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CONFIRMED: Sophos shifting threat response work to India

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Updated Sophos has confirmed it is moving the "majority of its [computer security] threat response work" to India.

The Register got wind of the change from an anonymous tipster who told us SophosLabs is shifting away all of its frontline operations to India after it acquired Cyberoam there in February this year.

In a statement, Sophos claimed the moving of key tech-support roles to India was part of its global growth that enabled it to offer around-the-clock tech response.

It added that it is looking to increase the workforce of SophosLabs, which has centres scattered over the world, though it would not provide numbers. The company told us:

The SophosLabs team plays a pivotal role at Sophos, and we are fortunate in that our growth in the past year has allowed us to make a significant additional investment in that area of the business. Our overall head count budget plan for the labs this year is up 25 per cent and we are actively hiring in all of our global labs locations.

As part of this investment, we are making a number of enhancements to the Threat Response team within SophosLabs to improve our ability to focus on the increasingly important tasks of proactive detection development, complex investigation, threat intelligence gathering, and technology innovations.

SophosLabs is already a global operation, with offices around the world following a 24/7 follow the sun model. With the Cyberoam acquisition earlier this year, we are now able to add India as an additional labs location. The new team, which will be based in our Cyberoam office in Ahmedabad, will assume responsibility for the majority of Threat Response work – including responding to email spam outbreaks and adding detection for malicious files reported by customers – and will operate in a 24/7 capacity.

The more advanced and complex cases will continue to be escalated to and handled by our existing Threat Research teams in the UK, Hungary, Canada and Australia, which will continue to grow and focus on specific areas of threat.

The new office will process malware samples from customers and deal with the entire spam side of the internet security firm's business, our source told us. "UK/HU/CA/AU [UK, Hungary, Canada and Australia] labs will all be taken off the frontline, and 'theoretically' given more time to work on generics, but no one is under any illusions," the tipster claimed.

Sophos acquired Indian-based network security products firm Cyberoam Technologies back in February. Cyberoam specialises in developing Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances that offer a range of security functions including firewall, web filtering and much more in one box. The class of kit has been around for years and is aimed at mid-sized business and branch offices.

Sophos started off life in Oxfordshire, England, as an antivirus supplier to businesses back in 1985.

These days it runs from two main headquarters: in Burlington, Massachusetts, and Oxfordshire. Between them, they coordinate the development, marketing and sales of a wide range of web, mobile and network security products and services. Global private equity group Apax Partners acquired a majority stake in Sophos back in 2010.

Updated

The firm has been in touch to say that there would be "no job losses in the UK or any of the existing labs" as a result of the shift. ®

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