Sophos Adds Encryption To Synchronized Security Strategy With SafeGuard Encryption 8 Launch

Sophos is building on its synchronized security vision with the Tuesday launch of an encryption solution that ties into the security vendor's endpoint and network offerings.

The Sophos SafeGuard Encryption 8 solution includes always-on encryption that follows files wherever they travel. For partners and businesses, the solution sets itself apart by putting encryption control back in the hands of security departments instead of being controlled primarily by the user, said Sophos Vice President of Global Channels Kendra Krause.

"It's really that next big step to advance next-generation security," Krause said. "It's a completely different look at encryption that we don't see anyone else doing right now, and it fits perfectly with what our channel partners are looking for and what end users' needs are."

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"We're now changing the whole mind-set of encryption," she said.

In particular, Krause said the new encryption solution addresses compliance needs around HIPAA, PCI and the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation requirements. Beyond that, Krause said there is a broader appeal for companies looking to protect their information in the event of a data breach.

There's growing customer understanding around the need for encryption technologies, said Michelle Drolet, president and CEO of Towerwall, a Framingham, Mass.-based Sophos partner. That is driven both by growing compliance regulations and general awareness around information security, she said.

"Organizations are understanding that encryption is key, no pun intended, to their information security program, the protection of their data and to help with risk mitigation," Drolet said. "We've been pushing disc encryption and now, having [Sophos] put that as part of their strategy, it's that other layer of protection."

SafeGuard Encryption 8 expands on Sophos' synchronized security strategy, which the Abingdon, U.K.-based company launched in November 2015, Krause said. Under the strategy, Sophos links together threat intelligence, detection and response capabilities across the network, endpoint, and now encryption technologies. By adding encryption to the "community" of technologies, Krause said organizations can improve their overall security, for example, by temporarily taking away a user's encryption keys if Sophos' endpoint security technologies detect a potential compromise.

"This is the next step in our synchronization," Krause said. "Now our encryption technology is speaking to our other technology and it makes it that much stronger and much more proactive than other encryption technologies."

Towerwall's Drolet said she already has "several customers" buying into the full synchronized security portfolio. That's a shift from in years past, she said, when customers focused on "best of breed," but often siloed, products. She said customers are looking for a single-pane-of-glass solution that has integrated capabilities to better mitigate security risk.

"That's where a lot of our customers are going now, instead of having all these different solutions," Drolet said. "Sophos is really early to the game with this synchronized security strategy, which is really awesome. … It provides that simplicity because everyone is doing so much more with less now. If we can take some of that burden off of the IT folks or security guys, we've helped and we've provided value."