2020 has thrown the economy into turmoil and has led to a number of business closings as well as consolidations and acquisitions. When a company is in transition through any of these methods, it is essential to implement a cybersecurity checklist to reduce the risk and ensure that data is safe.
What should your checklist contain? It’s based on the kind of change that the company is in. In the middle of each is the need to adhere to security, compliance, and security and privacy. Even if a business has ceased to exist, it leaves many personal and sensitive data. In the majority of cases, the closed or acquired company must still be the caretaker of these documents.
Checklist for Acquisition Cybersecurity Acquisition Cybersecurity Checklist
If your business is considering buying another company, There are important decisions to be made prior to as well as after the acquisition. This cybersecurity analysis is essential in bringing the business to the family.
How to Do Pre-Acquisition
- Conduct a risk assessment as well as a Security audit. Employ external experts to review IT processes from a cybersecurity viewpoint in depth.
- Analyze the risk profile. After the evaluation, you need to be analyzing the risk profile to identify the degree of maturity of cybersecurity and also the critical weaknesses.
- Examine any compliance or legal regulations: Depending on your sector and the location, it is important to go through the evaluation to determine if it is in compliance with the regulatory standards (i.e., HIPAA for healthcare).
What to do during the Acquisition
- Check the policies that are in place to ensure emergency response as well as business continuity as well as disaster recovery; should they be, there is one.
- Create an inventory of all assets to identify all the software, physical and other equipment linked with IT operations.
- Examine physical security measures for the assets that are on-prem as well as those in data centers that are co-located.
- Find out what, if any, control of access is in the place.
- Develop a strategy to integrate, migrate or consolidate your IT infrastructure. You’ll need a comprehensive plan of how you’ll transfer applications and data from their hands to yours. You could also decide that to keep them separate. However, you’ll need to weigh the advantages regarding access and cost.
What Should You Do the Following Acquisition
- Modify the governance of employees using the standard security policies, Training, and access based on permissions.
- Conduct periodic assessments on cybersecurity and enhance existing programs to ensure employees know and adhere to the rules and establish a baseline for the security of information with roadmaps to continue improving.
The Consolidation Cybersecurity Checklist
Consolidation and downscaling are happening currently in the world of business for various reasons. One of the most frequent is the fact that companies are altering their work practices. Following the pressure to return employees to work, companies are discovering that this approach is effective and helps cut costs on overhead. Therefore, they must simplify and centralize cybersecurity methods.
Here are some things that should be included in your consolidating cybersecurity checklist:
- Find out which assets or locations you’re able to shut down and how to manage this, and transfer any data off servers on-premises securely.
- Review or establish remote work policies for ensuring that IT teams are able to manage cybersecurity risks using a distributed model.
- Inform employees about working from any location safely.
- Determine how you’ll archive the data and applications to ensure it’s safe and accessible should you require.
- Review any new requirements to help make remote models more viable, such as shifting file-sharing platforms and software to the cloud, if they’re not there yet. Consider the possibility of bundling to streamline cybersecurity and lower expenses.
This is the Business Closure Cybersecurity Checklist
When a company shuts down or declares bankruptcy, what happens to all digital assets? What you do during this point will have a lot of connection to the type of information you keep. For instance, healthcare institutions that have closed still must keep health records over a specified amount of time. The time will vary by state however is usually seven to 10 years after the date of the record date of its creation. Financial institutions that are closing have requirements from the regulatory authorities for records-keeping.
If you are subject to records-keeping regulations, however, you are still responsible for the responsibility of keeping those records safe. The cybersecurity list for this type of business closure could include:
- Determining the length of time, you need to keep the records
- Find an archive solution that lets you transfer data in a secure manner
- ensuring that regulatory bodies or customers/patients have the ability to seek documents
- Decommissioning all software systems that hold sensitive information in a secure way that is compatible with cybersecurity best practices
Businesses that are not registered Cybersecurity Requirements
If your company doesn’t fit into the regulatory realm, however, it doesn’t mean that you simply turn off everything and leave. There’s a chance you have sensitive or personal data about your customers that could include transaction information. These details could be attracted to hackers if you just leave them as it is and could result in legal consequences should a breach take place.
Here’s what you need to include on your list:
- All systems that hold information.
- Use the platforms you are using to find ways to erase or archive information in a method that is safe.
- Clean all tech devices like servers and laptops to erase any sensitive information.
- Verify that all access points on internal platforms are not accessible.
Any business transition should include Security Awareness.
Any major business change–acquisitions, consolidations, and closures–should include cybersecurity in the conversation. In today’s increasingly digital environment, the data assets you have are as valuable as physical assets. Utilize these checklists as a reference for navigating your way to make sure security is always at the forefront. To learn more about it, let’s enroll in a Cyber security course online.