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Symantec, Cisco Go Security Shopping

Symantec last week said it plans to add data loss prevention to its portfolio via the acquisition of Vontu for $350 million.

The deal, expected to close this quarter, will bring data loss prevention solutions into the Symantec fold, giving it new products to help keep customers' confidential or proprietary information private.

"The combination of Symantec's existing portfolio and Vontu's leading products and dedicated team enables us to deliver a central component of our Security 2.0 vision to our customers—information security that protects both the device and the information itself," said Tom Kendra, group president of the Security and Data Management Group at Symantec, Cupertino, Calif., in a statement.

Vontu has been a Symantec technology partner since 2005 and already licenses technology to Symantec via an OEM agreement.

The move comes as Symantec works to keep pace in the data loss prevention market with rival McAfee, which is already bolstering its presence in the space through acquisitions. McAfee this quarter plans to close its $350 million acquisition of SafeBoot, a privately held encryption and data loss prevention vendor.

Rumors about Symantec's plans to acquire Vontu surfaced last month. Solution providers at that time said the two companies would be a good match.

"Any organization that's adding data leak prevention to their arsenal these days is taking a step in the right direction, and I think Vontu would be a healthy fit for Symantec's portfolio," said David Sockol, president of Emagined Security, a solution provider and Symantec partner.

Also on the acquisition front, Cisco Systems earlier this month unveiled plans to acquire Securent, a privately held developer of software to administer, enforce and audit access to data, communications and applications in heterogeneous application environments. The deal, which Cisco values at $100 million, plus assumed options, is expected to close in the second quarter of San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco's fiscal year 2008.

Securent's primary application is its Entitlement Management Solution (EMS), an XACML standard-based solution that the company said enables enterprises to secure sensitive applications and data with ease and precision. Where the typical enterprise uses identity management to authenticate who is let inside the security perimeter and then applies security policies to specific applications and continually updates those policies, EMS provides centralized management.

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