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Sophos Adds Machine Learning with Invincea Purchase

Sophos has announced the intention to acquire Invincea and add machine learning-based predictive malware detection to its portfolio.

A provider of next-generation malware protection, Invincea’s endpoint security portfolio is designed to detect and prevent unknown malware and sophisticated attacks via patented deep learning neural-network algorithms. Its flagship product “X by Invincea” uses deep learning neural networks and behavioral monitoring to detect previously unseen malware and stop attacks before damage occurs, and will be fully integrated into the Sophos endpoint protection portfolio.

The deal is worth around $120 million, including a cash consideration of $100 million with a $20 million earn-out. Invincea CEO Anup Ghosh and COO Norm Laudermilch will join Sophos in key leadership positions. The Invincea endpoint security portfolio will continue to be supported and sold by Invincea and available via Invincea’s network of registered partners.

Invincea Labs, a division of Invincea that has been separately managed and operated since 2012, has been separated prior to the acquisition and is not part of this transaction.

Ghosh said: “Joining forces with Sophos presents the perfect opportunity to take our proven, advanced technology to a global audience and make it part of a comprehensive synchronized security system. Sophos is leading the industry in adopting and bringing to market this disruptive new vision for complete, advanced, and integrated security, and we are delighted to join the team and help make it happen."

“By adding Invincea to our portfolio, Sophos is executing on its vision to assemble the most powerful technologies to provide the very best, cutting-edge defenses for our customers,” commented Kris Hagerman, chief executive officer at Sophos.

“Invincea is leading the market in machine learning-based threat detection with the combination of superior detection rates and minimal false positives. Invincea will strengthen Sophos’ leading next-gen endpoint protection with complementary predictive defenses that we believe will become increasingly important to the future of endpoint protection and allow us to take full advantage of this significant new growth opportunity. We are proud to welcome the Invincea team to Sophos and look forward to introducing the benefits of this advanced technology to our customers and partners worldwide.”

Bob Tarzey, analyst and director at Quocirca, told Infosecurity that the announcement was “interesting”, as Sophos already makes far reaching “next-generation” claims for its endpoint security and gets recognition as a leader in the space, but Invincea must be adding something Sophos does not already have.

“This would appear to mainly be the machine learning,” he said. “So, yes, the acquisition of Invincea sees Sophos gain ground in a race where it was already among the front runners.”

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