Sophos Launches Unified Threat Management Platform

The security firm's entry-level UTM 100 appliance with BasicGuard is aimed at small businesses that need a complete security solution.

Security specialist Sophos announced the Nov. 12 launch of its latest unified threat management platform, the UTM 100 appliance with BasicGuard, which is aimed at small and midsize businesses and offers network, email, Web and wireless protection in one package.

Features include Web application control, network firewall, remote access and virtual private network, wireless protection, Web antivirus and URL filter, and email antivirus and anti-spam capabilities.

The UTM 100 is the company's entry-level appliance and includes an option for centrally managing endpoint protection as well. It is based on a hardware platform with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, four separately manageable network ports and an integrated hard drive. The appliance can be seamlessly upgraded to a faster model and to Sophos' fully featured software package. Businesses can also register for a free 30-day evaluation trial.

"Today's small businesses want a reliable set of core capabilities with full flexibility to expand features as their needs and budgets grow," Chris Kraft, Sophos vice president of product management, said in a statement. "Complete security shouldn't be out of reach for small businesses. We believe they shouldn't have to compromise between security and budgets, which is why we developed the UTM 100—enterprise features and the ability to upgrade, at an attractive price point."

A report earlier this year from research firm IDC found small and midsize businesses' spending on security technology is growing at a healthy clip and is set to pass $5.6 billion in 2015. The increasing adoption of cloud computing and the prevalence of connected mobile devices, not to mention IT's struggles with fast-growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs, have sparked growth in small and midsize businesses' security spending.

A major concern for small businesses is mobile security, particularly for those who have implemented BYOD programs. Earlier this month, Sophos released a list of 10 tips for mobile malware prevention, which included recommendations for some of the company's free tools. Sophos offers a free malware-detection tool for Android as well as a free encryption tool. Sophos also pointed small and midsize businesses to a pair of whitepapers concerning mobile malware and WiFi hotspot security, and recommended businesses offer cloud-sharing alternatives, manage mobile security within their existing IT framework and only install apps from trusted sources. As businesses increasingly adopt mobile devices and BYOD programs to boost worker productivity, the need for improved security is growing.

Organizations that adopt BYOD programs without implementing mobile management policies could be exposed to security risks and resultant data losses. A survey of 4,000 full-time employees by technology consulting firm Ovum found that while nearly 70 percent of all smartphone-owning professionals are using their personal device to access corporate data, 80 percent of BYOD activity remains inadequately managed by IT departments.