Sophos expands cloud security service

Bill Lucchini, general manager of Sophos Cloud Group

Bill Lucchini, general manager of Sophos Cloud Group

Sophos Ltd. is continuing the development of its Sophos Cloud security services by expanding support to all Windows, Mac and mobile devices through its cloud-based infrastructure. The cloud service development is part of an ongoing effort by the U.K.-based security company to increase its capabilities and differentiate from competitors with hardware and cloud products.

The advancements in Sophos Cloud are more stepped than revolutionary. The service was launched in October 2013 as the first comprehensive endpoint security solution based in entirely in the cloud. Sophos billed its cloud service as a means for solution providers to extend support with greater simplicity to SMB customers. However, Sophos provided few details about the service’s capabilities of future direction; only that it would increase features and functionality over a 12-month rollout.

The “new version” announcement yesterday is Sophos’s first major step up in Sophos Cloud, in which it specifies security and endpoint management for PCs running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows, Apple Inc.’s Mac OS and unspecified mobile devices. In the announcement, Sophos says the improved cloud service includes activity reporting and licensing management and Web filtering, as well as the usual endpoint antimalware and spam protection.

“Sophos Cloud is a differentiated offering that enables IT professionals to simplify security management without compromising users’ demands for usability and performance. We continue to address the market’s desire for powerful simple-to-use solutions to combat the evolving threat landscape. Sophos security delivered with cloud simplicity is clearly resonating with our customers and partners,” said Bill Lucchini, vice president and general manager of Sophos Cloud.

For solution and managed service providers, the new Sophos Cloud includes a cloud-based management console that enable administration and maintenance of multiple accounts. Sophos bills its cloud service as a complement to existing managed service offerings or a standalone service platform for delivering security services.

Under CEO Kris Hagerman, Sophos is making cloud-based security a pillar in its growth strategy. Over the last year, Sophos has invested in the development of its cloud resources, as well as increased the emphasis on its hardware assets. Earlier this year, it bought unified threat management (UTM) vendor Cyberroam to increase its hardware capabilities. It’s also launched new encryption applications to safeguard data.

What Sophos is attempting to do is differentiate itself as a one-stop shop for endpoint and network security, providing it competitive distance from hardware vendors such as Fortinet and Dell SonicWall, as well as software security vendors such as Kaspersky Lab and Trend Micro.

Sophos isn’t the only security vendor leaning on cloud and managed security services as a catalyst for channel growth. McAfee is placing greater emphasis on facilitating and supporting managed security services built on its platform. And AVG Technologies is providing a comprehensive cloud-based security services, CloudCare, to the channel to support small businesses.

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