Sophos purchase NAC vendor Endforce

Products integrated by mid-year

Antivirus firm Sophos has purchased US-based security company Endforce for an undisclosed sum.

Endforce, producer of software-based Network Access Control (NAC) products, currently has 60 employees based in Columbus. Product integration is expected to be completed by March 2007 when Sophos will release v3 of Endforce Enterprise rebadged under the Sophos banner.

Sophos will eventually integrate Network Access Control as part of tis endpoint security solution. Rob Forsyth, Sophos Australia managing director, said they will eventually embed Endforce into Sophos endpoint products so system administrators stay familiar with a single management console.

Forsyth said there is a large level of integration to be done, but by mid-year current subscriptions would be able to access the updated product.

"For companies not wishing to use Sophos tools but maybe want an agentless NAC then we can start with that entry point and move across over time ... We (Sophos) have been very successful in hanging onto the customers we have got, selling one product and then having them acquire more protection from us," Forsyth said.

"Having acquired Endpoint we have clearly entered the NAC market and find ourself in partnership with network equipment providers such as Lucent, Alcatel, Cisco and 3Com."

Robert Whitely, Forrester senior analyst, said the security market is gravitating towards offering NAC as a key security technology across wired and wireless networks and allowing remote network access.

Forsyth could not confirm the price of Endforce but said it was purchased from Sophos cash reserves, adding that the company makes for a good cultural fit within the organization and it is a highly credible technical outfit with smarts developed in the virtual private network (VPN) space.

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