Symantec Looks to Expand Reach of DLP with Vontu Buy

The Vontu acquisition boosts Symantec's attempt to move data loss prevention technology into the midmarket.

Now that Symantec has snatched up Vontu, the software giant is planning to bring data loss prevention to more than just large enterprises.

In a call with members of the media Nov. 6, Ken Schneider, chief technology officer of Symantec's Security and Data Management Group, said the company plans to broaden adoption of DLP technology beyond Vontu's existing enterprise customer base.

While offering no firm timeline for full integration between the companies' respective product portfolios, Schneider said the more than two-year OEM relationship between the two companies shows that their technologies can integrate nicely.

Steve Roop, vice president of marketing and products at Vontu, said the immediate plan is to begin pushing Vontu's existing data discovery and endpoint security products to Symantec's customers.

Symantec's announcement Nov. 5 that it would spend $350 million to acquire Vontu came after weeks of rumors about the purchase. The acquisition—one of several in the DLP space in the past year—is expected to close in the fourth calendar quarter of 2007.

"No matter what competitors may claim, no one else can offer the ability to define policies around sensitive information once and apply it across the endpoint, network and storage tiers," Schneider said after the call. "We have the opportunity to bring best-of-breed DLP to our solutions at the endpoint, network and storage to accelerate this already growing security market."


However, Amrit Williams, CTO of security vendor BigFix, said the Vontu/Symantec marriage has a few pitfalls if Symantec views data security as part of an overall strategy for enterprises. Symantec doesn't have the network security controls in its portfolio to provide a truly integrated offering, and Vontu's endpoint security product is immature, he said.

The acquisition "definitely puts them in the DLP game, but they have those two challenges," Williams said.


Click here to read more about Symantec's acquisition of Vontu.

BigFix licenses DLP technology from Provilla, which Trend Micro recently agreed to acquire for an undisclosed sum.

Schneider said during the call that companies need a policy-driven approach to security that focuses on information—knowing where sensitive data is and enforcing policies. The acquisition plays nicely into the Security 2.0 strategy the company has been talking about for months, he said, adding that Symantec plans to invest in research and development to expand on Vontu's technology.

Check out's Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK's Security Watch blog.