Symantec Readies Enterprise Vault Shakeup

E-discovery and content awareness are both on the roadmap

June 13, 2008

3 Min Read
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Symantec is planning to overhaul its Enterprise Vault product with a myriad of new features, including e-discovery and security enhancements, according to John Thompson, the companys CEO.

“We’re adding an enormous number of capabilities to it -- better e-discovery capability, better content awareness,” he told Byte and Switch in an interview at Symantec Vision this week, explaining that these enhancements will come from the vendor’s Vontu technology.

Symantec bought the DLP (data leak prevention) specialist Vontu for $350 million late last year and is now building its data classification capabilities into Enterprise Vault.

The souped-up version of Enterprise Vault will be on the market late this year or in early 2009, enabling users to create new indexes for existing archived data.

“With Vontu, I can ipso facto create an index -- I can run Vontu on [the archive] and it can do classification of the data,” noted Mark Bregman, the Symantec CTO. “That’s the first step, but we’re going to go beyond that.”Symantec execs in Las Vegas this week also touched on their plans to fuse Vontu’s "content awareness" features with Enterprise Vault, enabling users to encrypt only certain emails, IMs, and spreadsheets.

At least one user attending Symantec Vision told Byte and Switch that he is keen for Symantec to merge Vontu’s capabilities into Enterprise Vault, citing the challenges posed by quickly finding the right legal data.

“It will be useful,” said Mike Miller, director of support services at Richmond, Va.-based media company Media General. “We’re Enterprise Vault users for our litigation, and it will be useful in terms of finding that information.”

The exec explained that, although the firm’s internal counsel is based at its HQ, much of Media General’s legal work is farmed out to local law firms, which are more familiar with state-level legislation.

“We let them come in and search via VPN, so better contextual searching will help us,” he said.DLP and e-discovery technologies are certainly garnering much more attention after a spate of high-profile data breaches and retention snafus, and there has been a flurry of M&A activity in the space over the last 12 months.

Earlier this week, for example, consulting specialist FTI bought e-discovery vendor Attenex for $88 million in cash in an attempt to boost its legal technology presence.

Other vendors playing in the DLP space include IronPort, which was bought by Cisco for $850 million late last year, and Tablus, which was snapped up by EMC's RSA division last summer.

In an increasingly litigious corporate culture, DLP and e-discovery will become even more important, according to Forrester analyst Sheri McLeish. “Everybody is trying to add some more content awareness to what they do,” she says. “In legal matters you’re responsible for the breadth of content, and anything can come into play.”

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  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • Forrester Research Inc.

  • IronPort Systems

  • RSA Security Inc. (Nasdaq: EMC)

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)

  • Vontu Inc.0

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