Raytheon closes acquisition of Oakley Systems

Another data-leak prevention vendor snapped up by a technology giant

US Government technology supplier Raytheon announced the completion of its acquisition of data-leak prevention company Oakley Systems.

The acquired company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary called Raytheon Oakley Systems, as part of Raytheon's Intelligence and Information Systems business unit, say officials. The terms of the purchase was not disclosed.

Oakley, founded in 2001, was one of the first startups to emerge in the data-leak prevention space, although lately the company has refocused its SureView monitoring software and related CoreView appliance as "risk management" technology for networks and PCs.

Hoping to distinguish itself from the dozens of data-leak prevention start-ups that have entered the market over the past few years, as well as from existing security companies adding such features to their gateway products, Oakley has emphasized its technology's ability to monitor and record every employee action. Its technology gives administrators tools to reconstruct incidents needed for investigations into data breaches and other policy violations, officials say.

While dozens of start-ups have entered the data-leak protection market, few independent companies are left. In the past 12 months, EMC's RSA group announced plans to acquire Tablus for an undisclosed amount; Cisco acquired IronPort (which offers data-leak prevention features in its e-mail security appliance) for US$830 million; Websense bought Port Authority Technologies for US$90 million; and McAfee bought Onigma for US$20 million. Meanwhile, rumors continue that Symantec is on the verge of announcing plans to acquire Vontu.

Like Raytheon, Oakley has plenty of experience providing technology to the government market. For the first five years of the company's existence it sold exclusively to government agencies, before expanding into the commercial market in late 2005 as enterprises were becoming more aware of the threat posed by insiders, officials say.

Raytheon's 2006 sales totaled US$20.3 billion, and the company employees 73,000 people.

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