How Tech M&A Opens the Door For Cyber Attacks

How Tech M&A Opens the Door For Cyber Attacks

Technology M&A (mergers and acquisitions) is a common business practice. M&A can help organizations stay competitive by acquiring new technologies, customers, employees, and access to new markets. However, M&A also poses various risks, especially in terms of cybersecurity. The integration of two technology systems can potentially create a security gap that cybercriminals can take advantage of. In this blog post, we will explore how Tech M&A opens the door for cyber-attacks and what businesses can do to prepare for and prevent such risks.


Increase in Attack Surface:

M&A can increase the organization’s attack surface – which is the sum of all the vulnerabilities an organization has that can be exploited – due to the integration of systems. The new technologies acquired through M&A may have different security standards, and the integration process may create new vulnerabilities. Integration with existing systems can open up a completely new venue for cyber attacks.


Insufficient Due Diligence:

Often, during M&A, cybersecurity is not given the attention it deserves, as the focus is placed on financial and legal aspects of the deal. Insufficient or incomplete due diligence during M&A can result in major cybersecurity problems that can be exploited by cyber attackers. A comprehensive due diligence process should be carried out to determine the degree of adherence to compliance and security standards.


Different security protocols:

The M&A brings together organizations that have different security protocols and hence, varying degrees of cybersecurity posture. Integration of different security systems can create new vulnerabilities. Integration of networks, data centers, and cloud services between two different companies may result in difficult challenges to manage.


Staff Resistance to Change:

M&A in a tech environment necessarily involves fully integrating the new staff with the old. This can result in a learning curve that must be navigated to have a successful M&A outcome. A change in employee attitude can result in a possible gap in the security strategy, resulting in the organization facing cybersecurity risks or facing a cyber attack.


Exit Planning:

Exiting a business requires innovative exit planning, as the result is expected to be a transfer of all assets. Therefore, cybersecurity should be prioritized as it is not just key assets that can be stolen; the company’s digital identity and everything it contains can be lost with poor cybersecurity implementation. It is necessary to ensure that the company also has secured and fully integrated access points, no matter who ultimately acquires the technology.

Stay Prepared

Tech M&A can result in an increase in organizational risk, specifically with regard to cybersecurity. It is important to carry out security assessments and risk management plans that are sensitive to the degree of integration of technology systems, training employees in the aftermath of M&A, and prioritizing cybersecurity during exit planning. Organizations should take these steps to prevent cybersecurity vulnerabilities that arise from M&A, thereby reducing the possibility of a data breach or cyber-attack, whether from a threat disguised as a third-party vendor or not. Here’s to happy and safe Tech M&As!