Security Experts:

Sophos Completes Acquisition of Astaro

Sophos has completed its acquisition of network security vendor Astaro, a deal that will enable Sophos to deliver endpoint protection combined with Unified Threat Management solutions.

The acquisition, which was announced on May 6, 2011, will enable Sophos to:

• Combine Astaro's network security with Sophos' threat expertise. The initial integration with the Astaro Security Gateway and Sophos Anti-Virus will bring real-time protection against malware using Sophos Live Protection infrastructure, an architecture for real-time updates to users in offices anywhere around the globe, and Sophos Web protection, real-time blocking of malicious websites via SophosLabs Web reputation systems; which classify over 50,000 infected Web pages every day.

• Allow central management of anti-malware, Web and data control policies across endpoint, mobile and network enforcement points -- including consumer-owned mobile devices and branch, home or remote offices.

• Provide Sophos partners with access to the full network security portfolio including capabilities for protecting branch offices, log management and a network security gateway. Astaro partners will have the opportunity to become Sophos partners.

"We founded Astaro with the mission of bringing network security products to organizations of all sizes and accomplished this goal by creating easy-to-use, Unified Threat Management solutions that addressed several facets of network security. However, as the threat landscape continued to evolve it became clear that gateway security alone would no longer be sufficient to effectively secure a network," said Jan Hichert, Astaro co-founder and CEO, and now Sophos' Senior Vice President and General Manager, Network Security.

Astaro is the fourth largest dedicated unified threat management (UTM) provider with over 56,000 installations in over 60 countries. The company currently has more than 220 employees in nine countries spanning three continents, including a significant presence in the EMEA region.

The market for multi-function security appliances has continued to grow because organizations of all sizes want better protection against security threats and need to support their users and distributed workplaces in a comprehensive, easy to use, efficient way. According to IDC, the market for unified threat management was approximately $2 billion worldwide in 2010, with a CAGR of 13% 2010-2014.

In May 2010, private equity firm Apex Partners acquired a majority stake in Sophos in a deal reportedly valuing the company at $830 million.

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