Sophos Acquires Cyberoam to Boost Layered Defense Portfolio

“We agree that this is a great opportunity for everyone - customers, channel partners and colleagues - because, in straight-talking business terms, the transaction results in two highly successful companies joining forces,” said Paul Ducklin, a Sophos security researcher, in a blog.

But, he also explained that adding the India-based company to the portfolio will allow Sophos to better thwart security attacks that exploit a broad range of security vectors at once – a tactic increasingly used by cyber-attackers.

Using the Target breach as an example, he noted that the perpetrators relied on insecure remote login practices by a third party, poor or no network segregation, weak security in an application that gave high privileges but with a hard-wired, well-known password, and poor or no change control on cash registers, allowing them to be infected with data stealing malware, again apparently without triggering any alarms.

Sophos already has a suite of products that offer a "defense in depth" strategy, which is the concept of ensuring that cyber-attackers can only get into a network if they can bypass multiple defensive layers, one-by-one, without being spotted at any stage. Cyberoam provides more layers in the form of SIEM, and with granular, user-based network security control. Taken in total, breaches like that at Target will be increasingly difficult, he said.

“SIEM…means that you take all of the logging data that you or your software invariably collects anyway, and actually do something with it that helps you catch attackers before, during, or at worst shortly after, an attempt at incursion,” Ducklin explained.

According to a blog from Kris Hagerman, CEO at Sophos, the combined companies will have an increased presence in high-growth areas of the security market: “The acquisition expands and accelerates our network security roadmap to grow our presence in UTM, advanced persistent threat protection, wireless and next generation firewall – some of the fastest growing markets in all of IT. This also continues our focus of providing exciting opportunities to grow our channel partners and customers.”

According to IDC, the UTM market is approximately $2.5 billion and growing at 20% per year.

“Both Cyberoam and Sophos are performing very well in the UTM market, and outgrowing our competitors. But our ambition is to become a much larger player in network security – not only in UTM, but in a number of exciting adjacent markets that are growing as fast or even faster,” Hagerman said.

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