Don’t acquire a looming liability

Parsolvo offers a comprehensive suite of cyber security services aimed at addressing the full scope and lifecycle of enterprise risk management addressing the needs of high growth and acquisitive firms.

While the totality of our offering is comprehensive, it is important to understand that an effective cyber security program must make sound tradeoffs between security measures that are driven by industry, government regulations, company value, data sensitivity and other factors with the appropriate level of investment to ensure healthy corporate operations.

Companies can spend an unlimited budget, invest in daily training, have the most talented engineers recognized across the globe and still potentially have security exposure at some level.  Thus it is important to understand the operational trade-offs and the risk reward model when sizing security investments.

Parsolvo has designed its services as engagements that are meant to be stackable and uniquely tailored to meet specific client requirements whether it is pre or post transaction.  We have defined our offering using four distinct categories:  Security Planning, Cyber Due Diligence, Proactive Security and Reactive Security.

Parsolvo M&A Security Solutions are designed to be stackable to meet transaction specific and post merger goals

Security Planning

When firms are in the planning stage of their cyber security program, it is critical to start from the top at the policy level.  Parsolvo subscribes to the theory that a well-defined policy drives operational and administrative processes that enable people to more effectively utilize the tools at their disposal while reducing overall corporate risks.

What do we mean by a well defined policy?

A properly articulated security policy always possesses the following traits:

  1. It is easy for every employee to understand
  2. It informs employee decision-making at every level within the organization
  3. It auditable
  4. It is sustainable via self-documenting processes and efficient toolsets
  5. It can be easily reported on
  6. It is discretely measurable or defines discrete pass/fail criteria

How does planning change during a merger or acquisition?

Commonly during a transaction security tends to become a major focus during the integration process.  Depending on the size and complexity, three general scenarios exist:

  • Status quo – the acquiring organization allows the target organization to run as they had prior to the acquisition for a period of time
  • Tuck in – the acquiring organization immediately begins to consolidate and fold-in the target, its culture, systems, processes and people into the acquirers organizational standards. Very little is borrowed from the target in the way of doing business
  • Best of Breed – the acquiring organization identifies a combination of strengths between itself and the target selectively choosing which aspects of culture, systems, processes and people to emphasize and in the process creates a new way of doing business leveraging the combined maturity of both organizations

The impacts to security planning are numerous.  With a “status quo” transaction the focus of due diligence is generally related to understanding the general security liabilities that are involved with the present state architecture while a “tuck in” requires more of a gap analysis approach between the existing cyber assets and security operations and the acquirers security baseline.  There can also be significant training costs as well as difficulty in changing user behavior away from pre-existing cultural practices.  The “best of breed” scenario is the most complex to integrate, but it also has the greatest payoff long-term as diligence is given to creating a new better entity leveraging the strengths of each while (hopefully) minimizing their weaknesses as organizations.

Cyber Due Diligence

Parsolvo’s cyber due diligence services help you make better better-informed M&A decisions

  • Identify actual cyber security lapses or potential at-risk areas in your targets
  • Quantify remediation costs and help restructure investments if needed
  • Demonstrate data security commitment to stakeholders and regulators

Even Technologically Advanced Companies can have Liabilities

The acquisition target looks great on paper — It has an innovative product, a great sales team and a lean approach to expenses. But when it comes to understanding cybersecurity risk, investors should look deeper than self-disclosures.

Around the world, private equity firms, hedge funds, investment banks and venture capital investors are turning to Parsolvo’s cybersecurity due diligence services to help make better-informed M&A decisions.

Cybersecurity Due Diligence Overview
Independent cyber due diligence from Parsolvo can help assure that the cybersecurity history and outlook at your target company is strong. Our experts can also help identify material cyber-related weaknesses that must be addressed if you are to avoid or fully account for potential post-transaction risks, fines and costly remediation:

  • Identify information security risks and shortfalls in governance, operations and technology
  • Research undisclosed or unknown data breaches
  • Assess the target’s ability to detect and respond to a cybersecurity incident
  • Quantify potential remediation costs from multiple angles: operational, financial and reputational based on previous or unknown exposures

Pre- and Post-Transaction Services
Parsolvo offers four cyber due diligence engagements to help you uncover, assess and address information security risks, both pre- and post-transaction. Each engagement is able to be tailored to meet the specific objectives for each individual transaction.  This allows firms to select and deploy the combination of services that best matches the risk concerns, speed of the deal, and level of access to the buy-side company.

For organizations seeking to be acquired, positive findings or timely remediation based on these assessments can allay potential buyers’ concerns and accelerate a deal’s close.

This high-level screening does not need access to an organization’s network, so it can be completed quickly and efficiently. This ultimately paves the way for determining how to best remediate any risks.

Post Transaction – Endpoint Analysis

Parsolvo’s secure sweeper can be quickly deployed across all endpoints in the target organization to search and monitor for known bad and unusual behaviors. When endpoint data identifies existing malware or infection points, Parsolvo’s cyber security experts stand ready to take appropriate steps to contain and respond to threats.

Pre-Transaction and Post Transaction – Cyber Risk Assessment

Risk assessments are performed using Parsolvo’s proprietary methodology built from years of incident response and investigations work. We can also adapt our assessments to include industry standard frameworks, such as ISO, NIST, PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, GLBA, CIS and others to help ensure compliance with all stated regulatory requirements in your sector.

Our framework allows for agile assessments that require minimal input from the target company, but can also include a deeper review given access to internal systems.

Pre-Transaction and Post Transaction – Vulnerability Assessment

Our professional penetration testing teams will scan target systems and examine each defined boundary for exploitable vulnerabilities.  Our team will document findings, assess the cost to remediate and make recommendations for timeframe. These tests will provide measurable insight into the real-world risks the acquirer faces if transaction proceeds.

Generally Post Transaction – Penetration Testing

Penetration tests (pen tests) let you know if attackers can actually breach your systems and what information they can get access. Ongoing penetration testing is a security best practice; however, you don’t want the fox watching the henhouse, leading to a false sense of security. When it comes to penetration tests, an external perspective for oversight is essential.

Unlike standard third-party penetration tests, Parsolvo conducts controlled ‘outside in’ penetration tests, social engineering, and simulations of sophisticated and advanced persistent threats (APT), taking the approach a true hacker or bad actors might take.

With very little knowledge about how the internal network is configured or what security measures are in place, Parsolvo relies on the experience of our people, proven processes, and stellar technology to deliver true ‘black box’ testing results and prioritized remediation plans. Knowing how an adversary can get in and what they can access enables our team to quickly fix the issues and further safeguard your infrastructure and critical data.

Pre-Transaction and Post Transaction – Cyber Security Standards Audit

Parsolvo cybersecurity standards audits align best practices and regulatory guidelines with a safe cybersecurity posture in your network. We map to government and industry standards, like ISO and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to ensure all security procedures and protocols are functioning to meet regulations and maintain compliance.

Our Cyber Defense team is well versed in existing and pending cybersecurity regulatory standards and developments across all industries worldwide. We provide you with an assessment of cyber risks associated with governance, risk, and compliance, mapped against current state of security measures in your company. Parsolvo’s cybersecurity standards audits not only keep you in line today, but help prepare you for the future.

Post Integration / Steady State – Cyber Security Training and Awareness

Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT concern. It is top of mind for board members and executive leadership due to the potential risk for the business and its operations, finances, and reputation. To effectively run a business today, you need to be proficient in cyber threats and cyber defense.

Parsolvo has the unique ability to walk the walk and talk the talk with both technical and executive stakeholders. Our training and advisory services include on-site training from cybersecurity experts and live simulations to give teams the opportunity to practice responding to real-world scenarios. We tailor the simulations to your threat scenario, incorporating current attack models and threats. Our goal is to make sure all stakeholders have a full understanding of the cybersecurity landscape and its potential threats and impacts as well as know how to respond in the case of an incident so they can make quick, informed decisions for the business.

*Assessment is often conducted immediately post-transaction or can be performed pre-transaction by those seeking to be acquired.

Have a target in mind?  Engage our team for your next transaction