Sophos Exceeds Growth Expectations

Global security provider is set to build on its successes with forthcoming firewall and adware detection launches

Sophos, a world leader in protecting business against viruses, spyware and spam, today announced an increase in annual turnover of 19.2% to ?66.2 million for the year ending March 2005. Sophos has achieved year-on-year growth, ahead of the industry average, thanks to strong market demand for its integrated IT security solutions.

The growth comes from a significant number of new customer wins from both SMEs and large organisations, including Heinz, Marconi and Thales. Sophos has continued to build on its dominance in both the public sector – signing deals with Merseyside Police, the Northern Ireland Directorate of Information Systems and South Essex Partnership NHS Trust among other organisations – and the education sector, where Sophos products are used in more than 50% of schools in the UK.

Sophos’s growth looks set to increase further with the forthcoming launches of its new centrally managed client firewall and adware detection and removal products in this fiscal year. It will release significant new versions of its enterprise endpoint protection solutions, which will provide advanced virus, spyware, adware and firewall protection for file servers, desktops and laptops on a wide range of platforms. The company will also launch a cutting-edge solution for the Linux operating system, with on-access virus scanning and supporting one of the largest number of Linux platforms.

“Sophos is constantly innovating to deliver first-rate protection to all types of organisations – proving especially strong in the education and public sectors. Our impressive track record has made us world leaders in protecting business networks against the ever-evolving threats to IT security,” said Steve Munford, chief operating officer at Sophos. “The nature of threats is changing – we’re seeing more and more targeted, financially-motivated attacks against organisations. Our strong market presence and channel strategy give new customers confidence when deploying our software, while our impressive detection rates and good customer service play a big part in our high customer-retention rates.”

Sophos has restructured its channel strategy to provide its partner resellers with a dedicated point of contact, further enhancing its position as a 100% channel focused vendor. Resellers are also benefiting from more focused account management and more assistance with lead generation and renewal business, as well as additional training schemes and individual qualifications.

The last fiscal year saw Sophos’s global workforce rise to 925 employees – an increase of 26% on the previous year. It recently announced a major expansion to its UK sales team, with the appointment of 34 new employees since March 2004. Sophos has also recruited industry veteran Mark Harris as global director of SophosLabs. Harris previously worked at McAfee and brings more than nine years of IT security experience to Sophos. Other major appointments include Wendy Dean as vice president of engineering, Charles Southey as vice president of IT, Stuart Small as director of sales and marketing in the UK, and Steve Munford as chief operating officer.

SophosLabs, Sophos’s global network of threat analysis centres, is growing at a steady rate and dealing with increasingly complex threats. Sophos is also growing its development department, which has introduced several new products to the market this year.

Sophos’s enterprise range of software, which protects each entry point on the network, was launched in February 2005 and has already proved very successful. The company’s recently launched Genotype detection technology allows organisations to further reduce exposure to unidentified threats and unwanted content by the use of forensic analysis to identify suspicious patterns and characteristics that are unique to either a virus family or a spam campaign. Sophos’s most recent launch is the ZombieAlert service, which identifies infected machines that give control of the computer to unauthorised users on an organisation’s network. Sophos is the first vendor of its kind to offer such a service.

Sophos’s achievements have been recognised in several business and industry award wins in the last year. It won the 2004 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade and was ranked 35th in Business Week’s Europe 500 list. Sophos also received its 29th Virus Bulletin 100% award.

In 2005, Sophos has joined the Anti-Phishing Workgroup (APWG) and the Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) among other industry associations. Having been one of the first companies to attain spyware certification, Sophos now analyses and protects against more than 500 new spyware samples every month.

About Sophos Sophos is a world leading computer security specialist, developing software against viruses, spyware, spam and policy abuse. Headquartered in the UK, the company produces solutions tailored for businesses of all sizes – from small enterprises to global corporations. Sophos is acclaimed for delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction and protection in the industry. The company’s products are sold and supported in more than 150 countries and protect more than 35 million users.

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