Virtual data rooms are part of the cloud sector. Commonly they are used between two companies which are exploring a deal. Often this is the likes of merger and acquisition deals. However, virtual data room software is now being used by a far wider range of organisations. This includes senior management, accountants and others looking for a low cost way to view and share documents without needing a physical location.
Virtual data room software is convenient, cost effective and can be scaled up or down depending on individual needs.
The data room is the place where the documents relating to the deal can be viewed. Physical data rooms require that everyone participating in the deal travel to one location to view the documents they need to make their decision. This can often prove highly inconvenient.
In today’s economy, business interests span over continents. Thus it becomes harder and more impractical to bring together all the deal makers to one location. In the past, email may have been used to do such deals. However, email can often be insecure. In high stakes mergers or acquisitions, lack of control is unacceptable. Documents falling in to the wrong hands can compromise a deal and give advantages to a competitor.
Virtual data room software provides secure file sharing.
Controlled access is given to any parties participating in a deal. A virtual data room usually consists of a central server hosting the relevant documents. This has a highly secure internet connection with limited access to the outside world. Everything inside the data room can be monitored and tracked. Thus critical business info can be shared in a secure way. Information can be limited depending on the user, with high level info only accessible with the right permissions.
The effect of virtual data room software on business.
Virtual data rooms have made making deals easier than ever. In deal making, due diligence demands that legal documents are checked a number of times. A virtual data room means this process is far more convenient, saving time and resources for everyone involved as extensive travelling is no longer required.
Data Rights Management
In good virtual data room software digital rights management is enforced. This prevents documents being copied, printed or forwarded when they are viewed by users. This prevents data leaks from individuals who have been granted permission.
The top virtual data room software providers
Prices for OneHub begin at just $99 per month, which is cheap for virtual data room software. They have a focus on small business and “mid-market” companies which still need to exercise due diligence with their deals. It is also useful for small contractors making bids on projects.
OneHub uses secure 256 bit encryption and a range of additional features such as automatic watermarking of documents, anonymized users and audit history.
You don’t have to sign up for a contract, and they are even offering a 14 day free trial. Not being tied down to a contract is especially useful for small businesses who may only need such a service for a few months.
SecureDocs has built a piece of virtual data room software designed to be accessible to all. You don’t need special training or a prolonged orientation to use this. Prices begin at $200 per month, which is a significant step up from OneHub.
They explain the difference between SecureDocs and DropBox as follows.
- Use Dropbox when sending out promotional material or public information to large groups of people
- Use SecureDocs when storing or sharing sensitive information and needs to be kept confidential for the sake of the client or company.
The types of secure information which you should use virtual data room software for includes:
- Client lists
- Financial reports
- Cap reports
- Employee files
Using a secure bit of virtual data room software can help you gain confidence from clients, colleagues and investors. It ensures the protection of important sensitive information.
SecureDocs uses two factor authentication. This means that SMS messages are sent to your phone and you have to input the security code messaged before you are granted access. Once this approval has been granted, users get registration for that particular computer for 30 days. Admins of the virtual data room will get activity alerts.
Documents are protected within the data room via dynamic watermarking, end to end encryption and view only functionality.
Support is available 24/7 by email or phone.
This is a well known player in the cloud storage world. It has many of the same features as Dropbox including usability and clean interface. However, it is aimed at the business market and as such is many times more secure than Dropbox.
As a piece virtual data room software, Box ramps up the security, requiring multiple permissions and tracking.
Box has a nice balance of usability and control which lends it to VDR use.
Setting up a virtual data room with Box only takes a few minutes. This then allows you to share information with your partners securely around the world. It also gives you power to limit permissions to upload, view or edit the files.
Set up your VDR with box to include multiple separate folders for each project. You can then receive notifications if anyone accesses files in it, including uploads, downloads, edits and comments.
Pricing begins at an affordable $10 per user per month for businesses.
Virtual data room software is becoming more and more important for business including small business.
There are three reasons why you should know about them.
Virtual data room software is secure. It helps to safeguard your business and the data you have been trusted with.
They add accountability. You can tag files and documents so you are alerted if they are edited.
Lastly, they make business more efficient.
I hope today’s article has helped shed light on the world of virtual data room software.
A general rule of thumb is to use the most popular providers. That’s why I have listed three excellent companies here. For small businesses I recommend OneHub due to its reasonable price point, and the fact you don’t have to sign up for a long term commitment.