Astaro to release end-point software ahead of Sophos merger

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Astaro to release end-point software ahead of Sophos merger

'God box' becomes legit.

Astaro will launch the first and last of an end-point client security product following its acqusition by security giant Sophos.

The software that manages devices such as USBs and DVD drives, made the cut because it was almost fully developed prior to the acqusition in May.

Astaro Asia-Pacific country manager Norbert Kiss said it was making a play for client security and will now integrate with Sophos’ established end-point solutions.

“We have had some very interesting discussions on client security,” Kiss said. “We do web blocking, and we will utilise that, we won’t shut down the product.”

“There are no clashes. We were making move into client prior to the approach by Sophos.”

Sophos bought Astaro, a US and German unified threat management provider, for undisclosed terms. Astaro had billings of US$56 million last year and claims 56,000 installations.

It will keep its name and will integrate Sophos’ client security. Sophos will incorporate Astaro’s security appliances.

But that move isn't a great one, said Richard Stiennon, chief technology officer of rival Fortinet.

“Sophos should avoid the pitfall of trying to couple all of their offerings into an ecosystem," Stienon said. 

"Their only chance to continue growing both aspects of their business is to focus on having the best possible [unified threat management] and the best possible end-point protection,” Stiennon wrote on a Forbes blog.

Others were more upbeat. Competitors Watchguard and NETASQ said it indicated the value of unified threat management, a sentiment echoed by Kiss.

“You’ll see more consolidation efforts in the next two years, Kiss said. “There’s been acquisition talks with other [unifed threat managers] so watch this space.”

He said the technology had undergone a “renaissance” and had become “far more legitimised” in recent years.

Astaro said it was the fastest-growing maker of such appliances in Asia but it faced competition from established giants Fortinet, Sonicwall and Watchguard that dominated the industry.

Kiss said Astaro will also for the first time have Sydney post-sales support through Sophos and will hire a few of its own to bolster headcount.

He said its channel partner program including its certifications were unchanged but it will target some Sophos resellers. “The significant investment in Astaro around the region will protect that. We will be very careful with channel.”

The buy came ahead of a cloud-based intrusion detection service that Astaro will launch in beta on July 21. It will analyse log files to detect anomalies using the Amazon EC2 cloud.

“It saves having to analyse 500 billion lines of logs,” Kiss said, noting the service could be run from data centres in Australia.

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia

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