Sophos CEO To Partners: We're Poised To Disrupt The Network Security Market


Sophos' ability to build out a fully integrated security platform that is easy to deploy and maintain will help the security vendor come closer to unseating market leaders, according to company CEO Kris Hagerman, who kicked off the 2014 Sophos Americas Partner Connections conference Wednesday.

Hagerman and other senior executives said they are putting the tools in place to make Sophos a disruptive leader in endpoint security and the network security market with its networking appliances. Sophos' partner conference is taking place a few blocks away from the Las Vegas strip where endpoint security stalwart Symantec held an executive summit for a select group of partners alongside its annual user conference. Hagerman told partners that Sophos' market strategy is very different from that of Symantec, McAfee or Kaspersky Lab.  

“We see an opportunity to combine endpoint and the network to be a real winning one,” Hagerman said.

[Related: Sophos Inks Ingram Micro Distribution Deal, Streamlines Partner Program]

Sophos is winning mind share and market share, Hagerman said, citing gains in the endpoint security market and calling network security a priority for the company.

A key part of the strategy is integrating all of the company's technology components, Hagerman said. Engineers are working on what the company has called "Project Galileo," bridging the communication gap between Sophos’ endpoint technology, server protection and network security products to provide visibility and control through a single, cloud-based security management console. The integration points can enable the products to better identify threats and provide complete protection across a business' systems, he said.

Sophos also is introducing new server software that contains whitelisting and reputation capabilities, according to Hagerman. Sophos Cloud, meanwhile, addresses endpoint and Web and mobile device protection and will include server-based encryption later this year, he said.

Fully embracing the channel by significantly investing in support and enablement is a key part of Sophos' approach, Hagerman said. The company now has a simplified licensing model, a new website designed to draw more traffic, and it has realigned the sales organization to fully embrace the channel, provide better support and identify more opportunities for partners, he said.

"We view you as an extension of our team and we hope you view us as an extension of your team and your companies," Hagerman said. "We are 100 percent focused on the channel; we don’t do any billings unless it comes through the channel, so we only win if you win."

NEXT: Sophos Channel Vets Making Big Improvements, Say Partners