Security awareness should be considered as a process and that not only influences employees and the work environment, but should also when mergers, acquisitions and divestitures are at play. Many organizations today are or will be involved in the purchasing of another company, the merging of companies, or being bought out, all of which involve security risks.

Everyone wants the deal to be completed successfully, however it is important to keep in mind that every network is not the same. There can be some major security vulnerabilities that the third party has not remediated, or their network may not be as secure as they think. Many organizations have been breached due to prematurely closing a deal without proper due diligence. There are many ways that organizations can stay protected while making a successful merger, acquisition or divestiture deal but emphasizing security should be of top priority with security teams involved every step of the way.

Common Causes of Third-Party Data Breaches

1. Deals closing before fully assessing the security of all entities involved. 

Ensure that you know the security posture of the company during Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures. Determine wether the company has performed any security audits and verify the results. 

2. Undisclosed data breaches before the merger.

Always ask about the last breach. It is possible for a breach to occur but go unreported. Standard due diligence procedures may not always uncover unreported breaches.

3. Failure to comply with industry regulations. 

Various industries are subjected to industry specific regulations. Organizations in healthcare must follow HIPAA, credit card companies must follow PCI DSS, etc. 

4. Human error

Human error plays a major role in data breaches. However, there are many ways to prepare your organization and employees and avoid costly mistakes. Implement an appropriate security awareness program that puts things in perspective. Never approach cybersecurity training in a way that is hostile. You can also ensure appropriate access permissions are performed to avoid privilege creep. Multi factor authentication should also be enabled on both standard and administrative accounts. Ensure strong passwords and lockout complexity are implemented. Finally, you should ensure that the highest permissions are granted on admin level accounts only.

A company can be easily breached by a third party if appropriate security is not followed when attempting the Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures. However, performing due diligence and following an appropriate security review of the third party these breaches can be prevented.

Combating Third-Party Data Breaches

Automated tools for third-party risk management (TPRM) help organizations stop a breach before it happens. Such tools provide increased insight to existing risk and vulnerabilities, monitor compliance, and alleviate some of the stress on security teams with continuous monitoring. The capabilities of many risk management tools surpass traditional due diligence practices by both the risk insight provided and overall effectiveness.  

myCYPR offers customizable risk management with increased visibility of risk for organizations and their vendors. Combining open-source intelligence of risk scoring tools and the in-depth risk insight of VRM platforms, myCYPR offers organizations an automated and proactive solution to stop third-party data breaches in their tracks. 

To learn more about how myCYPR can help you customize an effective TPRM program, request a demo.