Sophos strengthens Mobile Intercept X play with rebranding, and new ChromeOS support

While Intercept X was available on most mobile devices previously, the branding has been made consistent, which should help partners with synchronized sales.

Sophos has announced the availability of Sophos Intercept X for Mobile,  formally extending their predictive deep learning technology which has been sold in endpoints for servers to mobile devices. Part of the announcement is essentially branding, as Intercept X has been sold for these devices already, albeit not under that brand. The mobile protection has been improved however, as part of the announcement. And while the Intercept X technology has been available for Android, macOS, iOS, and Windows 10 devices already, it is now available for ChromeOS devices for the first time.

“We are really introducing two things,” said Petter Nordwall, Sophos’ Director of Product Management. “One is a name change and the other is the latest version of our UEM management product in our central platform. Customers that buy our UEM product will have option of Intercept X for mobile, regardless of whether they have our management solution or not.”

Nordwall said that the branding was significant, and will help Sophos’ resellers, who are the company’s entire route to market, sell mobile endpoint security more effectively.

“The Intercept X technology has been in our Android product for about a year and a half, under the name Sophos Mobile Security,” Nordwall said. “This rebranding lets us market just one thing. We are collecting all of our leading next-generation offerings under the same umbrella to make it easier for customers, by marketing just one brand, on servers, on endpoints and on mobile devices. It reflects the view that ‘an endpoint is an endpoint is an endpoint.’ We are rebranding across admin consoles, the apps and app stores [Apple App Store and Google Play].”

Nordwall said that despite changes required to accommodate the specifics of the mobile form factor, the Intercept X technology is essentially identical.

“We are leveraging the same deep learning into mobile,” he said. “It’s not the same engine. Our endpoint anti-malware engine would eat the battery on mobile devices in two seconds. But the technology for the detection of unwanted suspicious technology is the same.”

In addition to the rebranding, Nordwall emphasized that the enhancements also involve a change to the user interface and administration.

Petter Nordwall, Sophos’ Director of Product Management

“We have updated all the engines and modes,” he said. “For customers, the user experience is better. The admin configurability is improved even if you don’t have our management product. It’s much easier to deploy our Intercept X for Mobile. The reporting capabilities have also been brought up to the forefront in terms of reporting on all security violations and taking automatic action, and integrating with other UEM products.”

The addition of support for Chrome security isn’t by itself likely to excite partners, but it is more significant as part of a broader sale.

“Chromebooks are a relatively minor component of the market, and focused on an education market that is traditionally heavily discounted,” Nordwall noted. “It’s not something that by itself will create much excitement among partners, but it is more significant as part of an overall synchronized security strategy. The Chrome piece comes into play for partners who sell Sophos as a synchronized security, who sell our firewall on-campus web filtering. This lets them deploy the  same policies for Chromebooks when they go off campus. So partners can use this as a tool to strengthen their overall Sophos offering.”

Nordwall said that even the branding change will be helpful to partners.

“Intercept X on mobile has been available, but in the channel in particular, any friction kills the momentum of that deal. This increases partner upsell capabilities because they can now offer these techs under the same name and the same branding. The branding will also assist in upselling around Windows and Mac.”

Intercept X for Mobile is available now

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