Virtual Data Rooms (VDRs) are arguably the most crucial technology used during mergers and acquisitions since they serve as the primary means by which business owners, investors, buyers, lawyers, clients, and advisors exchange business-critical documents. The process of choosing the right virtual data room provider might seem overwhelming without the right guidance. But fortunately, it’s a lot simpler than it seems.
What you should look for when choosing a Virtual Data Room provider
There are 7 key things you need to look for in order to choose the right virtual data room (VDR) provider for your organization:
- Document Access Controls
- Reports to Track User Activity
- Custom Features/Adaptability
- Customer Support
- Proven Track Record
The strength of any virtual data room provider lies, without doubt, in its security. Comparing differences in security between VDR providers might seem like an overwhelming task, but it boils down to three simple aspects of security:
- Data Security: A good virtual data room provider will provide you with top-level security measures and also meet major security compliances. They will utilize best-practice security measures such as virus and intrusion protection, network firewalls, and data encryption (at rest and in transit) to ensure data is always kept safe.
- Feature Security: This is arguably the most important aspect of security that needs to be looked into. Most data breaches occur as a product of human error. A good data room provider offers features that protect against user errors and make workflows more efficient. This would include flexible security features such as password complexity, change and expiration requirements, inactivity timeouts, multiple user types, and access control restrictions.
- Physical Security: A good VDR provider uses industry-grade data centers with physical security measures like data redundancy, offsite data backups, biometric access, and fire protection. These are further validated with a good business continuity plan and regular penetration testing.
Document Access Controls
Document access controls are another critical area that you should consider before choosing a virtual data room provider that suits your needs. Here’s what you need to look for:
- Does your VDR provider offer you a simple, yet flexible, option for assigning security to documents and users. *For example, progressive security clearance levels for users and documents to control access to specific files as a transaction progresses or security sections to allow for segmenting of document access by department, buyer group, company, etc.
- Can you specify view only, printing and download permissions by file and user?
- Can you place dynamic watermarks on each viewed and/or printed page of a document to ensure document security?
- Can you establish time frames for user access?
Reports to Track Users
Controlling access to documents is just half of the puzzle; good virtual data room providers also give you the tools necessary to track user activity. Make sure to choose a VDR provider who allows you to:
- Monitor the login activity of every user.
- Gain valuable insights from all tracked user and document activity in the data room and easily know who, when, where, and how many times each document has been accessed
Good virtual data room (VDR) providers are dedicated to providing their clients with an experience that is TAILORED to fit their needs perfectly. Don’t just buy a list of features – you won’t need everything that a provider offers and you don’t want to overly complicate your process. Make sure your user experience is not going to be encumbered with features and options that you and your users will never use. Be sure you can turn those things off.
Not only do good VDR providers continually upgrade their services with the latest technology and security features, but they also make sure to provide users with the features they need to manage and share their business-critical documents effectively. Good VDR providers also listen to their customers and gain insights for future development from their feedback.
Good virtual data room providers have a dedicated customer support team which is unparalleled in its ability to provide clients with the kind of rapid support they need and expect!
Proven Track Record
It’s always wise to choose a virtual data room provider who has a proven track record in facilitating transactions within your specific industry. This is not just about having confidence in the provider you choose; it’s also about enabling efficiency. Seasoned VDR providers who have already supported clients in your industry will be better equipped to provide you with the features and service you need.
Lastly, good VDR providers offer transparent pricing models that meet your needs. Companies using virtual data rooms often have different requirements when it comes to storage space, no. of administrators, no. of users, and also varying customer support requirements.
Vault Rooms – A Leading Virtual Data Room Provider
For more than 13 years, Vault Rooms has been an industry-leading cloud-based virtual data room provider. Vault Rooms has proudly facilitated tens of thousands of global M&A transactions across a wide range of industries for a variety of clients – including business brokers, investment bankers, accountants, attorneys, private equity firms, and banks. Vault Rooms’ virtual data rooms enable worldwide clients 24/7/365, to safely collect, organize, share and track business-critical documents on the Vault Rooms platform. Vault Rooms offers multiple pricing plans to best fit each organization’s needs.
About the Author
Karen Perkins is the CEO and Co-Founder of Vault Rooms, Inc. She is a troubleshooter, problem solver, and efficiency expert. Her career experiences have provided a broad foundation of skills that make her uniquely qualified to assist companies with their growth, transition, and operational improvement. She advocates for the use of simple and secure technology tools designed to make work and life easier with the Super S.M.A.R.T. Women platform. Likewise, her company, Vault Rooms, is a technology platform for the simple and secure sharing of business-critical files.