Tracking the Symantec-Vontu rumors

Yes, we've heard the rumors today, and if Symantec does indeed pick up Vontu, it would be a notable (and very expensive) acquisition - but certainly far from surprising.

Because in this climate of industry consolidation (there's a major M&A every week it seems) and the rise of the data leak prevention [DLP] market, a Symantec purchase of Vontu makes obvious sense.

Symantec, which already is an OEM partner of Vontu's, certainly is no stranger to making an acquisition that fills a void in its product line. The security giant has bought more than 25 companies since 2000. This year has been a little quieter for Big Yellow than recent years, with Altiris (January) and 4Front Security (February) the only two deals consummated thus far.

But a Vontu buy certainly would more than make up for lost time. Vontu is the market leader for DLP and one of the first companies to catch on to marketability of solutions that prevent against insider threats.

Forrester researcher Bill Nagel thinks Symantec is lucky that Vontu is still in play, given how hot this DLP space is.

"The rumors have been swirling for more than a year now that Symantec would want to go beyond just having a partnership with Vontu and bring it under the banner of Big Yellow," Nagel told me today in an email.

"With McAfee buying SafeBoot on the heels of incorporating Onigma's solution into ePolicy Orchestrator, and with EMC having bought Tablus (one ILP vendor Symantec might have gone with had it not decided on Vontu), Symantec may be feeling the pressure to bring a ILP product into the fold. The one place Symantec doesn't want to be is behind one of its chief competitors on the integration curve."

Symantec, as one could've guessed, remained mum today, despite a couple of publications running stories on the speculation.

But don't be surprised if news of the acquisition hits the wire sooner than later.

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