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Virtual Data Room Providers
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Selection Guide

Virtual data room offers numerous document security features which keep your enterprise documents and sensitive data protected. Document security features range from watermarking to data-at-rest encryption with customer managed encryption keys.

Dynamic Watermarks

Dynamic watermarks are automatically embedded into each document downloaded from the virtual data room. The watermark can contain the date of the download, the name of the project, the name and even the IP address of the person who has downloaded the document.

Document Expiry

Sometimes called “self-destructing document” or “remote destruction”, this security feature allows to revoke the right of access to the document at any time, even after the user has already downloaded the file. This document protection feature helps prevent unwarranted document distribution.

Restricted Viewing

This document security feature allows to block parts of the screen while the viewing the document in the internet browser. This helps prevent security breaches such as unsolicited viewing in public places, camera-based attacks, or screen capture.

256-Bit SSL Encryption

256-bit AES SSL encryption is the golden standard for online banking and e-commerce transactions. Look for the highest standard or data encryption during data transit to and from the virtual data room, as well as while the data is stored within it.

Document Access Restrictions

Document security policies allow you to specify custom levels of document protection. For each document in the virtual data room you can specify the rights to view, share, edit, or download the original or watermarked document. Print Screen button may also be restricted. You can specify the rights of document access for each user of the virtual data room.

Data Backup

Data backup adds another layer of document security assuring that documents uploaded to the virtual data room can never be lost or destroyed. Look for the virtual data room that offers real-time file backup through encrypted VPN tunnels.

Virus Scanning

Virtual data rooms automatically scans all uploaded documents for viruses or other defects. Most virtual data rooms will not permit the upload defective files.

On Save/On Open Encryption

On open encryption will automatically encrypt the document upon opening to prevent unauthorized access over unsecured network. On save encryption will ensure that documents are protected during storage while remaining unreadable to unauthorized parties.

Virtual data rooms are located in physically secure data centers with numerous protective measures that restrict access to confidential data.

SOC 2 Certified

SOC 2 is a certification for data centers which provides a statement of best internal practices to verify security, availability and privacy of your virtual data repository.

ISO 27001 Certified

ISO 27001: 2013 is the most stringent international certification for information security in the information technology sector. This standard ensure appropriate controls help prevent security threats or vulnerabilities.

SSAE 16 Certified

The Statement of Standards for Attestation Engagements 16 (SSAE 16) is one of the strictest standards which requires an audit of internal controls over financial reporting. Most often required for M&A data rooms, SSAE 16 certification means that the virtual data room is compliant with standards supporting Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act.

Data Center Security

Data centers employ physical security, stringent access policies including biometric entry authentication systems, armed guards and surveillance, secure vaults and cages, with access to uninterruptible power, backup systems, and fire/flood prevention systems at data center sites.

Providing access to the right people is an integral element of an effective virtual data room platform. Permissions need to be closely managed and the provision and restriction of access should be handled properly. Access security policies and features prevent security breaches, stop unauthorized logins or block access to certain pieces of information.

Access from Mobile Devices

The virtual data room may provide control over the accessibility of secure documents via mobile devices by offering specialized applications.

Multiple Factor Verification

This access security feature adds another level of protection by requiring users to verify their identity on another device to gain access to the data room. This step prevents access to the data room from hacked or stolen devices.

Group Permissions

The owner of the virtual data room can create groups with predefined sets of access permission levels. This feature helps in user management and also adds an extra level of security.

Multiple Levels of User Permissions

Virtual data room administrators can set levels of document access for different users and user groups which helps improve data room security and provide auditable trail of data room activity.

Granular Access

The administrator of the virtual data room can provide a granular, or role-based, access to the data room. Granular permission settings allow to control who has access to each file or folder based on the user’s role in the deal or position in the company.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication provides an extra level of protection. Users can log in using a password and a unique code sent to the user’s cell phone.

The virtual data room provides comprehensive reporting capabilities and audit trails for every action or activity that occurs within a data room. Admins can track all actions with files.

Audit Logs

An audit log is a chronological record of everything uploaded, viewed or downloaded in the virtual data room. All actions with files are logged including file viewing, secure downloading, printing and downloading.

Detailed Data Room Reports

Every entry and every activity in the virtual data room is time-stamped and documented. Automatic audit reports are automatically sent to a system administrator at the end of a specified period.

Document Version Control

Version control allows admins to monitor automatic saving of document settings. Depending on the settings, users can track all changes through version history, and always have the latest document version.

Notifications

Virtual data room administrators and users depending on their levels of permissions can receive notifications when documents are updated or new files are uploaded.

User interface features help simplify processes and speed up routine tasks while also eliminating the learning curve for users.

Branded Website

Look for the provider which allows you to customize the look and feel of your virtual data room with custom color schemes and company logo.

Bulk Uploads

Bulk uploads and downloads allow importing or exporting multiple files or folders at once. Look for the virtual data room provider which doesn’t set the cap on the upload file size.

Drag and Drop Function

Drag and Drop functionality allows users to virtually grab files from their device and drop them into the virtual data room so they upload automatically.

Full Text Search

Advanced full text search feature will give you the ability to easily search through document titles, meta-tags, and content for specific keywords related to your search, even in scanned documents.

In Document Linking

Allows users to embed links from one document to another and also share links to data room contents with other authorized users.

Microsoft Office Integration

Integration with Microsoft Office will let users seamlessly access and store files from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in the secure virtual data room.

Q&A Section

Q&A (Questions & Answers) section is the virtual data room area where users can post questions to other users or data room administrators about any document in the data room. More advanced virtual data rooms also have offer a possibility to create a static FAQ section where users can get answers to most frequently asked questions.

Scroll-Through Document Viewer

Scroll through function allows to move through the folder scrolling through the documents in the folder while keeping one document open. This feature saves a lot of time for users who need to examine folders containing hundreds of documents.

Through a secure deal management platform any device can instantly become a workspace. Files that exist securely in the virtual data room are immediately available through permission portals to every party in a transaction. Real-time notifications give quick updates on recent deal activity.

iPad & iPhone Apps

The virtual data room platform needs to be designed to work across popular devices, from computers to tablets to smartphones, and designed with these devices specifically in mind.

Multi-Device Support

Some virtual data rooms have partnerships with popular productivity apps yet more advanced virtual data room providers offer their users dedicated applications for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows.

Mobile Device Interface

Mobile-optimized interface will let users easily access the documents and other files in the virtual data room from their mobile devices.

Multi-Language Support

Multi-language user interface helps users from different countries access the virtual data room in their own language while more advanced virtual data room providers offer multi-lingual document indexing as well.

No Plugins Required

Virtual data rooms should allow uploading and viewing their data without the need to install any additional applications or third-party plugins on their devices.