1 August, 2023

Enterprise systems need secure storage for confidential documents and data files. While this need was once met by filing cabinets, and later by in-house servers, the modern solution is an online repository: a virtual deal room.

Multiple departments within the enterprise need secure storage. Among them:

Executive Management: Senior management requires access to confidential documents for formulating corporate strategy, board meeting minutes, financial forecasts, and other sensitive materials. Secure storage ensures that sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access within the organization as well as from cybercriminals, the competition, and other outside agents.

Finance and Accounting: Finance deals with budgets, financial statements, invoices, banking information, and other financial data. Proper document storage and restricted access are essential to safeguard these records.

Legal: Legal affairs involve confidential legal documents, contracts, litigation records, intellectual property, and other sensitive information. Secure storage is essential to protect attorney-client privilege and comply with legal and regulatory requirements.

Human Resources (HR): HR handles sensitive employee information, such as personal data, payroll records, contracts, and performance evaluations. Secure document storage is crucial to protect the privacy of employees and comply with data protection regulations.

Marketing and Sales: Marketing and sales departments typically store customer data, marketing plans, sales forecasts, and competitive analyses. Proper document security is crucial to protect customer privacy and maintain a competitive edge.

Research and Development: R&D stores and generates documents that address intellectual property, trade secrets, and proprietary research data. Secure storage ensures that research information and records remain confidential.

Information Technology (IT): IT stores information related to network configurations, security protocols, software documentation, and access credentials. Secure document storage is critical to protecting the enterprise’s technological infrastructure from unauthorized access.

Operations and Supply Chain: These departments handle sensitive information about the company's operations, logistics, suppliers, and production processes. Secure storage safeguards operational data to maintain supply chain confidentiality.

Compliance and Risk Management: Compliance and risk management review confidential documents to pinpoint risk factors and to determine if enterprise documents comply with regulatory requirements. These departments require secure storage and carefully controlled access during audits and to avoid potential breaches.

Due Diligence: An enterprise engages in due diligence during preparation for a potential partnership, merger, sale, investment, or to comply with a regulatory audit. The due diligence process is typically led by a project team that draws on documents and input from multiple departments.

How a Virtual Deal Room Protects Confidential Documents

A virtual deal room (VDR) is an online platform that facilitates secure document sharing and collaboration. A VDR’s software provides access and sharing permissioning protocols, which means each department can have its own document storage, with permissioning control over who from their department or individuals outside the department have access. Fine-tuned permissioning allows a department to limit access to individual documents.

In the case of a multi-department activity like due diligence, a VDR is generally referred to as a virtual deal room (VDR). The due diligence team assembles a custom set of documents and uses permissioning controls to engage with individuals from different departments and may engage with third-party subject matter experts from outside the organization.

Among VDR providers, ShareVault has an outstanding track record for secure document storage and sharing. With ShareVault, files can be uploaded, organized, and shared by multiple authorized users without worrying about security.

Here are ways that a VDR protect documents:

Secure data centers: A quality VDR provider stores data in highly secure online data centers with physical and digital safeguards, such as access controls and firewalls, and maintains high surveillance of activity levels within the virtual deal room.

Encryption: A VDR uses encryption protocols to safeguard data during storage and transmission.

  • ShareVault automatically encrypts every document with AES-256 upon upload.
  • Document transmissions are via HTTPS over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), providing AES-256 encryption in transit.

Secure login and authentication: Users are required to use unique login credentials.

Access controls: Each department or the due diligence team leader assigns a VDR administrator to determine which users or user groups have access to specific folders or documents.

  • ShareVault access permissioning controls not only define who has access to the VDR, but also granular controls over what a user can do with a document, such as read only, copy/paste, print, or download.

Document expiration and revocation: The VDR administrator can set document expiration dates on access and can revoke a user’s access at any time.

Watermarking and remote shredding: Watermarking is the process of superimposing a logo or piece of text atop a document or image file to limit its reuse by an unauthorized user.

  • ShareVault’s watermarking software can be used at upload or at any time while a document is in the VDR.
  • As an extra precaution, the VDR administrator can ‘remotely shred’ any document, even after it has been downloaded.

Activity tracking and auditing: A quality VDR provider has monitoring software that logs all activity, by user and for each document, such as document views, downloads, and edits. This auditing feature helps track any suspicious behavior and identify potential security breaches. The VDR administrator, project team leader, or department head can also use tracking reports to monitor team productivity.

  • ShareVault has robust tracking and monitoring software with logs updated on real time. A supervisor can produce a report with a single click.

Compliance with regulations: A reputable virtual deal room provider adheres to industry standards and regulations to maintain the highest level of security and compliance.

  • A ShareVault VDR provides enterprise-grade security backed by multiple certifications, including SOC 1/2/3, PCI, ISO 90001 / 27001 / 27017 / 27018, FedRAMP Moderate, DoD CC SRG IL2, HIPAA, and HITRUST.

It is essential to choose a reliable and reputable virtual deal room provider to ensure that these security measures are implemented effectively.

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Eight Steps to Integrate a Virtual Deal Room into an Enterprise System

Integrating a virtual deal room into an enterprise system typically involves the following steps and considerations:

  1. Identify Business Requirements: Understand the specific needs and goals of your enterprise system and how a virtual deal room can complement and enhance its functionality. Define what features and capabilities you expect from the deal room integration.
  2. Select the Right Virtual Deal Room Provider: Choose a reliable virtual deal room provider that offers the features and security measures that meet business needs, including data security, document management, collaboration tools, ease of use, and integration capabilities.
  3. Security and Compliance: Security is crucial when dealing with sensitive business documents and information. Ensure that your VDR provider complies with relevant industry standards and regulations regarding encryption protocols, access controls, and audit trails.
  4. Data Synchronization: Make sure your chosen VDR provider allows for real-time or scheduled data synchronization between the enterprise system and the VDR. Synchronization ensures that information is up-to-date and consistent across both platforms.
  5. User Authentication and Access Management: Integrate user authentication and access management to ensure that only authorized individuals can access the virtual deal room. Ideally, this should be aligned with the existing user management system in the enterprise software.
  6. Document Management and Version Control: Implement a robust document management system to organize, version, and track changes made to documents within the virtual deal room. This feature is especially crucial for managing deal-related documents.
  7. Notifications and Alerts: Set up notifications and alerts to inform the due diligence team or department personnel about updates and changes within the virtual deal room.
  8. Testing and User Training: Before deploying the integration, conduct testing to ensure that everything works smoothly, then provide training to the due diligence team or department employees who will be using the VDR.

By following these steps and best practices, an enterprise can successfully integrate a virtual deal room into its existing system, enhancing collaboration, security, and efficiency in managing deals and sensitive information.

Projects involving collaboration using confidential documents are invariably stressful. To lessen the stress, start with a quality virtual data room for storing and accessing confidential documents, with built-in software that makes collaboration fast and easy.

Start with the Best Virtual Deal Room Provider

A ShareVault virtual deal room provides the essential security features that protect an enterprise’s documents and provides extensive controls over user access and usage. ShareVault has more than 15 years of experience with enterprises in Finance and M&A, Life Sciences, Law, and other industry verticals.

The ShareVault support team is highly experienced and can help streamline the integration process. And once you choose ShareVault, your experienced support team is available with tech support 24/7/365.

Talk to a ShareVault associate who will provide a VDR solution customized to an organization’s unique needs and budget concerns.

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