Cybersecurity Due Diligence for M&A Deals

Fix everything that could be fixed before the deal goes through

Take care of preventable cybersecurity risks inherent to the mergers and acquisitions of tech startups

What makes our IT Security Due Diligence Service different?

Hear about your IT Security Audit Experience from your auditor, Alex:

Cybersecurity due diligence is a process that aims to identify and assess the cybersecurity risks associated with an M&A deal. It is typically conducted as part of the due diligence process, which is a thorough investigation of a company’s financial, legal, and operational capabilities and risks before an acquisition or merger.

There are several steps involved in conducting cybersecurity due diligence:

  1. Identify the scope of the due diligence: This includes determining which systems and assets need to be included in the review and identifying the key stakeholders who will be involved in the process.
  2. Collect and review documentation: This includes reviewing the target company’s cybersecurity policies and procedures, as well as any relevant documentation such as security assessments and incident reports.
  3. Conduct interviews and assessments: This involves interviewing key personnel within the target company to get a better understanding of their cybersecurity posture and conducting assessments of the target company’s systems and infrastructure to identify any vulnerabilities or weaknesses.
  4. Analyze findings: This involves analyzing the results of the review and assessment to determine the level of risk associated with the target company’s cybersecurity posture.
  5. Develop a plan: Based on the findings of the due diligence, the acquiring company may need to develop a plan to address any identified risks or vulnerabilities. This could include implementing new cybersecurity measures, training employees, or creating a plan to mitigate potential risks.
  6. Negotiate terms: If the acquiring company is satisfied with the target company’s cybersecurity posture, they can move forward with the M&A deal. If not, they may need to negotiate terms to address any identified risks or vulnerabilities before proceeding with the deal.

NIST 800-53 categories covered in your IT security audit:

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Our mission: Provide SMBs with a Clear visibility of their exposure to cyber attacks

An IT Security audit is an audit of how resilient your information technology systems are to an attack or human error. Its scope depends on the size of your company and your objectives. A security audit might mean a quick assessment of a few systems or a comprehensive security review of your on-premise and cloud infrastructure.

We audit the controls in place (or their absence). These controls might be administrative, or in other words, the practices employed by your administrators, and they could also be technical or even physical.

Physical security controls are not necessarily related to preventing theft by an outside party. Preventing people from plugging in various unknown devices in servers and computers can also be seen as a physical security control.

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Process of a IT Security Audit

Our IT Security Audit Process

Planning for the audit execution

Before conducting an IT Cybersecurity Security Audit, we have readiness meetings with your management team and the IT administrative personnel. 

These meetings help establish the reasons behind the audit and its strategic security objectives. Is regulatory compliance driving your desire to audit your IT systems? Were you a victim of a security breach? Or do you want to have full visibility into how prepared you are for a hacking attack?

Here is our IT Security Audit Preparation Process:

  • A strategic meeting with management
  • Meeting with the IT team
  • Review of the clients’ business – departments, management team, critically important production facilities, IT infrastructure. 
  • Policy and procedure review. 
  • Documentation review.
  • Scheduling meetings with will all employees participating in the IT security audit. 
  • Final scope agreement.

Preparing for an IT Security Audit

Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening my ax.
― Abraham Lincoln

Besides the mandatory pre-audit meetings with management, the client must undergo internal preparation for the IT Security assessment service.

On the client’s side, the following items need to be taken care of:

  • a dedicated meeting room
  • a secure internet connection that is disconnected from the corporate network
  • scheduling each meeting between the security auditor and the respective team member

There might be technical details such as what is the auditor allowed to access and what information can they ask for as proof, as well as how this information will be stored and analyzed safely.

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communication during IT security audit

Communication during the IT Security Audit Services and After

Communication is critical in every business process.

IT security audits are no exception; we need to add a few extra requirements and dependencies.

Do you suspect a security breach happened before initiating the IT security audit? In that case, can the attackers listen in on any internal email communication? In that case, most audit-related communications need to happen off-the-record. In other words, they must happen over the phone or secure instant messaging, avoiding your corporate email service.

There are several critical stages during which communication is vital:

  • Prior to starting the audit, to clarify all expectations on both sides and set the tone;
  • during the IT security audit, to ensure all questions asked are understood and all evidence given is clear and not fabricated or modified in any way;
  • after the audit when the report is received and discussed.

The report you receive tends to heat political discussions and start blaming each other for the faults discovered, which is unproductive.

What we encourage our customers to do is to see the audit report as an excellent opportunity to get better at everything you do and beat your competition at it. Rest assured, if we went to your competitors, we might find similar or even worse findings. So be happy you were first to discover your faults and get ready to be the first one to fix them!

Understanding the IT Security Audit Report

Your Audit Report will contain an executive section for senior management and a technical part for the IT and security personnel.

The Executive Section of the report usually focuses on the business impact of the findings and prioritization advice. This way, management can request specific actions to be expedited and will know about their responsibility to fund these efforts. Sometimes this also means hiring extra pairs of hands.

The technical section of the report will also be split in High Criticality, Medium Criticality, and Low criticality findings.

We pair each finding with its respective advice on fixing it – focus on the fix rather than finding who to blame for the vulnerability; it is the only productive way to read and act upon your IT security audit report.

understanding the aws cloud security assessment

We go beyond asking questions — and turn our security audits into half-audit, half-security consulting sessions. While there are hundreds of topics to go through, we identified the need to explain and discuss them so that your team would better understand why we ask this question and how it could affect your company. 

Usually, it takes 2-3 days for data collection and a week to prepare a report and your unique Information Security Program plan. An IT security audit from start to finish usually takes around 2 weeks, excluding any prior logistics preparations and clarification meetings after you get your results. 

We welcome you to record the sessions on your own — we discuss so many topics and our team provides such valuable input, that it would be a huge loss if you couldn’t watch the sessions later and extract valuable insight from them. 
If you ask us, we will also record the sessions for you and provide you with the recordings. We will delete the recordings after the IT Security Audit is complete.

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