As mergers and acquisitions (M&As) increase across the globe cybersecurity is more crucial than ever before. If confidential information is accidentally disclosed during M&A due-diligence or in post-M&A processes, the risks are high.

The good news is that the right software can assist M&A CIOs in ensuring the integrity of data, keeping compliance, and safeguarding against the risks associated with M&A activities. This includes a data room software that combines diverse digital tools into one single platform that is easy to use with uploads of files and single sign-on. Additionally, it provides comprehensive auditing and reports that helps compliance teams maintain control of their data and prevent accidental disclosure.

Virtual data rooms are an excellent way to manage the M&A process, from due diligence through post-M&A integration and operations. VDRs make it easy for authorized users to read and comment on sensitive documents without risk of leaks. They also permit users to create activity reports that reveal who has read and accessed specific document pages. These reports will deter people who leak information from being caught since they can be traced back to the individual users. These reports also help M&A CISOs to evaluate the level of interest from potential investors or buyers.

Many M&A deals are built around the value of intellectual property. Virtual data rooms are employed by life science companies to manage everything from clinical trial results to HIPAA compliance, to licensing IP to the storage of patient files. It is not uncommon for companies to be asked to review and provide huge volumes of documentation during M&A due-diligence. This can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming task for both the company that is acquired and the buyer. A VDR allows you to share this information safely and efficiently.

No matter what industry, M&A can be a complex business procedure that can present significant security risks. The M&A team needs to understand the risk posed by adversaries, cybercriminals and disgruntled employees during the phase of integration and operation of the M&A lifecycle. These risks could include malware, unauthorized access to the system or network or sabotage as well as other disruptions that could affect the value proposition of M&A.

M&A could be a rewarding and profitable business experience when you have the right cybersecurity solutions. M&A is a great opportunity for businesses to add value and expand their global footprint. Before any transaction can be initiated the process, an M&A focused cybersecurity strategy must be implemented to ensure that the value of this deal is not diminished. For more information read our free guide Cybersecurity for M&A from the M&A Playbook. Todd Thiemann is director of marketing for the product of ReliaQuest GreyMatter, a Security Operations Platform that makes cybersecurity possible through M&A by delivering visibility, cutting through the complexity of heterogenous security stacks and reducing risks and uncertainty to ensure that your business can meet its goals.