Symantec Snaps Up Vontu

Symantec on Monday announced the acquisition of Vontu, a developer of data loss prevention software, for $350 million. The all-cash deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter

Symantec said the purchase will complement its existing portfolio of endpoint and network security, storage and compliance software and adds a critical component to its Security 2.0 vision.

Vontu’s data monitoring and prevention software stops confidential data from being sent outside the organization through e-mail, the Internet or via instant messaging correspondence. It also keeps confidential data from being copied to removable media or downloaded on local drives and provides a central platform for all policy management, detection and data remediation processes.

“In a business environment that is increasingly competitive, transparent and regulated, companies need confidence that their most valuable asset—information—is safe,” Tom Kendra, president of Symantec’s security and data management group, said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “Only then will security become more a business enabler rather than a business inhibitor.”

Symantec said the acquisition will results in a two-cents a share reduction in its fiscal 2008 earnings.

The data management and protection industry has undergone significant consolidation in the past few years.

Last year, McAfee made a similar purchase, acquiring privately held Onigma Ltd. for $20 million in cash to round out its McAfee Data Loss Prevention software suite. Two months later, security software maker Websense ponied up $90 million in cash for PortAuthority Technologies, a startup firm that developed information-leak prevention software.

IDC estimates companies will spend more than $3.2 billion by 2011 on software to prevent identity theft and data loss from corporate computers and databases.

Symantec shares closed off 15 cents a share, or less than one percent, to $18.36 ahead of the news and trimmed another 3 cents a share in after-hours trading Monday evening.

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