Sophos takes first step in rolling out cloud security strategy

Sophos today leapt forward with a cloud strategy under which it will deliver integrated management and policy enforcement for its endpoint security software and unified threat management (UTM) firewall through a cloud-based console for both its enterprise customers and industry partners.

To start, Sophos has brought its Windows-based security and anti-malware endpoint products into this cloud-based management system, and over the next few months, its Apple Macintosh, mobile security and UTM firewall will gain cloud support.

[GARTNER:Start security monitoring in the public cloud]

Sophos Cloud will allow for uniform policies to be applied to device and application controls as well as Web-based access control, according to CTO Gerhard Eschelbeck.

He notes that Sophos Cloud is available as an option for customers, as the traditional on-premises management console will still be available as well. But the cloud-based management, which relies on an updated client agent, will offer a level of integration not available before.

"Mostly, we expect Sophos customers will phase Sophos Cloud into their environments," says Eschelbeck. However, he noted that it's not possible to share cloud information with customer on-premises management.

With Sophos Cloud, there is no server setup and the service is deployed at once.

"Small and medium-sized businesses are especially challenged regarding IT security," says Charles Kolodgy, research vice president at IDC. Sophos Cloud is intended to assist SMBs in particular because it will "remove some of the complexity tied to security management," he adds.

Sophos Cloud pricing is $25 per user for an annual subscription of 50 to 100 users, while volume discounts would also apply.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail:

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