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RSA and Tablus focus on data security

EMC security unit RSA plans to buy Tablus, a data leak prevention company; think of this deal as a portfolio extension.

Yet another security acquisition! On Thursday, RSA Security announced plans to acquire Tablus, a data leakage prevention (DLP) specialist, for an undisclosed amount.

Why the purchase? RSA is focused on data security, i.e. protecting the privacy, confidentiality, and integrity of the data itself rather than the IT infrastructure. RSA already has tools for encryption, key management and user access controls, while parent company EMC has content management and enterprise digital rights management. All of the existing stuff stores, manages or cloaks information. It doesn't prevent some sleazy user from saving the employee salary spreadsheet on a USB drive or e-mailing it to a distribution list of 25 headhunters. That is where Tablus comes in.

Think of this deal then as a portfolio extension--now RSA salespeople have more products to sell on each sales call.

Why Tablus? I have no inside information but my guess is that others (i.e. Vontu, Vericept, and Reconnex) were very expensive. EMC looked at product functionality and market maturity and decided that Tablus was the right company at the right price. EMC does its homework before shelling out dough, so I've got to believe that Tablus technology was given the thumbs up by some very smart folks.

One final note: DLP is the next security submarket being eaten by the big guys in rapid fashion. Symantec licenses some of Vontu's technology and is also developing its own homegrown products. McAfee has a host and network offering. Cisco will use IronPort for network DLP filtering at the gateway. As for the others, look for more M&A activity very soon.