Sophos Claims Its Gaining on Rivals

At last years RSA conference, executives with anti-malware specialist Sophos said the company was intentionally flying under the radar as it put the finishing touches on a new integrated security strategy. A year later, the executives said the company is not only putting that plan to work but beating also its larger rivals out of deals.

The road map that Sophos leaders adopted—and were showing off at the RSA Conference here the week of Feb. 5—expands on the companys roots by moving from a provider of anti-virus applications to a provider of integrated enterprise security tools.

Sophos has launched a series of messaging and network security appliances and announced its first NAC (network access control) authentication system Feb. 6.

With this expanded product portfolio, Sophos claims to have increased its business in North America by 50 percent in its fiscal 2006—which ends next month—and company officials say that almost all those deals involved replacing technologies from Symantec and McAfee, longtime IT security market leaders.

With the Burlington, Mass., company focusing more on the North American market and widening its technology footprint over the last 12 months, customers are responding, said Ron OBrien, senior security analyst at Sophos.

"All you have to do is look at Symantecs most recent earnings and McAfees changing strategy to see that those firms are in a state of transition, while were providing a vital set of integrated technologies that enterprises are buying to replace those companies products," OBrien said.