As mergers and acquisitions (M&A) increase around the world, cybersecurity becomes more critical than ever for businesses. The stakes are very high if confidential information is unwittingly disclosed to bad faith actors during M&A due diligence, or accidentally revealed in the post-M&A process of integration and operations.

The good news is that the appropriate software can assist M&A CISOs ensure the integrity of their data, ensure the compliance of their organization, and help protect against the dangers associated with M&A activities. This includes a data room solution that consolidates diverse digital tools into one single platform that is easy to use with uploads of files and a single sign-on. It also provides comprehensive auditing and reports which helps compliance teams maintain control of their data and prevent accidental disclosure.

Virtual data rooms can be a wonderful way to manage the M&A process from due diligence to post-M&A integration and operations. VDRs allow authorized users to easily review comments, share, and even comment on sensitive documents without risk of leakage. They also allow users to create activity reports that show who has accessed or read specific pages of documents. These reports can prevent malicious actors from leaking information because they can be traced to specific users. They also permit M&A CISOs to determine the level of interest from potential buyers or investors.

Many M&A transactions are founded on intellectual property. Life science companies, for instance rely on virtual data rooms to manage everything from clinical trial outcomes and HIPAA compliance to licensing IP and storage of patient records. During M&A due diligence, it is typical for companies to to supply and review a large amount of documents. This can be time-consuming and labor intensive for both the company that is acquired and the acquirer. A VDR can be used to efficiently share all of this data over an encrypted platform.

Regardless of the industry, M&A can be a complex business process that could pose significant security risks. The M&A team must be aware of the risk posed by cybercriminals, competitors and disgruntled employees during the integration and operation phases of the M&A lifecycle. These risks could include malware, unauthorized access to systems and networks as well as sabotage and other kinds of disruptions that could affect the M&A value offer.

M&A could be an enjoyable and profitable business experience when you have the best cybersecurity solutions. M&A is a great chance for businesses to increase value and expand their reach globally. To ensure that this value is not affected, a specific cybersecurity strategy must be in place prior to when transactions are initiated. Download our free guide on cybersecurity for M&A – Part of the M&A Playbook to learn more. Todd Thiemann, director of marketing for products at ReliaQuest GreyMatter is a Security Operations Platform that can make cybersecurity possible through M&A. It gives visibility, cuts through complex security stacks that are heterogeneous, and manages uncertainty and risk to help your business achieve its goals.

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