As the world enters the modern era, both mergers and acquisition are increasingly performed online. As such, it is extremely important that businesses keep a handle on their files and make sure that they are in a secure location in order to prevent hackers, cybercriminals, and other nefarious actors from accessing these files. In the event that these files are stolen, this could destroy an ongoing merger or acquisition and even tank one or both of the companies involved depending on the severity of the hack or theft. As such, it is very important to know what to do to keep your files safe during the delicate process of hammering out the details of a merger or acquisition.
Use Passwords on Sensitive Files
One of the easiest ways to secure files, particularly contracts and other sensitive documents such as financial information and balance sheets, is password protection. Password protection allows you to prevent a file from being accessed unless a user actually has the password to access the document. While this is not the end all to be all of data protection, it is an important deterrent that keeps files safe from would-be criminals who may attempt to ransom the data. However, if they are not able to access the information inside, it is less likely that they will try to steal it in the first place. To be extra careful, you should use a random password generator to create a password that is not easy to guess and is not associated with anything relevant to you or the company you are merging with or being acquired by.
Set up Permission-Based User Access
No one really needs to have access to every single document involved in a merger or acquisition. As such, you should use a software that sets up permission-based user access to avoid unnecessary individuals from accessing documents that they do not need access to. While lawyers and executives likely need access to a wider array of documents, administrative assistants and other personnel likely do not. You will also want to speak to the other party and make sure that they do the same with the documents on their end so that no leaks or other data theft occurs while the merger or acquisition is taking place.
Track deal changes
It is typical that companies want to make changes to contracts. This is especially the case when a contract is negotiated in such a way as to be unfavorable to one party. This is why it’s important to use the contract lifecycle management process to track the efficacy of your contracts. During a merger or acquisition, this is particularly important to keep track of, as a bad deal can result in a failed merger or acquisition and spell doom for both companies. As such, legal teams need to use the contract lifecycle management process to track changes and see how the contract performs throughout the lifecycle of the deal.