UTM

My thoughts this week have been very much on security, this has undoubtedly had a lot to do with the Info Security show, and something to do with locking myself out after a lengthy ‘debrief’ on Tuesday night. Wandering around the show it’s almost as easy to pick up buzz words as it has been to get sore feet.

One of the phrases that seemed to be on a number of lips, was UTM, yet another TLA (three letter acronym) with which to confuse the laity. UTM stands of course for unified threat management and is still a pretty new phrase with the definition being coined as recently as 2004 by Charles Kolodgy of the International Data Corporation.

A UTM is where your network firewall also contains other network security tools such as junk mail featuring, virus protect and intrusion prevention. It’s like having a bunch of specialised guards on one gate rather than having them all assigned to different areas. This has traditionally been seen as a bit of a godsend to SME’s, but the occasional contrary voice has been raised as can be seen here.

This years Info Sec did appear to these eyes at least to be the biggest yet, and judging by the speed with which the sandwiches were consumed in the press office, one that was exceedingly popular with journalists. Stands and meeting rooms all through the show buzzed with earnest and meaningful conversation, and even the karaoke at the exhibitor’s party was of a higher standard than usual.

The one thing that was missing though was the truly must have give away. You know the type, the bouncing balls that light up every time they hit the ground or illuminated Frisbees. This time it seemed that massages and ice creams were in, bits of logo’d tat were out, how the merchandising companies must have wept.

Of course not all exhibition give away’s are completely without value, these days there is a booming market in merchandise relating to dead .com’s. With my collection of Seven Mountains t-shirts, futurelink pens and receipts from boo, I might be sitting on a fortune. If this column fails to reappear, you’ll know I’ve managed to strike gold on eBay. Back with more definitions soon.