McAfee Acquires Leak Prevention Developer


McAfee Inc. announced Monday that it had acquired Onigma Ltd., a privately-held Israeli developer of data protection software, for $20 million to add leak prevention to its security portfolio.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based McAfee will roll out the Onigma software under the nameplate McAfee Data Loss Prevention, host-based software designed to protect enterprises from unauthorized data transfer from either inside or outside the company.

Data Loss Prevention, said McAfee, monitors and protects data information including trade secrets, intellectual property, legal, and financial documents, client communications, and personal information. Existing corporate security policies can be used to selectively enable this leak prevention.

"McAfee is now well positioned to offer broad and universal protection that enforces the enterprise's compliance of IT security policies governing the flow of data, regardless of the format in which is it stored or manipulated, even if data has been copied, pasted, zipped or encrypted," said Liad Agmon, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Onigma, in a statement.

"There is definitely a tie between leak prevention and compliance so it makes sense that McAfee would jump into this space," wrote Richard Stiennon, the principal analyst at IT-Harvest, in a blog entry Monday. "It fits with their recent interest in control and compliance."

Earlier this month, McAfee spent $60 million to pick up Citadel Security Software, which makes and sells policy compliance and vulnerability management software.

Stiennon also applauded McAfee for working its acquisition engine even as it's embroiled in controversy. The company's chief executive and president, George Samenuk and Kevin Weiss, respectively, left the company last week because of ongoing investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission of back-dated stock options. Samenuk stepped down, but Weiss was fired.

"I am impressed that McAfee is able to make acquisitions despite the recent turmoil at the top," said Stiennon. "That the interim CEO, Dale Fuller, can follow through on an acquisition strategy so soon after taking over the reins is a very positive sign."