Here is a crazy thing to be aware of. Ransomware actors are targeting companies involved in significant, time-sensitive financial events. Cyber criminals identify non-publicly available information, which they threaten to release in an effort to entice victims to comply with ransom demands.

That’s right. Your deal – including an IPO – could be used against you. In most cases, the initial intrusion comes through trojan malware. Related to this is this recent FBI notice that significant, publicly disclosed financial events are targets for ransomware attacks.

So you might consider reviewing your company’s information security practices ahead of any deals. Beyond the obvious security protocols a company should have (egs. back-up critical data / ensure your anti-virus software is up-to-date / limit access to sensitive information to those who need to know):

Here are a few basic tips that could help in protecting your company from a governance perspective:

1. Implement an information security program appropriate to the company’s risk levels, including through ensuring appropriate reports by the chief information security officer to, and oversight by, the board of directors or a specified committee


2. Flag information about potential deals as confidential data subject to higher levels of security protocols


3. Train (and refresh) employees on best information security practices – like not using public wi-fi networks when accessing sensitive information, spotting malicious emails, etc.


4. Confirm your outside legal, financial and other representatives use best practices for securing information

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Photo of Jacob Hasler Jacob Hasler

Jacob Hasler is a knowledge management (KM) attorney supporting the firm’s business practices, specifically Corporate & Securities, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Emerging Companies & Venture Capital. As a KM attorney, Jacob helps capture and organize the firm’s institutional knowledge in ways that ensure

Jacob Hasler is a knowledge management (KM) attorney supporting the firm’s business practices, specifically Corporate & Securities, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Emerging Companies & Venture Capital. As a KM attorney, Jacob helps capture and organize the firm’s institutional knowledge in ways that ensure the efficient delivery of high-quality legal services. This involves managing the creation and upkeep of legal templates, automating documents, improving workflows, vetting and implementing KM technology tools, and pursuing other information sharing initiatives. Prior to taking on his current role, Jacob was an associate in the firm’s Business practice.