Sophos Jumps On Cloud Protection Bandwagon

Dave Courbanou

June 9, 2010

Sophos is adding “Live” protection technology to their suite of security software. This cloud end-point security, like some rival options, is designed to deliver rapid, zero-day protection against threats and provide low overhead on systems. Here’s the story…

The biggest push for the cloud-based protection (other than low overhead) is that every computer is also simultaneously (and instantaneously) a source for detection of viruses and malware, Sophos says. If a new virus comes across one computer and is identified, every other computer using the cloud solution becomes aware, and thus, prevents the need for daily definitions and updates.

Here’s the quick rundown of what’s included in the Sophos Live cloud offering:

  • Sophos Live URL Filtering

  • Sophos Live Anti-Virus

  • Sophos Runtime Behavior Detection

I spoke with VP of Global Channels Chris Doggett and VP of Corporate Strategy Arabella Hallawell to get a feel for how the Sophos approach compares with rival options from folks like Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Panda, Symantec and Trend Micro. In particular, I’ve been watching Panda closely lately because of some cloud moves they’ve been making. Doggett responded:

“We’re not going to throw rocks at Panda [or other companies]. But look carefully [at our technology]. We’ve grown organically and carefully [and have] interrelated technology. Look at the scope of coverage and what services [they are] based on”

Sophos Live arrives at an intriguing time. A lengthy list of security software companies made major channel moves in May 2010. And Sophos itself was recently acquired by a private equity firm. But Doggett and Hallawell have reinforced an ongoing Sophos commitment to the channel while launching an MSP partner program.

At the same time, Hallawell has pointed out a market gap that could allow VARs to sell more endpoint security. Hallawell covers the point in this FastChat video:

Still, Sophos continues to face plenty of competition. Just about every major anti-virus company now has a cloud pitch.

Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri. Sign up for MSPmentor’s weekly Enewsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. And follow us via RSS; Facebook;; and Twitter. Plus, check out more MSP voices at

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