Sophos XG Firewalls are good candidates for mid-sized and distributed enterprises and those already using Sophos’ endpoint protection solution. Dedicated remote branch devices and an easy to learn management interface are also strengths.
Founded in 1985, Sophos addresses endpoint, network, encryption, web, email and mobile security. The company boasts more than 100 million users in 150 countries. It sells exclusively through a channel of more than 26,000 registered partners. It is headquartered in Oxford, UK, and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.
Sophos was graded a Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Its XG Firewall provides next-generation firewall protection that’s relatively easy to set up and manage. It blocks unknown threats, automatically responds to security incidents by isolating compromised systems, and exposes hidden user, application and threat risks on the network. Sophos also includes synchronized security (links endpoints and firewalls to enable them to communicate and share information, identify compromised systems and isolate them until cleaned up), a web application firewall, email protection, ransomware protection, phishing prevention, all firewall rules unified on a single screen, and a secure web gateway.
Security and performance: Good. The XG Firewall 750 blocked 93.5% of attacks in NSS Labs tests, but was ineffective against 9 of 180 evasion techniques. The device posted solid performance at 5,844 Mbps.
Value: Good. NSS Labs gave Sophos a pricier than average $22 TCO per protected Mbps. Customers see good value, however, as the company boasts an above average retention rate.
Implementation: Very good. Users report relatively easy implementation.
Management: Very good. Reporting and the short learning curve of the XG management interface get high marks.
Support: Good. An occasional complaint about responsiveness, but users appear generally satisfied with support.
Cloud features: Good. Cloud app visibility is a nice feature, and support for AWS and Azure is also available.
Markets and Use Cases
XG Firewall is primarily targeted at SMB and mid-market organizations, although its value proposition also appeals to many larger organizations.?It’s also popular in the protection of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) services running in Microsoft Azure and AWS.
XG Firewall integrates with its Sophos Central Endpoint and Root Cause Analytics solutions to provide deep analytics in malware attacks. Machine learning is also integrated into its cloud-sandbox solution, enabling better detection rates and lower numbers of false positives.
XG Firewall is available in a variety of hardware models with different levels of performance, as well as for virtualization platforms, as a software appliance for x86 hardware, and in Microsoft Azure and AWS.
XG Firewall integrates with Sophos Central Endpoint and Intercept X, which use agents.
Pricing starts at $249/year for the entry-level XG 85 appliance. Pricing depends on the performance and features required. The high-end XG 750 tested by NSS Labs sells for around $60,000.
For more analysis of Sophos next-generation firewalls, see our top NGFW comparisons: