McAfee agreed to spend $46 million in cash to acquire privately owned Reconnex, maker of data loss prevention solutions.

Reconnex software and appliance-based solutions work at the desktop and server level as well as the network level to help identify and protect sensitive information in an automated fashion. The company said their solutions answer the questions of what information to protect and who to protect it from.

McAfee said that by adding Reconnex to its existing portfolio it expects to "leapfrog other data protection vendors," according to Dave DeWalt, chief executive officer and president of McAfee.

Research firm IDC said that they forecast revenue growth in the data loss prevention market to grow to $3.2 billion annually within the next three years.

McAfee expects to earn a big portion of that billion-dollar market. The company recently reported that it earned $396.8 million in the second quarter of 2008--a 26-percent increase compared with the same time period in 2007, and a new company record for any quarter in its history.