In the corporate world, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are a very common occurrence. Businesses tend to do so in order to increase their market share, become more competitive or enter new markets in the shortest possible time span.
So far as the professionals involved in information security are concerned, the mere news of any M&A can give them sleepless nights. There are so many variables at play during any M&A that it becomes a daunting challenge to keep track of each one of them.
The Cloud and M&As
With the aim of reducing complexity and mitigating integration related challenges, businesses that find themselves in M&A scenarios prefer the Cloud. This is particularly true during the all important transition phase, where time and flexibility are of the essence.
Cloud Service Providers (CSP) like dinCloud are an excellent line of support in M&As. With a large capacity for handling the immense volumes of data, to keeping that critical data secure, CSPs can prove a great value proposition.
It is for this very reason that the Cloud is among the top considerations of enterprises engaged in an M&A deal. The role of the Cloud does not merely conclude at the transition phase, rather most merged or acquired entities continue their cloud journey thereafter.
M&As and Cyber Threats
It comes as little surprise that M&As are a ripe target for cyber miscreants. The foremost motive behind targeting such a scenario is getting hold of the deal’s confidential information and extorting undue benefits from this data theft.
The other common motive behind attacking M&As is delaying or derailing the whole process. Any such cyber incident, right in the middle of a formalized M&A deal, can create a rift and embarrassment for the entities involved.
How to Secure an M&A via the Cloud
In order to attain a secure M&A process that involves the Cloud, it is best if the entities split the whole deal into the following segments.
This is one of the first and most crucial phases of the M&A process. Where most involved entities go wrong is that they initiate the security assessment only from the transaction execution phase. This process should start as soon as the deal is finalized.
Security Assessment will involve evaluating the relative sensitivity of the data that will move to the Cloud. This process should also duly incorporate the security protocols of the Cloud Service Provider (CSP), whose data centers will be used.
An extension of the security assessment phase will be evaluating the regulatory compliance of the cloud provider. This becomes even more important if the M&A deal involves entities located in different jurisdictions.
M&A Execution Phase
This is yet another crucial phase, where the migration of data to the Cloud will actually start. Before the process is started, all involved entities must identify the potential security gaps and how they will be plugged to avert any cyber incident during migration.
At this stage, it is also very important to keep data access to a bare minimum. During this phase, things are moving so fast that the least possible number of individuals should be allowed access to enterprise data. This will make the task of monitoring a lot manageable.
Post Acquisition Phase
This is an equally vital stage, and one where most entities have a tendency to let their guard down. This weakness can be exploited by cyber miscreants and result in severe setbacks to the ambitious post merger or acquisition phase milestones.
At this stage, the merged or acquired entities will have to formalize their data and applications protocols for the cloud environment. What makes this phase even more crucial is that a lot of employees will now be accessing the data and apps.
Therefore, this step needs to be given in-depth consideration. Data access and user rights will play a defining role in securing the post M&A cloud environment. This should be defined by a proper framework to ensure traceability and accountability.
A capable Cloud Service Provider (CSP) like dinCloud can immensely alleviate the challenges of an already complex M&A scenario. The overall success of the M&A will greatly depend on how seamless and secure is the handling of your data in the Cloud.
If you are also in a merger or acquisition scenario, contact dinCloud for a seamless and secure transition of your data and apps in the Cloud.