Digital technologies are being used everywhere in any way possible, including businesses of all levels. For this category of users, it is crucial to keep their confidential information secure.
Obviously, it is not enough to make some cloud copies of files and save all the necessary passwords. There are other contemporary solutions to the problem of information security. One of the most advanced solutions on the market to date is a virtual data room.
What is a virtual data room?
A virtual data room is a reliable method of storing and sharing sensitive data. It is a secure data repository ensuring bank-grade document protection, smooth data exchange, and full control over information sharing processes, which include viewing, downloading, printing, etc.
In addition to protection, virtual data rooms simplify the company’s file sharing and deal management process. They also ensure transparent operations for your business, which therefore promotes trusting relationships with clients.
But what about the main function of data rooms — secure data hosting? How can you be sure of the reliability of virtual data room solutions? What features of this service should you be aware of? And, last but not least, how do the virtual data room providers work?
We have gathered the answers to all these questions below.
Secure data rooms features
In addition to a set of basic features, most virtual data rooms have many advanced functions, which ensure a bank-grade level of protection of sensitive data.
Basic security features
- Data backup
Secure cloud storage is your reliable protection against unforeseen situations. Nothing can be completely destroyed or lost with a backup of all the documents in the cloud.
- Self-destructing documents
This data room software feature allows you to deny access to the document at any time, even after it has been downloaded.
- Document watermarks
To avoid any confidential information leaks, virtual data rooms offer custom watermarks. The mechanism of dynamic watermarking provides the date and name of the user who downloaded your document.
- Virus scanning
It’s important to remember about other dangers except data leaking. That’s why most VDR providers check your sensitive documents for viruses. A quality virtual data room will never let you upload any defective files.
- Document access restrictions
This feature allows you to regulate the desired level of document security. Decide which documents could be edited, downloaded, or printed — and get a full control over file sharing.
- Screenshot protection
With this feature, you can share confidential documents and never worry about unwanted screenshots of your data. The tool will safeguard your document’s content if someone opens a screen capturing app.
- Two-factor authentication
Multi factor authentication requires a user to verify their identity by providing two authentication factors, such as a password and a finger scan, face scan, or passcode sent to another device. It minimizes the risk of password theft.
- The terms of access (NDA)
It makes the process of signing NDAs with each client more effective. Users are asked to agree not to disclose information covered by the terms of access to enter your electronic data room.
- Granular access
With this data room software feature you can set up permission based user roles and control who can access the data based on their role in the company.
- Mobile devices access
Many virtual data rooms give you the option to work with your secured documents online without your computer. Most data rooms are available even offline and have dedicated apps for laptops and mobile phones both on iOS and Android.
Analytics and reports
- Detailed data room reports
The main aim of this feature is to record every user activity inside your data rooms and provide quality file tracking. Then the report will be formed and sent to the owner of the documents. This feature helps with data management and allows you to control multiple files at once.
You will be notified immediately if someone makes any changes to your file or upload a new one. This helps you stay updated on every process in a virtual data room.
Important certificates for the best virtual data room providers
Why are they important?
It is not a wise solution to simply trust even the most reliable virtual data room services. We suggest checking them for important certificates which are recognized worldwide and exist to ensure efficiency and security of file sharing.
Data security certification shows what compliance standards the virtual data room software meets. Only they guarantee the efficiency and transparency of the service in such a crucial aspect of doing business as the security of confidential data.
Here is a list of the main certificates to consider when choosing and comparing virtual data room providers:
1. SSAE 16 Certification
There are two types of this certificate: SOC 1 and SOC 2.
These standards are separate and regulate different aspects of data rooms or any data services:
- SOC 1 specializes in financial reporting and protection of users’ financial information.
- SOC 2 works with any confidential documents and considers the availability and privacy of the service.
Having SSAE 16 certification means that the online data room provider also supports the standards of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act. It ensures that the data room provider you choose has successfully passed an audit of internal controls over financial reporting.
2. ISO 27001 Certification
This certification is focused on high-level security of information and is considered to be the most popular and the most important one.
To receive this certificate the virtual data room providers have to support a reliable system for the identification of information security risks and a successful experience of their mitigation.
It’s a complex standard that requires a huge control mechanism of processes, policies, and proper organizational structure. ISO 27001 Certification guarantees proper safety of your data and promises to prevent any security threats or vulnerabilities.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a major EU processing regulatory document for personal data protection, privacy, and integrity. It defines how businesses should collect and handle the data of EU citizens. Accordingly, for those virtual data rooms that will be used by EU citizens, it is a must to adhere to the GDPR data protection rules to ensure secure collaboration.
It’s important to consider a GDPR while choosing a virtual data room provider as the certification guarantees that all the data is processed with:
- Lawfulness, accuracy, and transparency
- Integrity and confidentiality
- Purpose limitation
How to protect your data by using data rooms?
Knowing all the features of a secure virtual data room and being able to choose a reliable provider are important points that will allow you to set up effective work with this service. However, it is crucial to understand the mechanism of their work to share your confidential documents without worry. Here are some tips on how to choose the best data room providers.
So how does virtual data room software work?
We have already mentioned the value of information in the digital world. That is why online data room providers ensure comprehensive guarantees of protection.
These include the previously described basic and special features of a data room provider, security certificates, and special information encryption protocols.
How can I make a virtual data room work for me?
Trusting your data to the VDR provider is a two-way process. That’s why you need to clearly define your expectations and goals to successfully interact with these services and only after that analyze the reliability and compare virtual data rooms.
We suggest following the next algorithm:
1. Identify the needs of your company
At this point, it’s important to consider what types of files need to be protected, which team members will use the secure data room, and how much the company’s workflow will change with the new tools.
2. Identify the abilities of your company
At this point, the most important thing is the budget you are willing to allocate to data security. It usually depends on the number of authorized users, the features available, and the amount of data you want to save.
It is also worth thinking about the qualifications of employees, taking into account the potential need to teach them how to work with the new service.
3. Choose the desired features of a secure data room
You have already read the list of possible functions. Now you have to prioritize the tools that will meet your business needs. Most data room services are not limited to security, so be prepared to decide if you need document management, analytics and audit logs, restriction of access control, and more.
4. Check the availability of the necessary certificates confirming the reliability of virtual data room providers.
Don’t neglect virtual data room reviews!
Often it is the experience of other users that helps to find answers to detailed questions that arise when choosing a provider. So remember to check virtual data room reviews published on independent review platforms such as G2Crowd, Capterra, SoftwareAdvice, and more.
Only real people can tell you about the effectiveness of their document management and recommend the best virtual data rooms.
5. Establish contact with representatives of virtual data room providers
For a deeper understanding of the VDR provider and its services, we recommend asking competent people. They can describe to you the entire deal process, tell more about the virtual data room pricing and give some advice about data management and security.
It is also always possible to test all the features of an online data room via a free trial provided for a period of 14 to 30 days. It will surely help you test all the necessary features and make a final decision.
With the growing popularity of document digitization, the number of secure virtual data rooms providers is rapidly expanding. Of course, not all of them meet the desired standards, so it is important to be aware of this area to make the right choice.
Successful business interaction with a virtual data room is the key to your peace of mind and optimized company functioning. Hopefully, the information we have offered here will help you choose from the sea of providers and achieve the desired security of your data.