Symantec is acquiring Vontu, one the largest remaining independent DLP (data leakage prevention) software vendors, according to sources.

Multiple industry sources have confirmed that Symantec will soon announce the deal, perhaps as early as this week, the latest move in the consolidation that has played out in the red-hot DLP space over the last year.

The deal would give Symantec a foothold in the burgeoning DLP segment, also referred by some as the ILP (information leakage prevention) space.

The two companies already have a partnership through which Symantec markets Vontu's DLP technology to its customers.

Sources said that the proposed deal will have Symantec paying $300-$350 million for privately held Vontu, whose revenues are estimated at roughly $30 million per year by some industry analysts.

Symantec representatives didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

DLP has become an increasingly popular sector in the security market as companies of all sizes look for ways to prevent malicious or unintentional leaks of sensitive data.

The technology has been pitched by its proponents as one of the few available tools for protecting against so-called "insider threats," through which companies fear the loss of data like customer records or intellectual property due to employees, business partners, or malware infections.

Driven by a range of market forces, including regulations and high-profile data exposure incidents, the niche has attracted the interest of nearly 40 different vendors seeking to cash in on growing demands from large enterprises in highly-regulated industries, such as financial services.

Among the deals that have already occurred in the DLP market are WebSense's acquisition of PortAuthority.

Last Monday, McAfee, Symantec's closest rival, announced plans to acquire encryption and device access control specialist SafeBoot for $350 million. Industry watchers believe that McAfee made the deal to bolster its standing in the DLP market, which it originally entered via the acquisition of data leakage software maker Onigma, a far smaller vendor than Vontu, for $20 million in October 2006.