Machine learning, AI next wave of business for Sophos India

Logo of Sophos
Post merger of the Ahmedabad-based network security brand Cyberoam, UK-based network and endpoint security provider Sophos, is now looking at growing its machine learning- and artificial intelligence-based security product portfolio in India.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) keep track of a user's normal behaviour and flag any abnormal activity that could be a potential malware or phishing attack, even as it prevents further damage, said Hemal Patel, Senior Vice President, Sophos, India.

This comes on the back of Sophos' recent acquisition of Fairfax, Virginia-based Invincea for $100 million, which now allows the former access to Invincea's endpoint security portfolio is designed to detect and prevent unknown malware and sophisticated attacks via its patented deep learning neural network algorithms.

According to Patel, with almost zero presence of such technology in India, the next generation machine learning, signature-less endpoint technologies in third-party testing including high detection as well as low false-positive rates could be the new wave of business for the global security player.

"We recently bought Invincea for $100 million which offers the machine learning as the quickest way to identify abnormal activity since it tracks behaviour and flag the user. There are almost zero players right now in India in machine learning and AI and we will be one of the first to offer. There are other players now who are close to launching the same. Globally, machine learning and AI is everywhere in network security," said Patel who founded Cyberoam from Ahmedabad.

In addition to newer technology, Sophos is also ramping up R&D activity, especially from India. Post merger, Sophos has been in the process of brand transition from Cyberoam to the parent brand. However, according to Patel, with Cyberoam being strong is some of the smaller markets like West Asia, Africa, South East Asia and India, the brand's customers and partners will take some time to transit to Sophos.

While the merger helped Cyberoam gain a larger market share, it gave Sophos a second operation base as well as an R&D base in India, said Patel. "For us, the next nearest competitor was far away at $300 million while we were at $20 million. The acquisition was a great platform to accelerate," he said.

Currently, 80 per cent of all customers in the regions of West Asia, Africa and India are of Cyberoam, while rest have moved to Sophos. "This year we want to make sure 50 per cent of customers transit to Sophos. It will, however, take two years to go before 100 per cent transition takes place," Patel added.

As on date, Cyberoam contributes significantly to Sophos' India business.

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