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Symantec plans to acquire Vontu
Published: 2007-11-05

Security firm Symantec announced on Monday that the company would buy data-loss prevention firm Vontu for $350 million in cash and options.

The announcement confirmed rumors of the planned purchase that have circulated since early October. Symantec, the owner of SecurityFocus, said the Vontu acquisition will help it move beyond securing networks and systems, to better protecting business information.

"In a business environment that is increasingly competitive, transparent and regulated, companies need confidence that their most valuable asset – information – is safe," Tom Kendra, group president for Symantec's Security and Data Management Group, said in the statement announcing the acquisition. "Only then will security become more of a business enabler rather than a business inhibitor."

With the planned purchase, Vontu becomes the latest data-loss prevention company to be bought. In October, security firm McAfee announced it would purchase data-security firm SafeBoot also for $350 million. In January, security firm Websense bought Israeli information protection firm PortAuthority for $90 million.

It's unsurprising that security companies that protect information have become popular. Retail companies, financial firms and government agencies have increasingly reported that customer records have been lost or stolen. In January, retail giant TJX Companies announced that online thieves had snuck into its network and stolen, by current estimates, information on more than 100 million credit and debit accounts. Last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs revealed that a break-in at a federal employees home placed the information of 26.5 million veterans at risk.

Symantec stated that the acquisition will likely close by the end of the year, following regulatory and board approval.

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Posted by: Robert Lemos
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