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Why security needs to be involved early during mergers and acquisitions

M&A security can often be overlooked during deal making, leading to potential incidents down the line. Here's how UK newspaper Racing Post dealt with three acquisitions in three years, each with its own security requirements.

As an industry that is now largely dependent on online services to survive, security should be a key part of every media outlet’s business strategy. A disruption to service or a compromise of customers’ information could be catastrophic in a highly competitive and oversaturated industry where reader loyalty is often low.  Yet according to Akamai’s state of media security report, only 1% of survey respondents indicated they are “very confident” in their current security measures.

As a company that suffered a data beach, UK newspaper Racing Post underwent its own rethink around security strategy, while also navigating three acquisitions that could potentially have been problematic if approached in the wrong way.

How a data breach made Racing Post reevaluate its security 

Launched in 1986 by UAE Prime Minister and Emir of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Racing Post is a publisher dedicated to the horse and greyhound racing industries as well as sports betting. In addition to a daily print newspaper, the Post runs websites and apps dedicated to delivering content to racing enthusiasts, bettors and bookmakers, and racing and bloodstock professionals.

While the Post is best known for its newspaper, the company’s CSO, Johan Pieterse, explains that is only about 10% of what the business does. He describes the post as a content provider serving up content on 30 years’ worth of horse-racing data along with a growing amount of greyhound racing information via print, web, and other digital formats via APIs and B2B content globally.

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