Sourcefire Enters Cloud-Based, Endpoint Security Market

Sourcefire has launched a cloud-based, endpoint security product that opens an additional market for the company, while giving channel partners their first subscription-based service to sell.

Sourcefire introduced FireAMP Monday, about a year after the maker of intrusion prevention systems entered cloud-based security with the $21 million acquisition of Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup Immunet. Founded in 2008, Immunet sold anti-virus and anti-malware services.

FireAMP leverages Immunet technology in providing cloud-based monitoring of Windows desktops, laptops and servers for activity that would indicate a malware infection. So-called endpoint security is a growing market. Researcher IDC predicts worldwide revenue will increase to $10.6 billion by 2015 from $7.2 billion in 2010, a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent. Symantec held 34 percent of the market in 2010, followed by McAfee and Trend Micro, respectively. The top seven vendors accounted for nearly 78 percent of the market, according to IDC.

Sourcefire believes FireAMP can compete with rivals' products through its use of agents installed on every computer to track file activity and send the data to Sourcefire servers. Once the data is analyzed, customers receive alerts and reports on suspicious behavior and are given the option of having Sourcefire remove malicious files. To help prevent future security breaches, FireAMP can help customers plug holes by reporting on how and where malware was installed, said Alfred Huger, co-founder of Immunet and vice president of development for Sourcefire’s Cloud Technology Group.

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FireAMP's starting price is $30 per seat annually. Resellers can handle sales, deployment, services, billing and renewals, Chris Peterson, senior vice president for worldwide channels, said. The new product gives resellers their first opportunity for recurring revenue from Sourcefire.

In August 2011, Sourcefire partnered with North American distributors Synnex and Computerlinks to expand the company's channel program into new markets. "These two distributors will carry most of the transactional business to all of the resellers in the territory," Peterson said. Columbia, Md.-based Sourcefire, which makes nearly all its sales through the channel, has more than 600 resellers.