New Sophos CEO's Top Priority: MDM Space, Raise Profile

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The new CEO of Sophos says that it is incumbent on channel partners and companies like Sophos to make security more manageable for customers.

"Security has never been more important, more complex or more difficult for customers to deal with," said Kris Hagerman, who was named CEO of Sophos on Sept. 4. "We have to increase the manageability of security, and I think we have to deliver on this vision through our broad portfolio of products, each one of which should be world-class in its own right, and actually work better together and be easier to manage as a group. And that to me is one of the real exciting attributes of being here."

Hagerman has joined the company's board of directors and steps into the CEO role vacated by Steve Munford, who led the company for seven years and is now non-executive chairman of the board. Peter Gyenes continues to serve as a board member as its lead independent director.


[Related: Sophos Introduces Hosted Version Of It MDM Platform]

Sophos has a relatively well-established presence at the endpoint and also in mobile data protection, but it has moved to increase its footprint in the security arena by beefing up its mobile device management (MDM) offerings and adding unified threat management (UTM).

"Most of the spending in the MDM space is aimed at larger companies," according to Hagerman. "But it is quickly becoming an issue with companies of all sizes because of the world of the IT department dictating which devices will be used is now over. Every company realizes that they need to develop a strategy around this. In most cases, they do not have the circumstances fully evaluated, and this is a huge opportunity for Sophos and our channel partners."

Hagerman added that it is not enough for a security company to focus primarily on any one component of the overall value proposition. As the threats become more pervasive and multifaceted, the stakes rise higher and higher.

"There are so many different types of threats that come from so many different sources with so many different profiles," he said. "And a lot of it is effectively aimed at human behavior. So I think the challenge for a security company is how to decide how we can do a compelling job of protecting against all the different types of attacks and making that as simple to implement and to manage as possible because security technology also needs to be understood and managed by real human beings without becoming too burdensome with complexity. And that is where I think we have a heritage that differentiates us. That intersection and human behavior and technology lies right at the core of how we can better protect companies."

NEXT: Raising Awareness

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