Managing Cybersecurity Risks During A Merger Or Acquisition

Mergers and acquisitions allow firms to grow without having to attract new clients or other forms of conventional business. They’re an important source of non-organic growth – but they can be difficult to execute properly. For many firms, the decision to merge or acquire is the easy part – it’s what comes next that’s difficult, especially in where technology is concerned.

Although something as simple as acquiring a smaller company can deliver greater flexibility and faster time to market, they’re often riddled with less organized, well-planned technology that’s rarely secure.

Are you exposing your firm to unnecessary risks during a merger or acquisition?

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4 Cybersecurity Concerns To Note During A Merger Or Acquisition

1. Assess The Potential Risks

You should be testing both yours and their implementation of commonly accepted cybersecurity best practices. Make sure to assess their cybersecurity standards:

  • Security Measures: The assessment should determine the strength of their current passwords, the validity of any firewalls in place, and any implementations of control lists that determine what users have access to sensitive information.By ensuring these security standards are properly configured and up-to-date, their system will be that much more difficult to compromise.
  • Reliable Failsafes: Despite best efforts, even the strongest security measures can be overcome, whether it’s a data breach or an unexpected emergency on your premises. An assessment will verify that they have regular backups kept at on- and off-site locations that can be relied upon in the case of any disaster.
  • Documentation: Don’t leave anything open to interpretation, or left in an email that can’t be found when needed. Document all policies and expectations, and likewise, track and request any and all vendor reporting that you feel you should be in possession of for your own edification.
  • Comprehensive Maintenance: If their security measures are not updated regularly they can become ineffective quickly. In the course of an assessment, you can make sure that their security settings meet industry standards, that maintenance programming is configured to operate automatically, and that any past employees have been removed from the system (a dangerous error that is often overlooked).

2. Don’t Overlook Your Personnel

Cybersecurity is about more than technology – you have to consider your staff, both pre- and post-merger, as well. Cybersecurity awareness is of vital importance in the modern legal industry.

A comprehensive cybersecurity training program will teach your staff how to handle a range of potential situations:

  • How to identify and address suspicious emails, phishing attempts, social engineering tactics, and more.
  • How to use business technology without exposing data and other assets to external threats by accident.
  • How to respond when you suspect that an attack is occurring or has occurred.

3. Third-Party Cybersecurity

Dealing with IT vendors is a part of doing business – in fact, businesses share confidential information with an average of 583 third parties. While it’s easy to trust that your vendors will be able to implement and support their products, it’s another thing entirely to assume they’ll do so with your security in mind.

Sensitive data is often captured, stored and used on third-party vendor technology, and so without the right IT security measures in place, all that data could be at risk. it won’t matter how secure your foundational IT is if the specialized technology you use is vulnerable.

You already go to great lengths to train your staff so that you can trust them with the sensitive data your business uses; you should be just as confident in your IT vendors.

No matter how secure your main location is, that defense doesn’t automatically extend to the vendors you work with. As a part of your “supply chain”, vendors need to be as secure as you are.

4. Intrusion Detection & Analysis

Did you know it takes most businesses up to 6 months to find out that they’ve experienced a data breach?

That’s why cybersecurity is about more than prevention – it’s about intelligence and response as well. You need to know when an attack has been attempted, just as much as you need to know when an attack has been successful.

In order to keep it simple, the best way to start strengthening your cyber defenses is with a comprehensive and reliable Endpoint Intrusion Detection solution.

This security technology will keep you from being one of those businesses that take half a year to realize that they’ve been hacked – by detecting and eliminating threats as they happen. Especially if you currently rely on a free or basic antivirus solution, which can be easily circumvented.

Whether it’s malware, a virus, or another threat, the right Endpoint Intrusion Detection solution will spot threats as they happen, and keep them from causing damage.

Looking For Expert Cybersecurity Management During A Merger Or Acquisition?

The bottom line is that you have enough to deal with during a merger or acquisition already – why add cybersecurity to your responsibilities? Similarly, you probably shouldn’t delegate it to an underqualified paralegal either, right?

Allow BlueHat Cyber to help – we can manage your cybersecurity during the process, making sure you aren’t taking on any unnecessary risks.

Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:

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