrusion prevention capabilities into a single platform.  

Common Network Security Options

Many of the antivirus and security functions integrated into appliances can also be incorporated into your network via software. Over traditional software solutions, appliances offer many benefits including the following: it's easier to configure and manage, offers better integrity (it's harder to get through an appliance compared to a basic computer running security software), and features better overall performance.

When choosing a software solution, you also need to consider additional products and hardware (operating system, server hardware, storage servers) and also provide maintenance, and set-up configuration for the solution including deployment, upgrades and monitoring. The additional hardware requirements and configuration and maintenance costs are reduced or removed with appliances.

In addition to choosing between software-based security and appliances, organizations can also look at what is traditionally called managed (or hosted) security options. Rather than pay out the money to own the appliance or server hardware and software, managed security is a subscription service model, where you essentially pay per service on an ongoing basis.

Managed security is a more popular choice with small to midsized businesses as the bulk of your security requirements are shifted to a third-party, outside of your own company, leaving security concerns to someone else. While that may sound risky, obviously you need to spend some time finding the right vendor with the right options to suite your network security needs.


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Based in Nova Scotia, Vangie Beal is has been writing about technology for more than a decade. She is a frequent contributor to EcommerceGuide and managing editor at Webopedia. You can tweet her online @AuroraGG.

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