Sophos Completes Astaro Networks Acquisition

network security unified threat management

Sophos' acquisition of Wilmington, Mass.-based Astaro Networks , first announced on May 6, is intended to expand the company’s endpoint security capabilities while allowing it to make inroads in the unified threat management space, and eventually, mobile platforms.

"Never before has the security and IT environment been so challenging to secure for our customers," said Steve Munford, Sophos CEO, in a statement, adding that the combined company would be able to adequately address "increasingly complex security challenges while allowing IT to enable users to work more flexibly and embrace new devices and applications."

In general, channel partners hailed the Astaro acquisition as a good move for Sophos , contending that it would create more competition in the SMB network security space. Partners also said the move would put Sophos more on par with security rivals Symantec and McAfee, while giving it a fighting chance against larger network security players Cisco and Juniper.

Thus far, the bulk of Sophos’ offerings have revolved around endpoint security, Web threat and data loss protection, preventing it from solidly competing against other established UTM players such as Juniper, Fortinet and SonicWall.

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Sophos executives contended that the acquisition will give partners access to a broader array of complementary products that provide comprehensive protection for both endpoint and network, and give the company increased visibility across all platforms.

The combination of endpoint and network security technologies will also give Sophos the ability to increase security and visibility and will ultimately lead to integrated management and reporting capabilities, the companies said.

The combined company’s product roadmap includes integrating Astaro’s Security Gateway with Sophos Anti-virus, which will provide real-time malware protection that also use Sophos Live Protection infrastructure as well as Sophos Web protection, which blocks malicious Web sites via SophosLabs Web reputation system.

Further down the road, the integration between Astaro and Sophos will result in the central management of anti-malware, Web and data control policies across endpoints, mobile and network enforcement points, including consumer smartphones and mobile devices and branch or home offices.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, Astaro provided an attractive acquisition target, touting $56 million in billings and about 30 percent year-over-year growth, largely in European markets, executives said.