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Cyber Security During Mergers And Acquisitions (M & A)

February 26, 2019 / TONI RYDER-MCMULLIN

On face value, one may question what company mergers, acquisitions, or takeovers have to do with cyber security. But for law firms charged with overseeing the safe completion of such transactions, cyber security should be a core consideration, for two key reasons. Firstly, there is a risk that during due diligence (the process during which the granular details of the organisation being acquired, merged with, or taken over are uncovered) sensitive information could be stolen. The theft of sensitive financial, tax, intellectual property, or any other due diligence information through a cyber breach could lead to crippling financial fines and compensation, reputational damage and potentially bring the transaction to a grinding halt. Additionally, if the target business has a history of being on the receiving end of serious cyber breaches, whether known or not at the time of purchase, fines could later be levied on the acquiring entity. The risk may also be unwittingly inherited when vulne...