Security software giant Symantec is preparing to announce an acquisition of Vontu, one the largest remaining independent providers of DLP (data leakage prevention) software, which is used to control the flow of sensitive information across corporate networks.
Multiple industry sources have confirmed to InfoWorld that Symantec will soon announce a buyout of Vontu, perhaps as early as next week, which will significantly further the trend of consolidation that has played-out in the red-hot DLP space over the last year.
The deal also gives Symantec a foothold in the burgeoning DLP segment, also referred by some as the ILP (information leakage prevention) space.
The two companies already maintain an OEM business partnership, through which Symantec markets Vontu's DLP technologies to its customers.
Sources said that the proposed deal will have Symantec paying $300 million to $350 million for privately held Vontu, whose revenues are estimated at roughly $30 million per year by some industry analysts.
Symantec and Vontu representatives declined to comment on the reported acquisition.
DLP has become an increasingly popular sector in the larger IT security market as companies of all sizes look for methods to prevent malicious or unintentional distribution of sensitive data from their networks.
The technology has been pitched by its proponents as one of the few available tools for protecting against so-called insider threats, through which companies fear the loss of data like customer records or closely protected intellectual property at the hands of employees, business partners, or hidden malware infections.
Driven by a range of market forces, including compliance regulations and high-profile data exposure incidents, the niche has attracted the interest of nearly 40 different vendors seeking to cash in on growing demand among buyers, particularly large enterprises in highly regulated industries, such as the financial services space.
Among the deals that have already occurred in the DLP market are WebSense's acquisition of PortAuthority for $90 million in January, EMC's buyout of Tablus for an undisclosed amount of money in August, and Raytheon's acquisition of Oakley Networks for an undisclosed sum in September.
On Monday, McAfee, Symantec's closest rival, announced plans to acquire encryption and device access control specialist SafeBoot for $350 million. Industry watchers believe that McAfee made the deal to bolster its standing in the DLP market, which it originally entered via the acquisition of data leakage software maker Onigma, a far smaller vendor than Vontu, for $20 million in Oct. 2006.
Independent DLP vendors unsurprised by acquisition
Officials at other independent DLP vendors said that they were unsurprised to hear of the proposed acquisition by Symantec because the deal had been heavily rumored in the past and based on the company's existing partnership with Vontu.