Check Point UTM-1 3070
Strengths: A solid IPS with many predefined policies turned on by default
Weaknesses: Difficult to use and manage
Verdict: If you have the patience to manage this one, it has the pedigree of Check Point behind it and so deserves checking out
Check Point's UTM-1 3070 is a solid UTM with many great features. This appliance includes protection via a firewall and IPS system known as SmartDefense, as well as gateway anti-virus, anti-spyware and web content filtering. It blocks IM and P2P applications and keeps business protocols such as FTP and VoIP safe from attack.
It is a fairly straightforward install. The initial configuration is done using a simple-to-follow setup wizard that takes just a few minutes to complete. From there, things get a little bit tricky. This product is managed through the Check Point management applications - there are several of them. There is one for management and several others for reporting, monitoring and other functions. These applications must be installed in order to manage the appliance and they are not very intuitive to use at all.
Once we figured out how to navigate the console, we realised that the firewall itself comes as a complete blank slate and we had to configure a few rules to get connectivity to the internet and the rest of the test bed.
After getting everything configured properly, we noted that this product does have a nice set of predefined IPS policies and it did manage our attacks quite well, but there really is not a QuickView-type dashboard.
Most of the reporting and monitoring features require the loading of the respective application. This lack of integration makes viewing events in real-time quite difficult.
There is a quick-start guide, which illustrates initial setup requirements and how to access the configuration wizard. All other documentation is included as PDFs on a CD. These include administrator guides. We found most of the documentation to be easy to follow and well organised, but there is a lot to sort through to find information.
Check Point support options include standard, premium and premium+4H (qualified engineer on-site within four hours). A free support area on the website includes documentation, downloads and a user forum.
With a price starting at around £2,424, this product is average value for the money.
It is feature-rich but it is also difficult to use and requires some getting accustomed to.