Sophos Arms New Security Suite with Encryption Technology

Sophos releases its Security and Data Protection suite, which combines several different offerings. Included in the mix are full-disk encryption, e-mail encryption and Web security technology.

Sophos is bringing together its e-mail, endpoint and Web security technologies in a new protection suite aimed at slashing costs and administration for enterprises.

With the Security and Data Protection suite, Sophos is combining several offerings: Endpoint Security and Data Protection, Email Security and Data Protection, and Sophos Web Security and Control.

Much of the emphasis with the release is in two areas. One is reducing complexity; the second is the integration of encryption technology Sophos acquired when it purchased Utimaco last year in a bid to challenge rival vendors McAfee and Symantec.

"The key message of what we're trying to announce is really that we're trying to take data protection to what we call the -mainstream market'-those customers who don't necessarily have a very sophisticated and very dedicated security staff," explained Rainer Gawlick, chief marketing officer at Sophos. "We want to allow them to be able to do data protection in addition to the traditional endpoint protection that they do today."

The encryption piece is a key part of the Endpoint Security and Data Protection offering, which leverages the full-disk encryption technology Sophos acquired from Utimaco. The company has combined that with device and application control of devices, malware protection, and network access control (NAC). Unifying all those elements is a central management console designed to reduce administration time by automating endpoint security and compliance-related responsibilities.

To protect data in transit, Sophos Email Security and Data Protection integrates Sophos' threat protection and content filtering capabilities with new e-mail data protection technology, including SPX Encryption. With the encryption technology, messages are automatically encrypted into an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) container and secured using one of a number of password management options.

The message is then forwarded to the recipient, who opens the encrypted package on his or her computer from any e-mail client and decrypts it via the supplied password.

The suite is rounded out by new Web Security and Control appliance models that block malware and unwanted applications as well as anonymize proxies at the gateway.

"We are witnessing an increase in demand from customers looking for a vendor whose solutions balance breadth of functionality with ease of management and who also provide trusted, expert customer support," Sophos CEO Steve Munford said in a statement about the company's earnings, which jumped 27 percent over last year to $270.9 million for fiscal year 2009.

In the short term, the acquisition of Utimaco gives Sophos a positive tale to tell about integrated threat and data protection, Paul Roberts, an analyst with The 451 Group, wrote in an e-mail.

"That's an attractive story and I think positions Sophos well to contest enterprise and large enterprise accounts compared with some of its close rivals (say: Kaspersky Lab) whose story about data protection and data leak is less developed," he wrote.