Symantec Eyes Vontu as the Data Leakage Sector Stays Hot

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The data leakage sector is hot, which means companies that specialize in it are rich acquisition targets for the big, multi-purpose security firms that tend to swoop in and to fill out their portfolios with the technology de jour. Data leakage technologies -- which, as the name implies, seek to eliminate or limit the amount of information that accidentally or purposefully leaves an organization -- are vital as mobility increases and the sheer number of ways in which data can be lost or stolen proliferates.


InfoWorld reports that Symantec is on the verge acquiring Vontu. Symantec sells the firm's software, so the deal would consummate an already close relationship. There is never a dull moment these days, it seems, in the data leakage category. The story says that almost 40 companies are or have been in the sector. Key deals already done are WebSense's purchase of Port Authority's, EMC's purchase of Tablus and Raytheon's purchase of Oakley Networks.


The consolidation of the data leakage market doesn't mean that new companies are not emerging. This press release, posted at Dark Reading, says that OutProtect is the first company addressing data leakage in the software-as-a-service environment. The release says OutProtect's Downloaded Data Guard controls, monitors and manages files downloaded to a user's PC. Downloaded data also can be deleted if the employee leaves the company or if his or her laptop is lost or stolen. The technology can be purchased by salesforce.com customers through AppExchange.


Security categories also overlap. For instance, data breaches, while not synonymous with data leakage, cover much the same area. The long and the short of it is that both deal with information -- vital and otherwise -- that is lost by an organization. Data Encryption is a natural palliative for data breaches and data leakage, and it is climbing the charts in popularity. TheInfoPro says that Fortune 1000 companies have elevated encryption to the top priority for security projects through the middle of next year.


The InfoPro says that the top uses of encryption will be to guard wireless networking, Web applications, laptops and workstations and e-mail, instant messaging and other messaging applications. The release is a gold mine because it lists the names of 80 companies -- from the familiar to the obscure -- that are in some way involved in encryption, data leakage and related fields.


A blogger at Principled Security takes on the topic of data leakage from a professional's point of view. The writer suggests several products that are useful at different levels of the fight to track and protect data held by an organization. The first product mentioned is NetFlow. No product, he says, provides more insight into how information is moving within a network.


The writer than discusses egress filtering, e-mail encryption and "specialty products," such as those from Vontu, Vericept, Code Green, Reconnex and Verdasys. Finally, he briefly touches on deep packet inspection and default routing, but not in a way that will mean much to folks who aren't already familiar with the concepts involved.