WatchGuard Notes New Research Confirming Trend of Router Erosion

Apr 02, 2008 (08:04 AM EDT)

SEATTLE, April 2, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- WatchGuard(R) Technologies, a global provider of network security solutions, today announced its support and validation of IDC's report, "Is UTM a Threat to Routers(1)" that posits the opinion that small to medium sized businesses and branch offices are turning away from routers and embracing UTM appliances to handle network data routing, as well as to provide multi-faceted firewall security features, such as anti-virus, spam-blocking and web-filtering.

This marks a notable and substantial industry shift by eliminating the need to purchase, manage and maintain separate systems, one dedicated for routing and another for security. According to market research data, this market disruption and trend of router consolidation favors UTM appliances.

"The industry is seeing router erosion. This is the natural consequence where one technology, such as UTM devices, leapfrogs over anachronistic technologies," said Eric Aarrestad, Vice President of Marketing at WatchGuard Technologies. "Savvy administrators are asking, why buy two devices when one UTM appliance can do twice the work for less?"

IDC, a leading provider of global IT research and advice, recently released its market analysis, "Is UMT a Threat to Routers? We Think So!" (March, 2008), which examines the convergence of routers and UTM devices for SMBs and branch offices. Key research findings show:

-- By using one device for WAN security and routing, SMBs and branch offices can reduce costs; -- Security devices with networking capabilities are growing faster than traditional routers; -- Consolidation between networking and security will continue; -- Single sites whose priorities are reliability and secure connectivity are primary candidates for this disruption.

"The advantages of a UTM appliance are numerous," said Charles Kolodgy, research director, Secure Content & Threat Management at IDC. "UTM devices are the choice for many organizations because of their convenience, ease of installation, affordability, security and centralized management capabilities."

Accelerating Adoption of UTM

IDC research anticipates the trend among SMBs and branch offices to deploy UTM devices in place of routers will continue and even accelerate. One factor leading to this conclusion is the fact that the initial cost of acquisition for UTM products is competitive with or even below that for routers of a similar class.

Another factor for growth relates to the fact that 30-percent of all UTM devices under $1,000 are wireless enabled. IDC believes that wireless enabled UTMs could quickly replace independent or "fat" access point infrastructures, especially in environments that place higher values on security than centralized wireless management.

Kolodgy concludes, "It would appear that for some customers, strong security with basic networking trumps networking with basic security."

UTM for Strong Security

Basic routers inspect for Layer 3 packet headers in order to route network data. Comparatively, WatchGuard UTM appliances inspect all layers of network traffic, giving them the ability to perform basic routing functions as well as strong security capabilities.

Additionally, all WatchGuard UTM solutions utilize Application Proxy firewall technology, which is fundamentally more secure than other UTM appliances that rely on packet filtering alone. Packet filtering only inspects the bottom three-to-four layers of the OSI communication model (physical, datalink, network and transport), leaving several layers, including layer-7, the application layer, vulnerable to exploitation.

By enforcing deep packet inspection in concert with Application Proxy firewall technology, WatchGuard UTM appliances inspect all seven layers of the OSI model, thus providing unmatched, holistic network security, complemented with data routing capabilities.

About WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.

Since 1996, WatchGuard(R) Technologies, Inc. has been the advanced technology leader of network security solutions, providing mission-critical security to hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide. The WatchGuard Firebox(R) X family of wired and wireless unified threat management appliances and WatchGuard SSL VPN remote access solutions provide extensible network security, unparalleled network visibility, management and control. WatchGuard products are backed by WatchGuard LiveSecurity(R) Service, an innovative support, maintenance, and education program. WatchGuard is headquartered in Seattle and has offices serving North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. To learn more, visit .

WatchGuard, Firebox, and LiveSecurity are registered trademarks of WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. All other marks are property of their respective owners.

(1) IDC, "Is UMT a Threat to Routers? We Think So!" Doc # 211133, March 2008 Contacts: Chris McKie Jimme Peters WatchGuard Technologies 24/7 Consulting 206-613-3760 503-289-5354

CONTACT: Chris McKie of WatchGuard Technologies, +1-206-613-3760,; or Jimme Peters of 24-7 Consulting,+1-503-289-5354, , for WatchGuard Technologies,Inc.

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