Sophos Extends Next-Gen Endpoint Security Push With Purchase Of SurfRight

Sophos is diving deeper into next-generation endpoint security with the acquisition of SurfRight for $32 million -- which partners say will add power to Sophos' new Security Heartbeat solution.

Hengelo, Netherlands-based SurfRight provides signature-less, next-gen endpoint threat detection and response as well as advanced threat prevention. Sophos says it plans to "immediately" work to integrate SurfRight technology into its line of endpoint solutions to be available for its channel partners.

"This is a great move that goes along with their road map of everything going to the cloud and their whole synchronized security," said Sam Heard, president of Lakeland, Fla.-based Data Integrity Services, a Sophos Platinum partner. "With these types of acquisitions, when you talk about the whole synchronized security and trying to catch the bad guy quickly and fix things faster, these are great for us. I'm real happy about them getting it out to the channel as fast as possible so we can take it to our clients."

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Sophos CEO On Knocking Out The Competition With Security Heartbeat]

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Sophos was on a mission to build or buy the best next-gen endpoint security products in the world, said Dan Schiappa, senior vice president of Sophos' End User Security Group, in a blog post Monday.

"After an extensive search, we found that … SurfRight actually had the very best technology that mapped to our desire for industry leading, next-gen endpoint protection," said Schiappa.

SurfRight owns real-time anti-exploit technology that detects and prevents the memory manipulations and abuses that allow malicious code to run in the first place, according to Schiappa. Its portfolio also includes anti-espionage technology and enhanced protection against ransomware attacks such as CryptoLocker.

Partners said the acquisition will enhance Sophos' new Security Heartbeat solution, which synchronizes threat intelligence and automation across endpoint and network levels.

"[Customers] are very intrigued, excited about the solution, and I'm seeing this positive feedback on the street level about the whole Security Heartbeat, synchronized security -- the endpoint talking to the firewall successfully," said Heard. "Clients are saying, 'Yeah, this is pretty awesome.' … [SurfRight] is going to enhance Heartbeat, so I'm very excited about it."

The endpoint security market is expected to grow from $11.6 billion in 2015 to $17.4 billion by 2020, according to a recent Research and Market report. The factors seen as driving market demand include the need to mitigate IT security risks, the growing trend of bring your own device, and the increase in the frequency of endpoint attacks.

Heard said Sophos is aggressively acquiring companies in order to capture more share in the fast-growing market and to keep pace with hackers.

In June, the Oxford, England-based Sophos revealed its purchase of Reflexion Networks to boost its offerings around cloud-based email security and support for managed service providers.

"The market is growing so quickly, so fast, that we sometimes want to tell Sophos to slow down, but for this market we have to be as proactive as possible with security," said Heard.

Sophos will retain all of SurfRight's employees and the company's office in the Netherlands, according to Sophos. SurfRight CEO Mark Loman will become part of the Sophos Enduser Security Group, reporting to Schiappa.