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Sophos grabs ATP-thwarter tech firm SurfRight for $32m

This will strengthen its ‘leading endpoint protection technology’, apparently

Sophos has paid $31.8m in cash to snap up advanced threat prevention firm SurfRight, with the deal allowing traditionally conservative Sophos to integrate SurfRight’s signature-less endpoint threat detection and response tech into its line of endpoint security products and services.

The UK-based company claims the two sets of technologies are complementary and fit in with its synchronised security strategy.

“This acquisition will further strengthen [our] leading endpoint protection technology, by adding complementary new defense tactics, delivered either on premises or in the cloud,” according to the firm.

Synchronised security involves multiple components of security protection, including network and endpoint security, actively and continuously communicating with each other.

This approach is touted as a means to offer faster threat detection and a dramatic reduction in the time and resources required to investigate and address security incidents.

Sophos said its 15,000 channel partners will help push the combined offering.

Netherlands-based SurfRight has technologies designed to prevent, detect and remediate zero-day and sophisticated attacks by interrupting malware, focusing on detecting and preventing the memory manipulations and abuses that allow malicious code to run in the first place.

Sophos spent years saying mobile malware really wasn’t a problem back in the days where everyone had a Symbian handset rather than a smartphone, before offering antivirus technology for mobiles.

That scepticism was well-founded at the time. However, its reluctance to embrace the cloud and software-as-a-service were much more difficult to understand and probably cost it in the end.

But then again, Sophos was also a pioneer in offering free-of-charge antivirus scanners to Mac users, and its execs have been canny in the acquisition space as well as in floating the firm earlier this year.

Sophos’ technologies already offer behaviour-based analytics, malicious traffic detection that monitors attempted outbound connections to known bad URLs, and application reputation, which uses a "crowd-sourced" big data warehouse, the firm boasts.

Sophos pledged to continue development and support for SurfRight’s existing product line, including its HitmanPro malware scanning and removal tools, which is used by more than 20 million people worldwide. ®

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