RealTime IT News

Webroot, Sophos To Offer Single Malware Protection Product

Perhaps it was inevitable. Two companies have finally joined forces to offer a single, integrated antivirus, anti-spyware solution.

Webroot, developer of Spy Sweeper, will license Sophos's antivirus technology for use in select Webroot consumer and enterprise products. Webroot will integrate Sophos's antivirus search capabilities into Spy Sweeper for a one-stop scanner and cleaner.

"By partnering with Sophos – another company that consistently provides only the best for their customers – our customers can be confident that they have deployed the best protection against the Internet’s most malicious online security threats with a single, easy-to-use solution," said Webroot CEO David Moll in a statement.

Webroot has received high praise for its spyware  detection, prevention and removal, while Sophos is an unusual choice, as it's not a consumer/retail vendor. Sophos focuses on corporate security, with emphasis on tiers like servers and email gateways.

Webroot said it spent six months evaluating various antivirus products – of which there are many -- and made its decision based on system impact, footprint and product performance, and it chose Sophos out of that crowd. Webroot also said it liked Sophos's commitment to research.

Sophos has a major antivirus lab and is often among the first firms to identify new viruses in the wild.

"It's an interesting relationship," said Ron O'Brien, senior security analyst for Sophos. "Sophos doesn't have a consumer product. So Webroot was looking for an opportunity to offer an expanded service to its customer base as opposed to just [catching] spyware. They thought highly enough of our product to offer it in their offering."

Creative Strategies President Tim Bajarin said the deal was a "plus" for both firms. "The stuff in Spy Sweeper is pretty solid and they've made a name for themselves in the spyware area, but it's logical to add antivirus into the whole package given the amount of threats these days," he said.

Webroot plans to have product in the stores in the coming weeks. The two companies will make an announcement later this month concerning the integration of the two products.