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IndustryComputer software
Founded1985; 37 years ago (1985)
  • Jan Hruska
  • Peter Lammer
HeadquartersAbingdon, England
Key people
  • Peter Gyenes
  • (chairman)
  • Kris Hagerman
  • (CEO)
ProductsSecurity software
ServicesComputer security
Revenue$710.6 million (2019)[1]
US$109 million (2019)[1]
US$26.9 million (2019)[1]
OwnerThoma Bravo
Number of employees
3,600 (2021)[2]

Sophos Group plc is a British based security software and hardware company. Sophos develops products for communication endpoint, encryption, network security, email security, mobile security and unified threat management. Sophos is primarily focused on providing security software to 1- to 5,000-seat organizations. While not a primary focus, Sophos also protects home users, through free and paid antivirus solutions (Sophos Home/Home Premium) intended to demonstrate product functionality. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange until it was acquired by Thoma Bravo in February 2020.


Sophos was founded by Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer and began producing its first antivirus and encryption products in 1985.[3] During the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Sophos primarily developed and sold a range of security technologies in the UK, including encryption tools available for most users (private or business). In the late 1990s, Sophos concentrated its efforts on the development and sale of antivirus technology, and embarked on a program of international expansion.[4]

In 2003, Sophos acquired ActiveState, a North American software company that developed anti-spam software. At that time viruses were being spread primarily through email spam and this allowed Sophos to produce a combined anti-spam and antivirus solution.[5] In 2006, Peter Gyenes and Steve Munford were named chairman and CEO of Sophos, respectively. Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer remain as members of the board of directors.[6] In 2010, the majority interest of Sophos was sold to Apax.[7] In 2010, Nick Bray, formerly Group CFO at Micro Focus International, was named CFO of Sophos.[8]

In 2011, Utimaco Safeware AG (acquired by Sophos in 2008–9) were accused of supplying data monitoring and tracking software to partners that have sold to governments such as Syria: Sophos issued a statement of apology and confirmed that they had suspended their relationship with the partners in question and launched an investigation.[9][10] In 2012, Kris Hagerman, formerly CEO at Corel Corporation, was named CEO of Sophos and joined the company's board. Former CEO Steve Munford became non-executive chairman of the board.[11] In February 2014, Sophos announced that it had acquired Cyberoam Technologies, a provider of network security products.[12] In June 2015, Sophos announced plans to raise $US100 million on the London Stock Exchange.[13] Sophos was floated on the FTSE in September 2015.[14]

On 14 October 2019 Sophos announced that Thoma Bravo, a US-based private equity firm, made an offer to acquire Sophos for US$7.40 per share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $3.9 billion. The board of directors of Sophos stated their intention to unanimously recommend the offer to the company's shareholders.[15] On 2 March 2020 Sophos announced the completion of the acquisition.[16]

Acquisitions and partnerships[edit]

From September 2003 to February 2006, Sophos served as the parent company of ActiveState, a developer of programming tools for dynamic programming languages: in February 2006, ActiveState became an independent company when it was sold to Vancouver-based venture capitalist firm Pender Financial.[17] In 2007, Sophos acquired ENDFORCE, a company based in Ohio, United States, which developed and sold security policy compliance and Network Access Control (NAC) software.[18][19] In May 2011, Sophos announced the acquisition of Astaro, a privately held provider of network security solutions, headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA and Karlsruhe, Germany.[20] At the time Astaro was the 4th largest UTM vendor and while the deal made sense at the time Forbes questioned its viability.[21] Sophos subsequently renamed the Astaro UTM to Sophos UTM. In November 2016, Sophos acquired Barricade, a pioneering start-up with a powerful behavior-based analytics engine built on machine learning techniques,[22] to strengthen synchronized security capabilities and next-generation network and endpoint protection. In February 2017, Sophos acquired Invincea, a software company that provides malware threat detection, prevention, and pre-breach forensic intelligence.[23][24][25]

In March 2020, Thoma Bravo acquired Sophos for $3.9 billion.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2019". Sophos.
  2. ^ "Sophos is (officially!) a Great Place to Work".
  3. ^ "Sophos: the early years". Naked Security.
  4. ^ "Exterminator Tools". Windows IT Pro. 15 November 1999. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Sophos acquires anti-spam specialist ActiveState". Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Sophos Management Team | Global Leaders in IT Security".
  7. ^ "Apax Partners to acquire majority stake in Sophos".
  8. ^ "Board of Directors".
  9. ^ "The Bureau Investigates article". Archived from the original on 4 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Statement from Sophos on Recent Media Reports".
  11. ^ "Sophos Board of Directors webpage".
  12. ^ "Sophos Acquires Cyberoam to Boost Layered Defense Portfolio". Infosecurity Magazine.
  13. ^ "Sophos Plans $100 Million London IPO".
  14. ^ "Sophos joins the UK's top public companies in the FTSE 250".
  15. ^ "Sophos founders exit before Thoma Bravo sale". Global Capital. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  16. ^ "Sophos opens new chapter with take-private acquisition".
  17. ^ "ActiveState Acquired by Employees and Pender Financial Group; Company Renews Focus on Tools and Solutions for Dynamic Languages". Business Wire. 22 February 2006. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  18. ^ "Sophos buys Endforce for network access control". Network World. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  19. ^ Wauters, Robin. "Sophos beefs up on online security, acquires Dutch security software firm SurfRight for $31.8 million". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  20. ^ "Sophos Acquires Astaro to Meet Demand for Complete, Layered Security Protection". Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  21. ^ Stiennon, Richard. "Sophos + Astaro: Good companies, bad deal". Forbes. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Sophos Acquires Security Analytics Start Up in Ireland". Archived from the original on 1 January 2017.
  23. ^ "Sophos Adds Advanced Machine Learning to Its Next-Generation Endpoint Protection Portfolio with Acquisition of Invincea". Sophos. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Sophos grows anti-malware ensemble with Invincea". Sophos. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017. One may ask, if you already have great next-generation technology, why do you need Invincea’s technology?...Think of Invincea as the superhero that takes our ensemble to the next level – the entity that adds neural network-based machine learning to the team.
  25. ^ "Sophos to Acquire Invincea to Add Industry Leading Machine Learning to its Next Generation Endpoint Protection Portfolio". Invincea. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  26. ^ "Thoma Bravo completes $3.9B Sophos acquisition". TechCrunch. Retrieved 7 April 2020.

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