Sophos combines endpoint security and UTM

Security firm Sophos combines endpoint protection and unified threat management (UTM) products into a single physical or virtual appliance

Security supplier Sophos has combined its endpoint protection and unified threat management (UTM) products into a single physical or virtual appliance.

Sophos claims UTM 9 will cut the time and resources IT teams have to spend on configuring multiple-point solutions by providing a single policy management console for all endpoint devices.

The move, which comes a year after Sophos acquired enterprise firewall and UTM firm Astaro, recognises that mobile devices severely complicate endpoint management, according to Charles Kolodgy, research vice-president at IDC.

"As the complexities of securing all networks have grown, so have the struggles for businesses to get the best out of the many point security solutions they have purchased," he said.

"UTMs have been an increasingly popular way to address this problem, but until now, they haven’t been complete."

The UTM market pushed past the $1bn mark in 2011, due in large part to budget-conscious customers, product additions to UTM devices and the appliance’s overall support of network consolidation and compliance mandates, according to research firm Gartner.

IDC research shows that, in the first quarter of 2012, the UTM market represented 28.5% of security appliance revenues, following 12.2% year-over-year growth.  

This trend presents opportunities for VARs that partner with suppliers offering these kinds of solutions, according to IDC.

Sophos is billing UTM 9 as the means for time-strapped IT managers to keep their organisations' endpoints, network and data safe from threats, regardless of location or device.

UTM 9 uses the cloud to secure and monitor staff wherever they are, and extend security gateways to deploy and manage endpoint protection as well as device control. Secure access to corporate applications is provided by an HTML5 VPN portal.

The new product manages internet access for guests and visitors with customisable wireless hotspots. Sophos claims that, with the advent of bring your own device (BYOD), organisations struggle to provide simple and secure guest wireless access. 

UTM 9 also integrates e-mail and web traffic scanning using Sophos’s antivirus technology and a second commercial engine from Avira to protect against zero-day attacks.

Craig Tait, senior consultant at security management firm Third-I International said: “With Sophos UTM, our IT managers can securely connect employees from anywhere or any device without having to worry about compatibility issues, without having to worry about 'connect anywhere' issues.”

“By integrating endpoint into the gateway and keeping it simple, we can keep our network hacker-free and our employees productive," Tait added.

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