Sophos Introduces XGS Series Firewall Appliances

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Sophos has announced new XGS Series firewall appliances featuring high performance and advanced protection against cyber-attacks, according to the company. The new appliances come with industry-best Transport Layer Security (TLS) inspection, including native support for TLS 1.3, that is up to five times faster than other models available on the market today.

Dan Schiappa, Sophos
Dan Schiappa, Sophos

“Sophos Firewall XGS Series appliances represent the most significant hardware upgrade that we have ever released and introduce unmatched detection, protection and speed,” said Dan Schiappa, Chief Product Officer at Sophos. “Security teams can no longer afford to overlook encrypted traffic for fear of breaking something or hurting performance – there’s too much at risk. We’ve completely redesigned the Sophos Firewall hardware to handle the modern encrypted internet. Security teams now have the ability to easily inspect encrypted traffic and shine light on what was once a black hole, and they can confidently do so without compromising on performance.”

Sophos has also published new research, “Nearly Half of Malware Now Use TLS to Conceal Communications,” identifying a surge in cybercriminals using TLS in their attacks. The increasingly popular tactic is used by adversaries to encrypt and encapsulate the content of malicious communications to avoid detection as they carry out attacks.

“TLS has undoubtably changed the privacy of internet communications for the better, but for all the good it’s done, it’s also made it much easier for attackers to download and install malicious modules and exfiltrate stolen data – right under the noses of IT security teams and most security technologies,” said Schiappa. “Attackers are taking advantage of TLS-protected web and cloud services for malware delivery and for command and control. Their initial compromise malware is simply the advance guard for major attacks, as they’re setting up camp for the heavy artillery that follows, like ransomware.”

Powered by Sophos Firewall’s Xstream architecture, XGS Series appliances deliver the industry’s best zero-day threat protection, identifying and stopping the most advanced known and potential threats – including ransomware. Protection is fueled by powerful threat intelligence, available only through SophosLabs Intelix and based on petabytes of SophosLabs threat data. Suspicious files are safely detonated in SophosLabs Intelix virtual environments as well as subjected to in-depth static analysis for additional detection coverage and intelligence gathering.

Sophos provides unique and intuitive dashboard visibility of TLS traffic and inspection issues, and security administrators can add exceptions for problematic streams with one click. Performance is also optimised out of the box with an extensive set of rules that are updated and maintained by SophosLabs to exclude safe traffic from inspection.

Sophos Firewall XGS Series appliances and firmware are easily managed on the cloud-based Sophos Central platform alongside Sophos’ entire portfolio of next-generation cybersecurity solutions. Solutions share threat intelligence and automatically respond to security incidents through Sophos’ unique synchronized security approach. Integration with Sophos Managed Threat Response (MTR) further boosts protection with human analysis for 24/7 fully managed threat detection and response.

Sophos Firewall XGS Series desktop and most 1U rackmount appliances are available for immediate purchase exclusively through Sophos’ global channel of partners and managed service providers (MSPs). These models are ideally suited for small, medium and distributed organizations as an all-in-one network security solution with a strong price to performance ratio and diverse add-on connectivity options. Additional models designed for enterprise edge environments requiring maximum throughput for more complex network configurations will be available in the coming weeks. Simplified licensing includes bundled protection with enhanced support.

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