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06 May 2011, 12:15

Sophos has acquired network specialist Astaro

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Sophos has announced that it has acquired the privately owned Astaro, a vendor and developer of network security products based in the US and Germany. UK-based Sophos currently offers anti-virus software and applications and services for data backup and encryption; it says that the acquisition will allow it to meet demand for complete layered security protection.

Astaro's speciality is unified threat management (UTM) where a single all-in-one device performs firewall, URL blocking and filtering, intrusion prevention and other security functions. Astaro produces hardware versions of its devices, but also offers software appliances for installing on existing hardware or deployment in VMs within virtualised or cloud-based systems. Astaro has 56,000 installations protecting business and government networks in more than sixty countries. In 2010, Astaro had a turnover of 50 million euros, up thirty per cent on the previous year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed by either party.

Astaro became known for producing the Astaro Security Linux distribution and was an active contributor to the Linux kernel. It renamed the distribution Astaro Security Gateway with only an "Essential Firewall Edition" free for business use. In recent years, the company has moved to mainly contributing to upstream projects rather than maintaining a Linux distribution. Astaro sponsors a number of open source projects such as OpenVPN, Netfilter and StrongSwan.


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