With Provilla buy, Trend Micro to offer data leak protection

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Trend Micro plans to buy Provilla, making it the latest major security vendor to enter the crowded data leak prevention market.

Founded in 2005, Provilla's LeakProof software is installed on the client to fingerprint sensitive documents. It can then monitor their use and prevent them from being printed or copied to unauthorized devices such as USB (Universal Serial Bus) drives. Provilla will operate as a subsidiary of Trend Micro's U.S. division.

The Mountain View, California, startup has a staff of 22. It counts Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and Orchard Supply Hardware among its customers.

With data leaks regularly making headlines in the U.S. and regulatory requirements making data control an enterprise priority, security companies sense a new opportunity.

Provilla is one of a number of data leak prevention vendors that have sprung up over the past few years, and several of them have already been snapped up by vendors such as McAfee, RSA Security and Websense.

Security experts say that these products cannot generally stop a determined attacker, but they can be useful in deterring accidental violations of corporate policy.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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