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Sophos Group plc is a British security software and hardware company. Sophos develops products for communication endpoint, encryption, network security, email security, mobile security and unified threat management. Sophos is primarily focused on providing security software to the mid market and pragmatic enterprise from 100- to 5,000-seat organizations. Whilst not a primary focus, Sophos also protects home users, through free antivirus software (Sophos Home) intended to demonstrate product functionality. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Recently, Sophos has been working to develop home antivirus with business-class technology to detect zero-day threats without the need of signatures.

Sophos
Public company
Traded as LSESOPH
Industry Computer software
Founded 1985; 33 years ago (1985)
Founder Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer
Headquarters Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England (UK)
Key people
Peter Gyenes (chairman)
Kris Hagerman (CEO)
Products Security software
Services Computer security
Revenue $768.6 million (2018)[1]
$(46.1) million (2018)[1]
$(147.7) million (2018)[1]
Number of employees
3,122 (2017)[1]
Website sophos.com

Contents

HistoryEdit

Sophos was founded by Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer and began producing its first antivirus and encryption products in 1985.[2] During the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Sophos primarily developed and sold a range of security technologies in the UK, including encryption tools available for most users (private or business). In the late 1990s, Sophos concentrated its efforts on the development and sale of antivirus technology, and embarked on a program of international expansion.[3]

In 2003 Sophos acquired ActiveState, a North American software company that developed anti-spam software. At that time viruses were being spread primarily through email spam and this allowed Sophos to produce a combined anti-spam and antivirus solution.[4] In 2006, Peter Gyenes and Steve Munford were named chairman and CEO of Sophos, respectively. Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer remain as members of the board of directors.[5] In 2010, the majority interest of Sophos was sold to Apax.[6] In 2010, Nick Bray, formerly Group CFO at Micro Focus International, was named CFO of Sophos.[7]

In 2011, Utimaco Safeware AG (acquired by Sophos in 2008-9) were accused of supplying data monitoring and tracking software to partners that have sold to governments such as Syria. Sophos issued a statement of apology and confirmed that they had suspended their relationship with the partners in question and launched an investigation.[8][9] In 2012, Kris Hagerman, formerly CEO at Corel Corporation, was named CEO of Sophos and joined the company's board. Former CEO Steve Munford became non-executive chairman of the board.[10] In February 2014, Sophos announced that it had acquired Cyberoam Technologies, a provider of network security products.[11] In June 2015, Sophos announced plans to raise $US100 million on the London Stock Exchange.[12]

Acquisitions and partnershipsEdit

From September 2003 to February 2006, Sophos served as the parent company of ActiveState, a developer of programming tools for dynamic programming languages: in February 2006, ActiveState became an independent company when it was sold to Vancouver-based venture capitalist firm Pender Financial.[13] In 2007, Sophos acquired ENDFORCE, a company based in Ohio, United States, which developed and sold security policy compliance and Network Access Control (NAC) software.[14]

In July 2008, Sophos announced its intention to acquire Utimaco Safeware AG.[15] In July 2009, Sophos completed integration of Utimaco Safeware AG.[16] In May 2010, Sophos reached a definitive agreement to sell a majority interest in the company to Apax Partners, a global private equity group.[6]

In May 2011, Sophos announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Astaro, a privately held provider of network security solutions, headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts, United States; and Karlsruhe, Germany.[17] In 2012, Sophos acquired what remained of VirusBuster – a Hungarian antivirus firm – after the company had closed.[18] In April 2012, Sophos acquired DIALOGS, a privately held provider of mobile management solutions headquartered in Germany.[19]

In February 2014, Sophos announced that it had acquired Cyberoam Technologies, a leading global provider of network security products.[20] In October 2014, Sophos acquired Mojave Networks, a leading cloud-based security startup.[21] On December 14, 2015, Sophos acquired SurfRight, a small Dutch company behind HitmanPro to strengthen their endpoint protection products.[22] In February 2017, Sophos acquired Invincea, a software company that provides malware threat detection, prevention, and pre-breach forensic intelligence.[23][24][25]

CriticismEdit

In 2011, white-hat hacker Tavis Ormandy discovered severe vulnerabilities in Sophos' antivirus software. Sophos responded by saying that exploiting the vulnerability would require code tailored to Sophos' software and that writers of malicious software would be unlikely to perform such tailoring for an antivirus software with a small minority market share.[26] Ormandy published a 30-page paper entitled "Sophail: Applied attacks against Sophos Antivirus" in 2012 which concluded that the company was "working with good intentions" but is "ill-equipped to handle the output of one co-operative security researcher working in his spare time" and that its products shouldn't be used on high-value systems.[27]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Sophos. Retrieved 30 March 2018. 
  2. ^ "Sophos: the early years". Naked Security.
  3. ^ "Exterminator Tools". Windows IT Pro. 15 November 1999. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "Sophos acquires anti-spam specialist ActiveState". www.sophos.com. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  5. ^ "Sophos Management Team | Global Leaders in IT Security". sophos.com.
  6. ^ a b "Apax Partners to acquire majority stake in Sophos". 
  7. ^ "Board of Directors". 
  8. ^ "The Bureau Investigates article". Archived from the original on 4 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Statement from Sophos on Recent Media Reports". 
  10. ^ "Sophos Board of Directors webpage". 
  11. ^ "Sophos Acquires Cyberoam to Boost Layered Defense Portfolio". Infosecurity Magazine. 
  12. ^ "Sophos Plans $100 Million London IPO". 
  13. ^ "ActiveState Acquired by Employees and Pender Financial Group; Company Renews Focus on Tools and Solutions for Dynamic Languages". Business Wire. 22 February 2006. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  14. ^ "Sophos buys Endforce for network access control". Network World. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  15. ^ Adriaan du Plessis (2 October 2008). "Sophos completes takeover offer of Utimaco Safeware AG". ITWeb Technology News. 
  16. ^ "Sophos latest news". 
  17. ^ Robin Wauters (6 May 2011). "Sophos Acquires Internet Security Appliance Maker Astaro". TechCrunch. AOL. 
  18. ^ "Sophos to boost partners' profits with utility billing". Channel Web. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  19. ^ Emil Protalinski. "Sophos acquires mobile management provider Dialogs". ZDNet. 
  20. ^ "Sophos Acquires Network Security Firm Cyberoam Technologies - SecurityWeek.Com". 
  21. ^ "Sophos' Cloud Offerings Expand w/ Acquisition of Mojave". 
  22. ^ Wauters, Robin. "Sophos beefs up on online security, acquires Dutch security software firm SurfRight for $31.8 million". Retrieved 2 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "Sophos Adds Advanced Machine Learning to Its Next-Generation Endpoint Protection Portfolio with Acquisition of Invincea". Sophos. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  24. ^ "Sophos grows anti-malware ensemble with Invincea". Sophos. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2017-02-11. One may ask, if you already have great next-generation technology, why do you need Invincea’s technology?...Think of Invincea as the superhero that takes our ensemble to the next level – the entity that adds neural network-based machine learning to the team. 
  25. ^ "Sophos to Acquire Invincea to Add Industry Leading Machine Learning to its Next Generation Endpoint Protection Portfolio". Invincea. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  26. ^ Greenberg, Andy (4 August 2011). "Google Researcher Exposes Flaws In Sophos Software, Slams Antivirus Industry". Forbes. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  27. ^ Tung, Liam (6 November 2012). "Google security researcher: Keep Sophos away from high value systems". CSO Online. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 

External linksEdit