For businesses looking to take the leap into growth through mergers and acquisitions (M&A), cybersecurity must be a top priority. M&As are big investments that require precise planning and attention to succeed; however, one key factor often overlooked is proper cybersecurity strategies. Without an effective strategy for mitigating risk from hackers, cybercriminals, or other malicious actors, companies may find themselves vulnerable to disastrous data breaches or costly compliance fines when it comes time for regulatory reviews – putting their hard-won deals at risk.
Whether you’re preparing to expand your operations with an acquisition or just want to ensure you’re doing all you can to protect existing business initiatives, read on as we discuss why cybersecurity plays a critical role in today’s merger and acquisition market!
Why Cybersecurity Matters in M&As
M&As involve two organizations becoming one legal entity, creating a unified system that spans multiple systems and environments. This opens up large networks and data stores that can be easily targeted by attackers looking to exploit security weaknesses.
Cybersecurity can help to protect companies from these threats by providing visibility into their networks and identifying any potential vulnerabilities that need to be addressed before or during the M&A process. Effective cybersecurity strategies should include measures such as:
- Encrypting data
- Monitoring systems for suspicious activity
- Updating access controls regularly
- Restricting access to sensitive information where necessary
- Conducting regular vulnerability assessments
The Importance of M&A Activity
When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, there are several benefits that can be derived from strategic M&A activity. These include:
- Increased access to new markets: Through the acquisition, businesses can gain access to new customers, suppliers, and distribution networks.
- Achieving economies of scale: Larger companies have the potential to benefit from reduced costs and increased efficiency due to greater purchasing power, technology adoption, and brand recognition.
- Expanding product portfolios: By acquiring complementary products or services, companies can more easily enter adjacent markets or leverage existing assets to develop and launch new offerings.
- Tax savings: When merging two companies into one entity, tax benefits may arise as certain expenses merged may be deductible for tax purposes.
- Strategic growth: By acquiring companies in the same industry, businesses can use their new assets to expand into new geographies and gain an edge against competitors.
- Increased customer satisfaction: By consolidating customer data and processes across multiple organizations, businesses can provide better customer experiences with increased visibility into service delivery.
- Improved decision-making: Merging two companies provide more detailed insights into both entities so decisions can be made quickly and accurately.
- Innovation opportunities: Bringing two organizations under one roof offers the potential for improved collaboration between teams which opens up access to new ideas and technologies that could benefit future growth.
- Talent attraction & retention: Companies often acquire smaller enterprises as part of their growth strategy, offering employees from the acquired company access to a larger organization with greater career opportunities.
The Downfalls of When Proper Cybersecurity Due Diligence is not Employed
When it comes to M&A activity, proper cybersecurity due diligence is essential. Without it, businesses may find themselves vulnerable to the following risks:
- Data security & privacy breaches: With poor cyber hygiene in place, companies can easily be infiltrated by malicious actors or fall victim to data leaks and other security flaws. This can result in costly fines or reputational damage that could otherwise have been avoided with good cybersecurity practices.
- Financial losses: Cybersecurity vulnerabilities can lead to fraudulent activities or financial losses from denied insurance claims due to inadequate cyber risk management.
- Unrealized value: Without proper due diligence, deals may not deliver the expected return on investment due to unknown liabilities such as compliance issues or technical debt resulting from inadequate cybersecurity.
- Operational issues: Poor cyber hygiene may also lead to operational disruption caused by malicious actors, such as ransomware attacks or denial of service incidents.
- Negative impact on customer relationships: Without adequate protection, businesses may be at risk of suffering reputational damage resulting from data breaches or security incidents. This could lead to customers mistrusting the business and taking their loyalty elsewhere.
- Legal liabilities: Companies may find themselves liable for failure to comply with industry regulations or applicable laws if they neglect proper cybersecurity measures. This could result in hefty fines, legal fees, and other costly implications stemming from non-compliance.
- Lack of control over technology assets: With inadequate cyber controls in place, companies may struggle to maintain visibility and proper governance over their technology infrastructure, resulting in a significant gap in security.
- Increased costs for remediation: Failing to take proactive steps to protect against potential cyber threats can significantly increase the cost of remediation following an incident.
Let Cyber Sainik Help You!
When it comes to merger and acquisition success, cybersecurity is a major part of the puzzle that cannot be overlooked. Investing in good cyber protections, understanding cyber risk management processes, and implementing best practices can go a long way to ensure security as you navigate the process of acquiring a business. To be truly secure, businesses must consider cyber protection from the beginning of due diligence processes.
As such, businesses should seek out help from professionals in this ever-evolving field of cybersecurity. If you have any questions concerning the success of your next merger or acquisition, reach out to the cybersecurity experts at Cyber Sainik for a free consultation. We will provide advice and strategies catered to your needs so your business can stay secure.