AsTech Consulting Identifies Security Assessment as the Missing Piece in Merger & Acquisition Due Diligence

San Francisco Security Firm Working with Investment Advisors to Uncover Critical Security Flaws that Present Added Risk for Corporate Acquisitions.

San Francisco, CA, USA (March 3, 2016) -- Hidden security flaws in software and network infrastructure pose great risks to successful mergers and acquisitions, and yet assessing the security of target companies is commonly omitted from the M&A due diligence process. According to the team at AsTech Consulting-independent cyber security experts specializing in software and IT infrastructure security-unidentified vulnerabilities can heavily influence the value of an acquisition, and more investment advisors and corporations are working with AsTech to uncover hidden security issues to guide valuation and deal negotiations.

"A few years ago security audits were just for 'tech' companies but today almost every business is dependent on increasingly vulnerable, interconnected technology. Buyers no longer see this as an isolated 'IT' issue, it's become a boardroom issue," said David Fox, Managing Director, Strategic Value Advisors.

Assessing security issues and overall cyber risk is seldom considered as part of due diligence in merger and acquisition discussions, but this is changing. Negotiating parties examine revenue, assets, inventory, channels, and partnerships, but fail to recognize that a security weakness in the network infrastructure or source code may compel remediation costs that annihilate a significant percentage of the subject valuation. Security breach remediation and customer notification routinely cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. For example, there are 47 states with "breach notification" laws and, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average cost of a security breach customer notification alone in 2014 was $500,000.

"Hidden security issues can have a profound impact on any merger. In one recent case, the acquisition target discovered a breach during negotiations that affected their customers as well as the company itself. The acquiring company simply walked away from the table," said Greg Reber, founder and CEO of AsTech Consulting. "To meet the market's need, AsTech has launched an M&A Security Due Diligence Practice. Developed with M&A advisors, venture capital investors and security practitioners, this service focuses on getting useful information to the right players quickly, before it's too late to have an effect on negotiations."

Dr. Martin Carmichael, former CISO of TD Ameritrade and McAfee, agrees, stating: "As CISO of TD Ameritrade, I engaged AsTech to perform a security evaluation after an acquisition deal was done. They discovered critical security flaws, which required significant remediation costs. This information would have affected the valuation, and negotiations."

Guy Henshaw, board member of payroll company Evolution HCM notes: "AsTech has helped our company assess the cyber risk of potential acquisitions on three occasions. They are adept at quickly assessing and analyzing risks: distilling results into very succinct reporting with recommendations. We will not go into a deal without the AsTech Due Diligence Cyber Risk Assessment."

Depending on 'deal-specific variables,' there is a range of scrutiny that may be applied to this type of due diligence. A software company being acquired for the software itself doesn't need an IT infrastructure assessment, but rather a software security analysis which in most cases could produce key results within a few business days.

"The business climate is changing and chief executives and board members are being held accountable by shareholders, employees, and others for costly security breaches," Reber said. "Legal disclaimers no longer excuse liability. Smart executives are scrutinizing security in advance, rather than waiting for hidden problems to emerge that can create costly remediation. Assessing security vulnerabilities in advance strengthens your negotiating position, regardless of which side of the table you're on."

About AsTech Consulting
AsTech Consulting has been helping Fortune 1000 companies manage risk and protect vital information assets since 1997. AsTech's technical team are true Internet security experts, providing a full suite of services focused on risk management and mitigation including Vulnerability Discovery and Remediation, Secure Development Training, Secure Software Development Lifecycle Consulting and Security Architectural Design.

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Romney Attack On Trump Invokes Imagery of Blood, Reagan's Assassin, Economic Bloc

ALIPAC calls for peace, civility, and unity among Republican voters.

Raleigh, NC, USA (March 3, 2016) -- Contact: Americans for Legal Immigration PAC | | (866) 703-0864

ALIPAC is issuing a national call for all Americans who are concerned about our nation's future to immediately end the personal attacks, fractured personal and professional relationships, and infighting within the GOP primary, and to reprimand any candidate, group, or individual that continues such destructive behavior that is increasing the chances that establishment Republicans and Hillary Clinton will win in 2016!

ALIPAC's call for civility, unity, and peace is being issued in response to the discovery that the contentious GOP Presidential Primary could be hurting smaller organizations and down ballot candidates for Congress, and Mitt Romney's choice of menacing imagery and language in today's press conference!

Mitt Romney chose to appear in front of a blood red backdrop at the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics which was covered with a familiar globalist symbol to bash the millions of Americans supporting Donald Trump for President as "suckers."

"Here's what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat," said Romney.

ALIPAC takes issue with two-time loser Romney's decision to appear at a place that shares the name of Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin, as well as Romney's clear symbolic alignment with the open borders power groups that are responsible for the costly and deadly illegal immigration invasion and overthrow of America.

"Romney is wrong to attack Trump supporters, and his decision to visually and symbolically insert the name of Reagan's would-be assassin, the western hemisphere of the Globe, and the color of blood into his attacks on Donald Trump and millions of Trump supporters are completely reprehensible," said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC. "We encourage Donald Trump to increase his security detail immediately and for all Americans to prepare themselves for what may follow Romney's menacing attempt to foreshadow violence and increased divisiveness within the GOP that benefits the establishment and Hillary Clinton."

ALIPAC takes issue with Romney's efforts to further escalate destructive conflicts and mudslinging in a GOP primary race that is increasing the chances that Hillary Clinton will win.

ALIPAC also contends that Romney should have called for civility and unity and appeared in front of an image of the USA instead of an image of Canada, Mexico, Brazil, along with Central and South America on a blood red field most similar to the flags of communist nations.

"It is not Donald Trump who is increasing Hillary's chances of winning, it is the refusal of establishment Republicans like Romney and Rubio to defer power to the people who have made Trump the front runner! By adding further unsubstantiated and juvenile insults to this race and by even considering launching an independent candidate, the sellout establishment Republicans are signalling they are willing to throw the race to Hillary, which will be the result if we do not take steps to call for civility and unity immediately! I believe it is time for us to unify behind the clear front runner Donald Trump." said William Gheen.

The video feed of Mitt Romney's press conference today shows the University of Utah's "Hinckley Institute" name and a logo representing the western hemisphere of the Earth where most of America's illegal immigrant population is being imported from. The name Hinckley and this Globalist symbol appear on a blood red background thus symbolically combining the color of blood, with an assassin's name, with a plan for global economic unions.

The globalist symbol behind Romney is very similar to symbols that appeared on the logos for the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), The Total Information Awareness (TIA) program that Congress canceled funding for, and the mysterious tracking hologram that once appeared on NC Driver licenses a few years ago.

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