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Complexity is the enemy of security: Sophos in Malaysia

AvantiKumar | Sept. 25, 2014
Project Galileo is simplifying security for companies, says Sophos's UK-headquartered CTO Gerhard Eschelbeck, while speaking in Kuala Lumpur.

Gerhard Eschelbeck CTO & VP, Sophos 

Photo - Gerhard Eschelbeck, Chief Technology Officer & Senior Vice President, Sophos


Sophos has embarked on Project Galileo to hide the complex business of security and to simplify the task of securing information for mid market organisations, said the UK headquartered security solutions provider.

While in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a Southeast Asian tour announcing a major market refresh of network security hardware, Sophos's chief technology officer & senior VP, Gerhard Eschelbeck, said: "Complexity is the enemy of security and that Malaysian small and medium businesses need the same level of security as enterprises."

"Sophos's philosophy is to offer comprehensive and effective security as a complete system. Security is complex: but we need to make security simpler. Making security simple is hard," Eschelbeck said.

"We recently announced Project Galileo, which introduces 4-D security. Today, we have two dimensions: incoming data onto device and monitoring application behaviour," he said. "The third dimension is to manage what is going out while the fourth dimension is the ability to identify suspicious events."

"The goal of Project Galileo is to make security simpler for businesses," he said. "Our system hides a complex layered security including next generation endpoint, network security, server lockdown and the Sophos Cloud."

Eschelbeck said acquisitions such as Indian UTM (unified threat management) specialist Cyberoam was part of the roadmap for Project Galileo. "Sophos sees great potential in the UTM sector especially in Southeast Asia: and Project Galileo includes unifying and integrating Cyberoam's systems into Sophos's system, which includes putting them all under one Brand by sometime next year. In essence, Galileo is a set of extensions of existing products into a unified system."

"Blind spots occur from focusing only on the network or the endpoint. Sophos has the advantage of being able to offer and work at different points," he said. "The result of this integration is that the correlation of monitoring information will lead to better security detection," he said. "The heightened visibility from bringing different layers together and applying analytics of events is automatic, real time, and at machine level.

 SMBs: the sweet spot

"High end enterprises may have security specialists, but our 'sweet spot' is the mid-market which often have multi-tasking IT staff who may not be have focused security expertise," he said.

"SMBs [small and medium businesses] in Malaysia increasingly ride on technology trends such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and cloud computing for productivity, while mid-sized organisations struggle with data overload and not knowing what security solutions best fits their needs," said Eschelbeck.

"Such technologies introduce new attack vectors and security risks for SMBs and mid-sized organisations, as their security management and awareness remain nascent," he said.

Eschelbeck also cited a Sophos survey, conducted by Ponemon Institute, which surveyed 2,000 respondents globally, two main challenges SMBs face in maintaining their security posture are insufficient budgets (42 percent) and lack of in-house expertise (33 percent). Many SMBs also do not have a clear owner responsible for cybersecurity.

"The new Sophos SG Series will prove to be a good return-on-investment, as it is not only affordable, makes up for their lack of IT expertise and saves time with easy and flexible deployment," said Eschelbeck, adding that the Sophos SG Series appliances run the latest Sophos UTM 9.2 operating system, featuring more than 150 enhancements including new Advanced Threat Protection and SPX Email Encryption functionality.

Version 9.2 can also be deployed on Intel compatible servers as virtual appliances and in the cloud using Amazon Web Services, he said.

 Sabah implements Sophos

"The new SG Series appliances are the fastest and most flexible UTM and Next-Gen Firewall devices we've ever produced, as proven in recent independent testing," added Eschelbeck. "Sophos has been able to see dramatic performance improvements by unlocking Intel's core processor capabilities to make fast, intelligent decisions."

Being the 6th generation of Sophos security gateways, the SG series includes models that meet the requirements of small offices to distributed enterprises. These 1U appliances are available in the mid-range 200, 300 and 400 models. They all deliver more than 10 Gbit/sec firewall throughput to easily handle the demands of multi-layered protection.

"Security is a hot sector and people with the strongest technology security vision can capture the market, he said. Mobile has been tremendous in the last two years and the next wave is on cloud technologies and IoT [Internet of Things] in the next three to five years," he said.

The new SG series appliances mark a significant step forward for Sophos unified threat management (UTM) offerings, which have benefitted many small to large organisations including government agencies to enhance security on their network, said Eschelbeck.

Eschelbeck said Malaysian customers informed about Project Galileo and the new SG appliances portfolio in a customer event earlier that day had received the news positively. "Our Malaysian customers were excited and told us they have been asking for this approach for years."

 "The integrated functionalities of Sophos UTM have allowed the Sabah State Computer Services Department to implement a defense-in-depth strategy to protect IT systems and data with multiple security technologies," said Dr. Mingu Jumaan, director of Sabah State Computer Services Dept. and Sabah State's chief IT security officer.

The 200, 300, 400 and 500 models of SG series are now available from Sophos authorised distributors and resellers, and 100 models will be available from October 2014.


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