A virtual data room (VDR) is a secure online platform that has proven to be ideal for companies and organizations that need to share sensitive documents and confidential information with third parties. As various cybersecurity threats and global business constraints loom large over companies today, finding security solutions that enable collaboration is key for many. With large financial transactions that require a due diligence process, such as mergers and acquisitions, virtual data rooms have become a necessity. Also called virtual deal rooms, VDRs are used to facilitate and expedite transactions. A VDR could also be used for inter-office sharing of data, confidential information, and other files. Whether an organization is using a virtual data room for a major financial transaction or as a corporate repository, the important thing to consider is balancing access with security. Online data rooms offer access control with passwords and secure log-ins for documents related to transactions, private equity, real estate, and other business dealings.

Having the necessary permissions and security levels for the virtual data room will facilitate smooth business transactions and prevent unexpected issues that could delay or kill a deal. A secure virtual deal room strives to deliver a high level of security, mores than Dropbox or Google Drive. When compared to common mainstream services like Google Drive, a secure virtual data room can offer a much higher level of safety and security. Knowing how to determine security levels and imposing permissions will be the key to ensuring the security of the room and the confidential documents. Let’s look at how to determine roles and access for a secure data room.

Understand the needs.

When deciding which VDR provider to use, an organization will first need to know what security features the data room offers. When paired with the needs of the transaction and the documents being shared, and organization can get a complete picture of which secure platform they need and the security protocols that must be implemented. This is the first step to determining roles and access for a virtual data room.

A firm will also need to evaluate which documents are needed and who will need access to these documents. This goes back to the balancing act between security and access. Some transactions will require the sharing of confidential documents, intellectual property, or other sensitive information. Companies will want to ensure digital rights management while also releasing access to this material. Knowing what needs to be shared and the security required for that information will be key to determining roles and security levels for a company’s data room.

Know who requires access.

A VDR provides numerous document protection options to safeguard valuable data and sensitive information. Much like a physical data room, a virtual data room will house some very important information and will need to limit who can see this material. A physical data room has some very stringent security protocols to limit who can enter the room. Similarly, an administrator of an online secure data room can restrict access to certain people or groups. With this comes the decision about who will need to see information and who will need to interact within to facilitate the deal. Some people will need to view information and others will need to download, print, and share the material. Knowing this will help determine roles and security levels for a data room.

Plan the VDR.

Sorting and organizing the files, folders and the hierarchical order in the VDR will make it easier to define users’ access permissions to the appropriate documents. As an example, auditors may require access to certain financial documents, but they might not need to view documents related to intellectual property. Before granting access permission to third party stakeholders, it will be beneficial to plan out the different types of user roles that will be present in the VDR. This will also aid with determining the various types of files that they should be permitted to view. For added security, other VDR security features such as watermarking and access logs can be implemented to ensure that sensitive documents don’t end up in the wrong hands.

Using a VDR to manage document security across an organization can protect a company from human error and make things easier to manage across the board. Just make sure to plan your data room according to your specific company needs and you’ll be sure to keep your documents safe and streamline your workflow.