Sophos has announced that they will soon include endpoint data loss prevention functionality in their anti-virus software. Developed in-house, Sophos will have an independent offering – unlike Websense, RSA, Symantec, Trend Micro and McAfee (who all purchased DLP technology) and have integrated it into their product lines with various levels of success (or not).
The Sophos move to include agent DLP functionality for free is a breath of fresh air in a data security industry long known for long-winded, heavy-handed, clumsy and frequently amateurish attempts at exploiting the waves of data breaches into a franchise that would drive sales of products purchased from visionary DLP startups.
Sophos is known to be independent and may not be inclined to partner with other pure-play data security vendors like the network DLP company – Fidelis Security Systems. They may not have to partner if the play works well.
Beyond strategic speculation, the Sophos move should give customers a very good reason to ask why they should spend $80-150 for a Verdasys Digital Guardian agent, or $40-80 for McAfee agent DLP software.
If Sophos can do a solid job on detecting and preventing loss of digital assets such as credit cards or sensitive Microsoft Office files at the point of use, then free looks like an awfully good value proposition.
With the recent deal that Trend Micro did at Israel Railroads for almost free ($10/seat) for 2500 seats (Trend can’t be making money on that transaction); but free or almost-free is not a bad penetration strategy if it gets your agent on every desktop in the enterprise and you get footprint and recurring service revenue for anti-virus.
I know I will be taking a close look when the software is released.