With the expected rise in M&A deals in the upcoming years, it is critical that security teams also assess the security posture of their target organization.
With the rapid growth of data volume and variety, along with evolving privacy laws around the continuously evolving digital threat landscape, cybersecurity stands at the center stage in critical business decisions.
In fact, as per the 2021 FTI Consulting Resilience Barometer report, nearly one-third of organizations across the G20 handled cyber-attacks in 2020 and 2021. The report highlighted that early-stage, as well as pre-closed acquisition, has been the most desired targets for malicious actors.
Moreover, the meddling in the M&A process can have a negative impact on financial markets, impact shareholder value, heighten legal as well as compliance risk while threatening to derail both the organization’s reputation and the deal itself.
Therefore it is crucial that organizations invest in technologies that will not only enable their cybersecurity posture but also help them in their endeavors, such as M&A deals, to grow at an accelerated pace.
Organizations can take advantage of advanced cybersecurity automation techniques that will enable them in their due diligence phase of M&A to avoid the inheritance of unwanted vulnerabilities.
They provide data-driven insights in diligence-related decisions while providing an unparalleled ability to analyze a combination of organization data, open-source information, and external intelligence. Additionally, it can help the organization gain a distinct advantage by producing insights to mitigate risk while enriching their decision-making process.
A few more ways cybersecurity automation can help organizations with their due diligence includes:
Automatically identifying risks before the deal
Cybersecurity automation techniques enable CISOs with optical character recognition as well as weighting mechanisms to allow rapid, automation identification of sensitive information within images, PDF, and visual files across the database of the target organization.
These insights can help CISOs to flag risk areas such as pre-deal and support data loss prevention measures.
Identifying hidden vulnerabilities
It can help CISOs with digital footprint to find risk areas that were unknown to either the target organization or the acquiring party. This can include instances such as domain spoofing and brand hijacking.
Recognizing the scope and strength of existing data protection measures
One of the critical elements of cybersecurity automation is visual analytics. It can help organizations to measure existing security controls against its contracts, roster of external partners, breach notification processes as well as privacy-protected data to help buyers understand the extent to which a target organization is securing its sensitive data.
Analyzing key documents
CISOs can leverage advanced search capabilities such as the ones used in complex e-discovery and investigations. It can help them to review existing contracts and other documents to spotlight potential threats.
Also, CISOs can utilize them to manage and assess third-party risks across a wide range of vendors. Furthermore, its automated search smart functionalities can help teams understand what exists in the datasets that will be integrated into business when the deal is closed.
Apart from helping with cybersecurity and privacy due diligence, the above-mentioned strategies can assist CISOs in maturity assessments and internal investigations.
The target organization’s cybersecurity posture has become a critical element when deciding the risks and rewards associated with potential investments. Therefore, the acquiring party should prioritize thorough investigation of the security hygiene of their target enterprise.