About Virtual Data Rooms
Regardless of size or sector, today’s companies run on sending, receiving, creating and sharing information. Traditional mail and faxes play a role—and electronic tools like email, FTP and cloud-based file sharing can handle some basic functions. But when the stakes are high, and security and reliability are a must, firms are turning to the next generation of virtual data rooms.
What are VDRs?
Virtual data rooms are sophisticated online information exchanges with robust document protection, communication and collaboration tools. VDRs provide a highly secure environment to manage the sharing of critical company information with a global network of users—with around-the-clock availability and support.
A brief history
VDR development and adoption have been driven in large part by the need for a better way to conduct due diligence. In every major interaction and strategic decision, firms need to check the facts, review potential buyers and sellers, disclose their own data and collaborate. The business world abandoned physical data rooms piled with documents years ago in favor of virtual rooms that deliver convenience, protection and speed. Business owners, executives and advisory firms have found that VDRs maximize transaction value by minimizing mistakes and accelerating deal closings.
Over the last decade, VDR technology has extended its value beyond short-term transactions to become a powerful tool for ongoing company operations. Firms are using data rooms to extend or replace internal information systems that aren’t designed for sharing information securely with external parties. As networks of offices, vendors, customers and partners become global, firms must find an effective way to link the extended enterprise for secure, real-time communication and collaboration. After highly publicized breaches of confidential corporate data, business is moving beyond low-tech solutions like SharePoint and DropBox to embrace the security and performance that the best VDRs deliver.
What to look for
VDR features and service levels vary by provider, and choosing the right virtual data room provider can be a daunting task. Virtual data rooms should deliver a streamlined user credentialing process to ensure that hundreds of users can gain access quickly while retaining total security. Backed by dedicated customer support, your information needs to be accessible around the clock using any operating system and browser environment.
Only the best options meet the highest standards for:
- Digital rights management technology to prevent copying, pasting, printing, saving and screenshots
- Fully customized digital document watermarks to identify document sources when printing is necessary and discourage camera-based attacks.
- Real-time tracking and reporting of all user access down to the page level—including what was viewed, printed or downloaded
- Multidimensional access controls that support complex access and permission requirements to the document level
- Enterprise search with onboard optical character recognition technology to convert scanned information into fully searchable documents
- Robust communication tools—including question and answer management, new document notifications, secure user messaging and scheduled user activity reports sent by email
Realize the value for your business
If you haven’t used a professional VDR yet, there’s one in your future. Choose wisely, and you’ll meet the expectations of your company, advisors and potential partners for fast, efficient, secure information exchange.