A good friend recently shared with me the article Verizon GC on the Lessons Learned from Deal with Yahoo (use Linkedin for paywall access) because he thought it would be valuable information to add to my own cybersecurity knowledge toolbox. Given the experience Verizon’s GC has gained through this process, when he talks about lessons learned, we should all pay attention.
Here are the 5 key takeaways to keep in mind for mergers and acquisitions such as this one:
- Have a strategy on how to handle the news of data breaches.
- Analyze how a data breach impacts the original goals of the deal and how it will impact investors.
- Be very disciplined in messaging, ensuring that all public statements, to all audiences, are a variation of the same core messages.
- Know what the parties’ agreement says about data breaches which, necessarily, requires that the agreement address the issue of data breaches.
- While due diligence around data breaches may be important, it is more important to have reps and warranties around data breaches because it is unreasonable to expect due diligence to find what the company itself hasn’t found.
Shawn Tuma (@shawnetuma) is a business lawyer with an internationally recognized reputation in cybersecurity, computer fraud, and data privacy law. He is a Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Partner at Scheef & Stone, LLP, a full-service commercial law firm in Texas that represents businesses of all sizes throughout the United States and, through its Mackrell International network, around the world.