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Shareholder Thomas McThenia, left, and associate Richard Markow, GrayRobinson

For the casual observer, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals in the 20th century occurred in a staid and established world carefully controlled and choreographed by Wall Street investment bankers and lawyers. Like poorly behaved school children, new technologies and intellectual property (IP) are increasingly disrupting the M&A establishment. Digital and data technologies revolutionized transactions in the 1970-80s; intellectual property came to the forefront as a source of significant value and collateral in the 1990s and, Internet technology created vast wealth in the early 2000s.

Cybersecurity has become the latest disruptive newcomer to the M&A party. As expanding technology allows companies and platforms to capture, store and distribute critical enterprise, supplier and customer information, attacks are spreading. Traditional M&A due diligence processes struggle to keep pace with increasing cybersecurity problems.

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