Sophos Strengthens Security Hand

    In twin moves this week, Sophos added a firewall to its portfolio of offerings via the acquisition of Cyberoam Technologies and an upgrade to its encryption management service that now supports the native encryption capabilities available in almost every operating system.

    Sophos CFO Nick Bray says the plan is to carry both unified threat management (UTM) platforms from Cyberoam and the UTM platform that Sophos gained when it acquired Astaro in 2011 forward. At some point beyond 2014, Bray says, Sophos will unify the two UTM platforms.

    As the underlying processers that UTM platforms rely on have become more powerful, acceptance of UTM appliances has gained momentum. Originally designed to meet the security needs of small-to-medium-sized businesses, Bray says Sophos is starting to see much greater usages of UTM appliances in both small enterprises and branch offices.

    Obviously, a desire to lower the total cost of security is driving much of that UTM adoption. But Bray notes that UTM appliances are also the foundation on which many of the cloud service services offered by Sophos are being delivered.

    The latest expansion of those services now allows organizations to leverage the existing encryption capabilities available in most devices to encrypt data and then share it with other systems via the Sophos encryption cloud service. Rather than forcing organizations to deploy additional encryption technology, the Sophos service allows organizations to leverage the native encryption service on a device to provide better overall performance.

    With revelations concerning spying spurring more organizations to make use of encryption, IT organizations are being tasked with managing encryption that has not only always been historically difficult, but also exacted application performance penalties. The Sophos approach to providing encryption limits the performance penalty while at the same time reducing the headaches associated with managing it.

    At a time when IT security as a whole is becoming more automated in the face of an ever increasing array of threats, IT organizations should take some comfort in the fact that in the face of all those threats, there’s also a lot more focus on making IT security significantly easier to manage.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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