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  • It's no secret that safeguarding business and customer data is a big concern for companies. In mergers and acquisitions (M&As) world, cyber-security is a hot button. With nearly 800 data breaches in the United State last year, according to Identity Theft Resource Center, coupled with the hefty cost of these attacks, acquirers are looking closely at cyber-security due diligence when they buy companies. The importance of cyber-security issues at M&A targets has increased greatly in the past two years, according to nearly 80 percent of North America-based senior M&A practitioners who responded to a survey commissioned by West Monroe Partners and conducted by MergerMarket. The report finds that as the need for cyber-security due diligence rises, deal makers are faced with roadblocks, ranging from the lack of employees with the right skill sets to conduct security analyses to a lack of thoroughness and the uncovering of problems after the deals close. Here are key takeaways from the survey that show where managed security service providers and other security solution providers can help ease the pain during cyber-security due diligence.

  • Cyber-attacks on companies of all sizes continue to grow, fueling a greater need for businesses to step up their plans to mitigate and recover from these threats. A recent global survey reveals that 66 percent of the 369 business continuity and resilience professionals surveyed reported at least one cyber incident in the previous 12 months, and 15 percent faced at least 10 incidents. The Cyber Resilience Report, conducted by the Business Continuity Institute and sponsored by Crises Control, also finds that some companies are still slow to respond to cyber incidents, which can result in a major disruption to business. One finding shows that 19% of organizations take four hours or more to respond, which is unacceptable by most standards. Organizations can turn to managed security service providers if they lack the resources or skill sets in-house. In addition to providing services such as intrusion detection, firewalls, and virus/spam blocking, they also can work with companies to help them improve their business continuity and cyber resilience plans. Key survey takeaways show a need at many companies for better communications, collaboration, plan validation and security leadership.

  • Small and midsize businesses need to understand that no company is too tiny for a cyber-attack or data breach and it doesn't matter what industry they are in. In fact, more than half of SMBs have been subjected to a breach in the last 12 months, according to a new survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Keeper Security. Additionally, only 14 percent of the 598 IT and IT security respondents polled rated their companies' ability to mitigate cyber-attacks highly effective. The biggest reasons cited for the lack of confidence are insufficient personnel, budget and technologies, along with a lack of leadership in terms of who determines IT security priorities. The survey also finds that the most frequent attacks on SMBs are Web-based and include phishing and social engineering breaches. One of the biggest problems SMBs face is a lack of control and visibility into employee password protection, which is believed to play a key role in security defense. One way SMBs can increase their security strategies and prevent cyber-attacks is by partnering with managed security service providers and other security solution providers. Here's a look at key takeaways from the study.