Data Loss Prevention on the Menu in 2007

Some market-watchers think the DLP buying spree may slow down in the wake of moves by Symantec and others.

Trend Micro and Provilla; Symantec and Vontu; Cisco and IronPort—the list of acquisitions this year in the data loss prevention space keeps growing longer. But some market-watchers speculate the buying spree may soon slow down.

"The race is definitely on among larger security vendors to add content and behavior monitoring and data leakage protection technologies into their product lineups," said Phil Hochmuth, an analyst with the Yankee Group.

"The main security threat to an enterprises is shifting from external to internal; malware and worms getting into the network will always be an issue, but an organizations right now are replacing a bigger concern might be what the data or information is leaking out of the enterprise—whether inadvertently, or via insiders with malicious intent."

"Security companies shopping for DLP [data loss prevention] technology vendors will logically look for complimentary technologies which could later be integrated into a larger offering," he said.

But while Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Jon Oltsik said he expects more acquisitions in the DLP space, he added that with big companies such as Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro already aligning themselves with prominent DLP vendors, there may be fewer choice acquisition targets left in the market.


Read more here about Symantec's acquisition of data loss prevention specialist Vontu.

The DLP space has gained quite a bit of traction this year. According to a Gartner report, the content management and filtering and data loss prevention market is estimated to reach between $120 million and $150 million this year, up from $50 million in 2006. The report also predicted mergers between vendors and acquisitions by larger firms.


McAfee made a move to deepen its DLP capabilities when it announced plans to acquire encryption vendor SafeBoot last month. San Diego-based Websense made a play as well when it bought Port Authority Technologies for $90 million, and Raytheon Company, based in Waltham, Mass., which is best known a major defense and security contractor to the U.S government, completed its acquisition of Oakley Networks just a few weeks ago.

Derek Smith, president of Raytheon Oakley Systems, which is within Raytheon's Intelligence and Information Systems business, echoed Oltsik's sentiments and stated the moves by companies such as Symantec and others in the DLP space do not leave much room for future acquisitions. The difference between success and failure however is investing in technology that is not self-limiting, he said.

"The only approach that makes sense is to have a platform that looks at every vector," Smith added.

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