Sophos has acquired privately held Astaro, a dedicated unified threat management provider. With this buyout, Sophos acquires Astaro's UTM appliance line to provide gateway security solutions.
British security firm Sophos has
acquired unified threat management provider Astaro to round out its networking
Financial terms of the deal were not
Sophos will be able to provide complete
data and threat protection for IT, regardless of device type, user location or
network boundaries, Sophos said on May 6. The combined company will offer
endpoint Web security protection and Web filtering with integrated policy
management and reporting on the gateway, Arabella Hallawell, vice president of
corporate strategy at Sophos, told eWEEK.
"The combination of Astaro's
comprehensive portfolio of network security solutions alongside our endpoint,
mobile, and email and Web threat and data protection capabilities will enable
us to continue to deliver on our vision of providing complete security without
complexity wherever the user and company data resides," said Steve Munford, CEO
With this acquisition, Sophos now has
access to gateway security solutions. Astaro's UTM appliance line is an
all-in-one box that includes firewall, intrusion prevention, URL blocking and
other security features. UTMs are designed to simplify security management and
are typically targeted for the small and medium enterprise and branch offices
of large corporations
Security solutions have been needlessly
complex, and enterprises are just not using them, James Lyne, director of
technology strategy at Sophos, told eWEEK. IT managers need to be able to just
say, "Protect my users" without fiddling with multiple options and policies,
Astaro was the fourth largest dedicated
UTM provider with more than 56,000 installations in over 60 countries,
according to Sophos. The company reported $56 million in revenue in 2010.
Hallawell said the combined company will be heading for $500 million in 2012.
Astaro is a "strategic investment into
the network security business," and will be "an adjacent and complementary
business" for Sophos, said Hallawell.
Sophos will continue its line of Web
and email security appliances. The vision of coordinated protection for IT
networks and users "goes far beyond" traditional gateway definitions and
includes using enforcement points across remote users, small remote locations,
branch offices, and central headquarters and cloud providers, according to
"The combination of our email and Web
security with Astaro network security solutions significantly augments our
gateway share and overall portfolio to customers," Hallawell said.
Research firm IDC estimated the market
for unified threat management was approximately $2 billion worldwide in 2010.
"Demand for network security solutions
with more comprehensive and high-quality protection is accelerating fast, and
yet companies are struggling with the complexity of multiple security solutions
to serve these needs," said Jan Hichert, Astaro's CEO. After the acquisition
closes, Hichert will report directly to Munford.
Sophos may integrate its network access
control technology with Astaro's UTM appliances to offer coverage for unmanaged
devices, Hallawell said. While a more detailed road map is not expected for a
few more months, Sophos will likely focus on real-time protection against
malware and malicious Websites in the short term, according to Hallawell. In
the long term, the combined company will "tackle big pain points" such as
protecting roaming users off the network. There are also plans for mobile
Around 220 people work in Astaro's
offices in Wilmington, Mass., and Karlsruhe, Germany. The Wilmington office is
near the Sophos Boston offices. Sophos will be reviewing the various locations
to determine whether any of them should be combined, according to Hallawell.