Not so long ago, before the modern age of big data and digital transformations, enterprises would store important documents and confidential data in physical data rooms. Generally speaking, this would be a room filled with file cabinets that may store account information, financial documents, legal forms, and much more. Once sensitive documents and other files started being digitized, it became more common to store them in a data warehouse, rather than a physical data room. These data management systems are usually filled with historical data that they collect from a number of systems.
Today, however, with the volume and velocity of big data, there’s too much information coming into an enterprise at once to rely on traditional methods for storing, retrieving, and sharing sensitive data. More and more organizations are looking to cloud solutions and virtual data rooms (VDRs) for enterprise file sharing. They’re more secure than traditional options like Dropbox or Google Drive, and they offer a variety of great features. Here’s what you can expect while working with a secure virtual data room.
Faster Due Diligence
The due diligence process is an investigation or audit where professionals fact-check matters that are up for consideration. This process may occur for a number of reasons, but it’s most commonly done during the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process. While the leaders of two companies may agree to such a deal on the surface, it takes other professionals like investment bankers, attorneys, and advisors to look over confidential documents, like financial reports or legal documents, to ensure that the deal is in their party’s best interests.
A virtual data room functions as a secure place to share confidential information, so everyone involved can quickly access the documents they need and speed due diligence along. The documents are secured using digital rights management (DRM) technology. While this technology has long been known to protect the copyrights of creators and intellectual property owners, it’s now becoming more and more useful for general data security.
Full Control Over Access
As the administrator of a data room, you’ll be able to control exactly who has access to which secure documents. You’ll be able to set different levels of access when appropriate, and you’ll be in charge of key delivery for decryption. You can even set up two-factor authentication for documents to ensure the user on the other end is who they say they are.
As the admin of the deal room, you’ll also be able to revoke access to confidential files whenever you need to. It’s always important to do this once an M&A transaction is complete, but you can use this access control in other ways, too. For example, you could set a time limit for third parties to download their respective documents. This helps speed transactions along, and it makes it obvious which users are truly interested.
Dynamic Activity Tracking
Not only can you control which documents VDR users can access and when, but you can also track document activity in a convenient dashboard. You’ll be able to see when each party downloaded their documents in the first place, and you can also track when each one is viewed, edited, or shared (depending on what capabilities you’ve set for the document). This helps you make sure that everyone in the deal room is on task, and if someone seems to be struggling with their documents, you can direct them to various points of interest.
The best VDR providers will even let you integrate a secure data room with your existing enterprise systems, so the transfer of documents is as easy as possible. If you need DRM technology to keep other sensitive information out of the wrong hands, you can even incorporate it into your own custom solutions, so you’ll know that your data is always safe.