IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Sophos Rolls XG Firewall into Sophos Central

The update, which closes the last gap in Central’s support for Sophos offerings, allows partners to manage all of the Sophos offerings they use through a single consolidated management interface. By Rich Freeman

Sophos has built support for the latest edition of its XG Firewall product into its cloud-based Sophos Central management plane. The update enables partners of the U.K.-based security vendor to administer all of the Sophos security products they use through one consolidated interface for the first time.

“Being able to have all your security portfolio and assets on one single pane of glass is one of the biggest challenges of cybersecurity,” says Dan Cole, senior director of product management for Sophos.

According to Sophos, Central currently processes more than 8 million transactions a minute for more than 82,000 organizations worldwide. XG Firewall was until now the only product in the Sophos product catalog not manageable through that system, which first reached market in 2016.

Compatibility with Sophos Central applies specifically to the 17.5 release of XG Firewall, which shipped last November. According to Cole, partners who manage that product through the same console they use to administer Sophos web, email, wireless, server, and mobile device security solutions will be able to identify and act on threats more rapidly.

“When it comes to security, it’s all about reacting at a really quick pace,” he says. “Being able to put everything on one single pane of glass and respond is going to cut down your reaction time, which eventually is going to cut down your costs and your data breach interval.”

Adding XG Firewall to Sophos Central will also enable Sophos products to collaborate via the vendor’s Synchronized Security technology in new ways. For example, version 17.5 of XG Firewall can block lateral movement attacks. Integrating that system with Sophos Central allows organizations to tap into the Sophos Intercept X endpoint security offering’s artificial intelligence-powered detection and response capabilities to isolate and remediate attempted lateral strikes more swiftly and effectively.

Sophos added EDR functionality to Intercept X last October.

Sophos customers that use XG Firewall as a controller for the company’s wireless access points can also now automatically perform compliance checks on endpoints identified by Intercept X as potentially compromised, or temporarily prevent those devices from accessing the network.

For Sophos resellers, Cole notes, making XG Firewall available through Sophos Central creates new cross-selling opportunities. Intercept X users, for example, will now see a firewall management option in their console which they can click for access to a free 60-day XG Firewall trial license.

Previously, Sophos partners employed a separate cloud-based portal to manage XG Firewalls. Users of that older console system can employ a new menu section called Central Synchronization to migrate administration over to Sophos Central.

According to Cole, companies deploying new XG Firewall units will soon have access to “light-touch” provisioning capabilities as well. The added functionality will allow users to streamline the implementation process by presetting some configuration options through Central before plugging in the firewall and connecting it to the network.

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