Cyber attacks are growing in quantity and sophistication while virtualized environments are more connected with more endpoints resulting in a larger attack surface. To keep pace with these threats, organizations need advanced security that spans across physical and virtual environments.

For data storage, project management, customer relationship management and more, SMBs are increasingly looking to cloud applications. Now, SMBs are also looking to the cloud for a way to better secure those apps with cloud-based unified threat management (UTM).

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A cloud-based security solution comes with all the benefits of any cloud app, including freeing up IT resources and simplifying infrastructure, but it also offers deep UTM visibility necessary to create a single, integrated and collaborative security fabric. The benefits for SMBs to move to SaaS cloud applications include:

  •    Lower IT and network costs
  •   Greater accessibility
  •   More collaboration
  •   Increased scalability
  •   Improved flexibility and efficiency

It should come as no surprise that a recent survey predicts SaaS cloud adoption will increase by 140 percent in small businesses and 80 percent for midmarket firms.


As SMBs become more decentralized, they see an increase in cyberattacks. Hackers recognize that small businesses are just as accessible as enterprises but have less cybersecurity protection. In fact, small organizations are 1.5 times more likely to have a security breach than large organizations.

As SMBs venture into the cloud and embrace connected-device initiatives, many aren’t doing enough to protect users, devices or networks. For example, 65 percent of SMBs do not have a BYOD security policy in place for employees. The reason? Many don’t have the IT resources to cover an increasingly complex network.

UTM solutions are an appealing option for SMBs looking for a single security appliance that wraps up many security functions into a single solution that can be easily managed by a smaller IT team. UTMs bring together:

  • Firewall
  • Anti-virus
  • VPN
  • App Control
  • IPS
  • Web Filter

Traditional UTM appliances which are deployed on-site can be useful for simple networks, but they present a challenge as more cloud applications are added.


In their recent Magic Quadrant for Unified Threat Management, Gartner recognized the strength of a UTM solution that can be deployed as part of a larger security fabric.

According to Gartner, more than half (50 percent) of new SMB firewall deployments will leverage a cloud-based secure web gateway by 2020. This is the case in only 10 percent of current deployments.

Deploying a cloud-based UTM allows SMBs to extend cloud security to manage endpoint protection, wired and wireless connectivity and sandboxing across all of SaaS apps.

In their report, Gartner listed Fortinet’s UTM as a leader in the space. They specifically recognized the advantage of weaving UTM into the Fortinet Security Fabric for the ease of managing the entire threat surface from the cloud.

Fortinet’s security approach specifically addresses the increase in cloud application use. The Fortinet Security Fabric ties together their network, endpoint, application, data center and cloud solutions into an integrated, end-to-end security solution. The ability to deploy their UTM as a cloud-based SaaS model as part of this security fabric raises flexibility, visibility, and simplicity to new levels.

As a Fortinet partner and managed cloud services provider with a robust SaaS offering, VLCM can help you customize an environment to combine the visibility and control of UTM with the ease-of-use and cost-efficiency of the cloud. Learn more.