Sanat Singha is a technical writer, an editor, a blogger and a web marketing consultant. Contact him at wsigmas@gmail.com

There is no denying the threat of hacking is increasing in the business world. Believe it or not, many companies fail to take enough steps to protect their networks and users.

One practical step that organizations can take is by using a network appliance. In a nutshell, this is a piece of hardware that acts as a barrier between your network and the Internet. Today we will be looking at the Sophos UTM Network Appliance.

User Interface

When it comes to managing the device, network administrators can log into the dashboard. Compared to competing firewall appliances, the Sophos UTM is a simple to use design.

firewall appliance

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The company offer that appliance as a device for small businesses and organizations. Having said that, it does incorporate some enterprise-grade features as standard. Some users liken the product’s user interface to that of a typical router admin center.

Available in a range of sizes

Many business owners baulk at the prospect of buying network hardware. Why? Well, it’s not necessarily the cost to buy those items. Rather, it’s the floor space that they take up!

The Sophos UTM network appliance is available in a compact desktop size. There is a range of models on offer with a variety of ports. The smallest one is roughly the same size as a standard desktop router that you’d use at home.

For those that have server rooms, Sophos make available a range of rack-mountable appliances.

Network Protection

 The main reason why anyone would buy the Sophos UTM is because of the network protection that it offers. Take, for example, the network firewall.

One can create firewall “objects” in the UI that are reusable across the system. That means network admin don’t have to spend hours replicating firewall rules.

intrusion protection system

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 To help prevent hacking attempts, the Sophos UTM incorporates an IPS (intrusion protection system). It blocks any DOS (Denial-of-Service) attempts to the network.

A unique yet useful feature is its advanced threat protection. Let’s say that a user on your network has a computer infected with malware. The Sophos UTM can sandbox such systems and prevent them from attacking the rest of your network.

Multiple Wi-Fi Zones

One headache for many a network administrator is Wi-Fi. Setting up wireless networks isn’t hard, but protecting them can be a nightmare! These days, we live in a world where people often use their own devices at work.

Using the Sophos UTM, you can create more than one Wi-Fi zone. That means you can segregate internal network resources. It’s a useful feature if you wish to offer Internet access to visitors. And it’s a godsend if you want to block mobile devices from using your LAN’s resources.

Malware Protection

Last, but not least, the Sophos UTM is also capable of blocking malware threats. The sad fact is you can’t rely on users to be tech-savvy enough to avoid clicking on questionable links.

Using the company’s own malware detection routines, the Sophos UTM can automatically block malware. It also updates its detection algorithms online.