Blue Lava Simplifies Security Assessments during M&As
Demetrios Lazarikos (Laz)
March 18, 2022
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) create unique challenges for cybersecurity teams. Before the business transaction, cyber due diligence is necessary to identify any risks that could directly impact the parties involved in the transaction. Afterwards, security leaders have to navigate through an unsettling time — managing the integration of security infrastructures, teams, and processes to keep the merged organization safe while reducing costs and (hopefully) gaining business efficiencies.
The security team plays a strong part in making sure that the goals of the M&A plan are met – calculating cyber risks and establishing a sound security integration plan can prevent damaging breaches, smooth the integration of company business processes, and please the board and other stakeholders. According to Rock Lambros, CEO, and Founder of RockCyber, “The challenge with M&A’s is that there is a black hole as to the risk the acquiring company is absorbing. Unfortunately, the due diligence on the security side is often done after the fact and it’s usually financials that are driving it.” Mergers and acquisitions create special due diligence requirements and challenges on the cybersecurity side.
For example, the merger process itself needs to be protected. You must consider how to protect documents and collaboration tools shared with the two companies involved as well as the law firm handling the merger. Ultimately, the acquiring company manages the security of the acquired company. The security team has to be able to adjust quickly and be prepared for multiple assessments. The obvious place to begin is baselining the risk-management maturity level of each company to determine where gaps might exist. After the initial baseline has been established for each entity, you must develop a security plan for the merger, then baseline the program for the merged entity again, and likely adjust the plan once more. During this entire process, you need to maintain a strong security posture to avoid possible security holes developed by merging two different applications and databases. This all requires a responsive team and adaptive resources.
The case for early involvement from the security team is rather easy to make. But, for some, the biggest challenge is dealing with limited tools and resources. Due to the nature of mergers and acquisitions, many of the actions are done on very tight timelines and confidentially. As mentioned, the need for multiple assessments done quickly is essential. In most cases, only a trusted and select few members of the security team handle the comprehensive operation. This can be a taxing endeavor as the review and assessment process of the acquiree’s security posture has traditionally been a time-consuming and costly undertaking. Antiquated reports seldom provide enough depth for a confident picture of the existing security maturity level. Blue Lava provides the M&A solution.
With Blue Lava, security teams can quickly and easily understand the strengths and weaknesses of an acquisition’s security program across 11 disciplines and 75 capabilities – in days, not months. Furthermore, in comparison to traditional assessments that often rely upon expensive outside consulting firms, users no longer have to deal with complicated deployments, with the ability to internally launch an M&A assessment in under an hour.
Following the assessment, Blue Lava’s full data transparency provides the insights necessary to strategically compare and contrast the two existing programs. Comprehensive reporting provides benchmarking against an existing security program, quickly identifying any potential areas of concern, including who is currently accountable for any aspect of the security program.
Some of Blue Lava’s key areas of support during the M&A process include:
- Policy depth, breadth, and maturity
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
- Incident Response Plans
- Security and Awareness Training
- Penetration Test & Vulnerability scan status
- Vulnerability Management Program maturity
- Vendor Management
“Blue Lava accelerates the cybersecurity due diligence process at either the pre or post-acquisition stage. Blue Lava highlights the inherited risk to your organization and enables quicker and more informed decisions around integration activities,” said Lambros.
Bringing together cybersecurity maturity assessments empowers CISOs and security leaders with the data and metrics needed to effectively and strategically manage the M&A process from a security program perspective. Blue Lava’s transparent, comprehensive data further guides CISOs to better communicate with the M&A team, C-Suite, and board about the existing program of the prospective company slated for acquisition. Blue Lava provides a security maturity roadmap and what investments are needed to make the M&A a successful one. This alignment of the security program needs, now in tune with those of the business, helps elevate the conversation from strictly technical risks to that of a strategic and integral business partner in the M&A process.
For more information about Blue Lava’s products and services related to the M&A process, please visit us at bluelava.io/solutions.