Just a week after acquiring Braintrace to Boost Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem, Sophos has announced yet another acquisition. The endpoint security leader has acquired Refactr, a security firm that develops and markets a versatile DevSecOps automation platform that bridges the gap between DevOps and cybersecurity.
Refactr launched in 2017 and is a privately held company based in Bellevue, Washington.
As DevOps and security teams continue to adopt “IT-as-Code” approaches to managing their environments, Refactr’s ability to automate any of these processes enables teams to scale. For example, with Refactr’s platform, DevOps teams can augment existing continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous deployment (CI/CD) workflows, and cybersecurity teams can leverage the platform’s visual drag and drop builder. Refactr has leading customers in both the private and government/public sectors, including the Center for Internet Security and the U.S. Air Force’s Platform One.
Sophos is optimizing Refactr’s DevSecOps automation platform to add Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR) capabilities to its Managed Threat Response (MTR) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions. The SOAR capabilities will also help automate Sophos’ Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem, which underpins all of Sophos’ product solutions, services, threat intelligence, and data lake.
According to Gartner®, “the security technology market, in general, is in a state of overload, with pressure on budgets, staff shortages and too many point solutions. Customers often cite problems with an overload of events or alerts, complexity and duplication of tools. As a general practice, automation promises to solve many of these problems and, in cybersecurity, SOAR is the primary vehicle for this functionality.”1 Gartner further notes that “proposed use cases for SOAR include everything from the automation of rote SOC tasks to the streamlining of niche and complex workflows. With appropriate preparation, the commitment of the right skills and resources, and careful use-case-centric planning, SOAR can deliver on the promises of reduced event overload, increased detection accuracy, team scalability, reduced time to detection and overall better security operations.”2
Sophos’ Active Adversary Playbook 2021 has identified clear correlations among the top five tools used by adversaries that IT administrators and security professionals use in their everyday tasks. The report also revealed that 37 attack groups used more than 400 different tools between them. The median attacker dwell time before detection was 11 days, providing attackers with up to 264 hours for malicious activity, from lateral movement, reconnaissance, credential dumping, data exfiltration, and more. Early detection and response through automation can help minimize these statistics and improve security against attackers who are constantly looking for new ways to gain entry and a foothold.
“First-generation SOAR solutions have moved our industry forward in significant ways, but we’re now witnessing an evolution where more and more businesses are becoming software companies, and our security solutions need to evolve in parallel. As we’ve seen in recent supply-chain incidents, attackers are increasingly targeting software development pipelines, and defenders need the ability to shift further left of attackers. The industry needs SOAR to mature into more capable and generalizable DevSecOps solutions, and Sophos’ acquisition of Refactr will help us lead the way,” said Joe Levy, chief technology officer, Sophos. “With Refactr, Sophos will fast track the integration of such advanced SOAR capabilities into our Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem, the basis for our XDR product and MTR service. We will provide a full spectrum of automated playbooks for our customers and partners, from drag-and-drop to fully programmable, along with broad integrations with third-party solutions through our technology alliances program to work with today’s diverse IT environments.”
Sophos will continue to develop and offer Refactr’s platform to their existing and growing base of partners and organizations that want to build customized IT and security automations for themselves and for their customers. Refactr’s Community Edition will continue to be available as well.
“We created the Refactr platform so that every organization can deliver effective DevSecOps through holistic security-first automation. Our platform was purpose-built to be versatile, interoperable and easy to use. Cybersecurity teams can now collaborate with DevOps to easily build complicated IT automation and security integrations through DevSecOps pipelines,” said Michael Fraser, CEO and co-founder, Refactr. “Our mission is to enable DevSecOps to become the modern approach to automation, where cybersecurity use cases like SOAR, XDR, compliance, cloud security, and Identity and Access Management (IAM) become building blocks for DevSecOps solutions. We are already seeing success in providing organizations our emerging technology, including the Center for Internet Security and the U.S. Air Force. We are proud of what we accomplished at Refactr, and excited for the next part of our journey with Sophos to help create a more secure world through DevSecOps.”
Refactr’s entire team of team of developers and engineers have joined Sophos. In addition to the continued offering of the Refactr platform, Sophos plans to begin offering SOAR options by early 2022.