From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

IndustryComputer software
Founded1985; 38 years ago (1985)
  • Jan Hruska
  • Peter Lammer
HeadquartersAbingdon, England
Key people
  • Kris Hagerman
  • (CEO)
ProductsSecurity software
ServicesComputer security
Revenue$1 billion (2023)
US$109 million (2019)
US$26.9 million (2019)
OwnerThoma Bravo
Number of employees
4,400 (2022)
Footnotes / references

Sophos is a British-based security software and hardware company. 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.[4] 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 developing and selling antivirus technology and embarked on a program of international expansion.[5]

In 2003, Sophos acquired ActiveState, a Canadian software company that developed anti-spam software.[6] In 2010, the majority interest of Sophos was sold to Apax.[7]

In 2011, Utimaco Safeware AG (acquired by Sophos in 2008–9) was 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.[8][9] In February 2014, Sophos announced that it had acquired Cyberoam Technologies, a provider of network security products.[10] In June 2015, Sophos announced plans to raise US$100 million on the London Stock Exchange.[11] Sophos was floated on the FTSE in September 2015.[12]

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 US$3.9 billion. The board of directors of Sophos stated their intention to recommend the offer to the company's shareholders unanimously.[13] On 2 March 2020, Sophos announced the completion of the acquisition.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16][17] In May 2011, Sophos announced the acquisition of Astaro, a privately held provider of network security products, headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA and Karlsruhe, Germany.[18] At the time Astaro was the 4th largest UTM (Unified Threat Management) vendor and while the deal made sense at the time Forbes questioned its viability.[19] Sophos subsequently renamed the Astaro UTM to Sophos UTM. In November 2016, Sophos acquired Barricade, a start-up with a behavior-based analytics engine.[20] In February 2017, Sophos acquired Invincea, a software company that provides malware threat detection, prevention, and pre-breach forensic intelligence.[21][22][23]

In March 2020, Thoma Bravo acquired Sophos for US$3.9 billion.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2019". Sophos. Archived from the original on 16 October 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  2. ^ Novinson, Michael (18 January 2023). "Sophos to Lay Off 10% of Workers Amid Shift to MDR Services". Bank Info Sedcurity. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  3. ^ "Sophos is (officially!) a Great Place to Work". 8 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Sophos: the early years". Naked Security.
  5. ^ "Exterminator Tools". Windows IT Pro. 15 November 1999. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Sophos acquires anti-spam specialist ActiveState". Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Apax Partners to acquire majority stake in Sophos".
  8. ^ "The Bureau Investigates article". Archived from the original on 4 December 2011.
  9. ^ "Statement from Sophos on Recent Media Reports".
  10. ^ "Sophos Acquires Cyberoam to Boost Layered Defense Portfolio". Infosecurity Magazine. 12 February 2014.
  11. ^ Simmons, Jana (3 June 2015). "Sophos Plans $100 Million London IPO". Wall Street Journal.
  12. ^ "Sophos joins the UK's top public companies in the FTSE 250". 23 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Sophos founders exit before Thoma Bravo sale". Global Capital. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Sophos opens new chapter with take-private acquisition". 2 March 2020.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Sophos buys Endforce for network access control". Network World. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  17. ^ Wauters, Robin. "Sophos beefs up on online security, acquires Dutch security software firm SurfRight for $31.8 million". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Sophos Acquires Astaro to Meet Demand for Complete, Layered Security Protection". Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  19. ^ Stiennon, Richard. "Sophos + Astaro: Good companies, bad deal". Forbes. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Sophos Acquires Security Analytics Start Up in Ireland". Archived from the original on 1 January 2017.
  21. ^ "Sophos Adds Advanced Machine Learning to Its Next-Generation Endpoint Protection Portfolio with Acquisition of Invincea". Sophos. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  22. ^ "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.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "Thoma Bravo completes $3.9B Sophos acquisition". TechCrunch. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 7 April 2020.[dead link]

External links[edit]