IT security and control firm Sophos has announced Sophos Endpoint Security and Control 8.0, incorporating Network Access Control (NAC) technology to go beyond reactive and proactive anti-virus, to offer businesses complete preventive computer protection.

Sophos's first-to-market offering integrates anti-virus, anti-spyware, host intrusion prevention, application control, firewall and NAC to block viruses and spyware as well as ensure that computers are running authorised up-to-date software and adhere to company policies. This announcement coincides with preliminary research from Sophos which reveals that two out of every three corporate computers are failing to meet standards because they are running out-of-date anti-virus, missing security patches or have a disabled firewall.
"It has been historically difficult for IT managers to know whether their users' computers are safe, protected and compliant with corporate policies. NAC has been touted as the answer to this problem, but has often been beyond the reach of most companies in terms of budget and resource," says Brett Myroff, CEO of master Sophos distributor, NetXactics.
"Sophos is addressing this with Endpoint Security and Control 8.0, delivering preventive protection in a form that is simple to roll-out at no additional charge.  Its integrated NAC and application control technology gives administrators the confidence that all the computers on their network are updated with the latest security patches and are only running authorised software."
Sophos's claims are backed up by a recent survey from Forrester Research, which reveals that approximately 40 percent of companies surveyed have tried to install NAC, but only four percent were able to complete the implementation, blaming the excessive complexity of network-based models. “By integrating NAC with endpoint security protection, the new Sophos offering simplifies implementation, at last enabling the mainstream adoption of the technology,” Myroff says.
Since last year’s acquisition of Endforce, Sophos has integrated the core policy control and assessment capabilities into its flagship endpoint solution without requiring additional software license costs.  “The release of Sophos Endpoint Security and Control 8.0 not only demonstrates Sophos’s ability to execute much faster than its competitors, but also a continued commitment to reducing the complexity of endpoint security management,” he adds.
Sophos Endpoint Security and Control 8.0 delivers cross-platform preventive security and control for desktops, laptops, file servers and mobile devices. With this offering, Sophos is broadening its offering to also include policy control and assessment in a simple, cost-effective manner.
Specifically, it is able to identify managed, unmanaged and guest computers that do not comply with corporate security policies.  Endpoints are assessed by looking for those that are incorrectly patched or have the firewall disabled.  Customers can choose to configure automatic remediation to fix vulnerabilities before allowing network access or simply block non-compliant computers.
Sophos Endpoint Security and Control 8.0 requires no additional hardware investment.  One automated console provides a single point from which to deploy, update and report on anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, and NAC protection, detecting malware, adware, suspicious files and behaviour, and unauthorised software.
The release will be a no-charge upgrade for all current licensed Sophos Endpoint Security and Control customers.
Sophos's Standard Support, included with every Sophos license, gives customers 24-hour support, every day of the year, provided by a globally managed team. Customers can contact Sophos engineers for one-to-one assistance at any time.