Sophos has entered into an agreement to acquire Astaro, a privately held provider of network security solutions. Astaro, with $56-million in billings and 30% year over year growth in 2010, is the fourth largest dedicated unified threat management (UTM) provider, with a strong track record of innovation and a robust portfolio of feature-rich network security solutions.

The company currently has over 220 employees in nine countries spanning three continents, including a significant presence in the EMEA region.
Businesses today face unprecedented challenges in protecting users and IT infrastructure from more complex security threats, especially those brought on by mobile users, new application protocols and distributed networks.
There is a widening security gap for companies given the new rules by which users, businesses and IT operate. This acquisition answers unmet customer needs for better security co-ordination and effectiveness between users, applications and IT infrastructure.
“The combination of Astaro’s comprehensive portfolio of network security solutions alongside Sophos’s endpoint, mobile and e-mail, as well as Web threat and data protection capabilities, will enable us to continue to deliver on the vision to provide complete security without complexity wherever the user and company data resides,” says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa.
The market for multi-function security appliances has continued to grow because organisations of all sizes want better protection against security threats and need to support their users and distributed workplaces in a comprehensive and efficient way.
According to IDC, the market for UTM was approximately $2-billion worldwide in 2010, with a CAGR of 13%.
“Demand for network security solutions with more comprehensive and high-quality protection is accelerating fast, and yet companies are struggling with the complexity of multiple security solutions to serve these needs,” says Jan Hichert, CEO of Astaro.
“We are excited to join forces with Sophos, as we share a common mission and passion for providing the most comprehensive security solutions that are also easy to use. Together, we will deliver to customers the ability to apply consistent security and Web and application controls, regardless of where the user is or where the network boundary may lie.”
The acquisition brings two complementary security portfolios together to deliver co-ordinated protection and policy between the endpoint and network. By combining policy, security filtering and information known at the endpoint with the network, Sophos will be able to provide improved security and visibility along with integrated management and reporting.
Solutions will offer complete protection to meet complex threats and malware challenges, especially from the Web, applications and social engineering vectors that require full visibility and co-ordination.
The combination of Sophos and Astaro will offer their partners a complete and differentiated range of security solutions and services to meet customer needs.
Partners can deliver co-ordinated threat and data protection, and policy from any endpoint to any network boundary with solutions that can be deployed in any way: software, virtual, appliance, via a cloud services platform and backed by security updates from Sophos Live Protection for real-time, high-performance protection.