Properly organizing the exchange of private documents with external counterparties requires specialized solutions. One such solution is the virtual data room.
Data leaks do not only occur due to the actions of external or internal intruders. Their origin is often the transfer of documents to external counterparties via private accounts from public cloud platforms. Sending by e-mail can also be insecure, since the information gets into the public network and the company loses control over it.
How Does It Work
A VDR is storage hosted on a private cloud or within an organization’s secure perimeter. Its main task is to provide authorized users with access to documents through a web interface or special applications. Traffic between the client and the storage is obligatorily encrypted, and in some cases DRM functions can be implemented – a digital restrictions management system. Then the documents themselves are encrypted. Typically, VDR is used to complete large corporate transactions, to access corporate reports during an audit, to communicate information to investors, and also in other situations where it is necessary to provide business-critical data.
To send files, the user uploads them to storage, sets up access, and sends a link to the recipient. The process can be automated as many developers implement integration with file managers, email clients, instant messengers and other popular software in client applications. In this case, the download and send process looks a bit more complicated than adding an attachment to an email. If the documents are protected with DRM technologies, the recipient must install special agent software on the computer that will control the correctness of their use. In this case there is more control, but not all types of data can be protected with DRM – usually only Microsoft Office documents.
How to Choose a Solution
There are some specialized products on the market with different capabilities and from different price ranges. In general, when organizing a virtual data room, it is worth focusing on integrated solutions that allow you to manage documents from the moment they are uploaded to storage to the moment they are deleted on the part of the counterparty. This requires the support of DRM technologies, as well as the availability of agent programs for desktop and mobile operating systems.
However, customer assignments may not require such skills. Therefore, in order not to overpay at the beginning.
Therefore, in order not to overpay at the beginning to choose and implement a product, it is better to choose a provider, i.e. an organization responsible for the reliability and security of your documents. You must select a provider based on the following criteria of dealroom review:
- work experience – determined by the presence of ready-made projects, so that your virtual data room is not the first and this does not cause problems;
- cost – to get objective data, you need to compare the offers of several companies, without forgetting about other factors;
- you need to clarify the possibility of translating the functionality of the virtual data room into your country;
- technical support – preferably 24/7, which is easy to reach and solve the problems encountered;
- a virtual data room “for your case” is not a standard product, but a development with flexibly changeable functionality;
- a simple and intuitive interface that does not require special knowledge and skills, allowing each user to work freely;
- provision by the provider of the possibility of converting existing documentation into an electronic format;
- security of the hosted data – in principle, the level of protection for providers is about the same, but does not interfere with the clarification.
Since virtual rooms of iDeals solutions are the most common, let’s look at the advantages they have specifically:
- each virtual data room is “managed” by a manager who provides explanations and monitors the progress of the transaction;
- if necessary, iDeals solutions provide the ability to easily make changes to the project;
- development of a high level of document protection, a simple interface;
- the costs vary within reasonable limits.
How to Work With VDR
After the choice of the provider is made, and all the details are clarified, you can proceed to the direct creation of the project.
If necessary, documents are converted into electronic format – they are scanned, often providers, including iDeals Solutions, undertake this service. Then, an almost finished project is filled with documents, access rights are created to them, their performance is checked, and the virtual data room is transferred to the customer for testing.
After the work is approved and/or changes are made, the provider trains the customer to work with the virtual room, after which it is possible to distribute access to potential buyers.