bring your data room to the digital age

Bring Your Data Room into the Digital Age

In the past, storing information entailed filing cabinets, stacks of paperwork arranged in a manner comprehensible only to the one who put them in place, and shelves stocked with binders bursting at the seams. Documents not meant to be seen by just anyone were kept in a locked and guarded room only accessible when everyone involved in the process was present and consenting. While this method could barely be considered organized, it was the best one available at the time.

Fortunately, technology stepped in to clear up some of the clutter. According to recent reports, more than half of the world’s businesses have turned to the cloud for their general data storage needs. Of course, when it comes to sensitive information, not just any generic file sharing system will suffice. In many cases, growing security concerns leave particularly vulnerable files, such as those containing financial information, legal documents, and other top-secret intelligence, confined to the old ways. This very issue led to the development of virtual data rooms (VDRs) designed specifically to house this type of material.

The Conversion Process

Today, most “paperwork” actually begins its journey in digital form. Whether pictures, spreadsheets, Word documents, or any other format, these can easily be transferred over to a virtual data room as-is. Any hard-copy information, like signed contracts or purchase agreements, is scanned into digital existence before being uploaded to the VDR. All your data is indexed in the VDR based on your needs, and you’re free to dispose of physical documents as you see fit. Late entries are added to the mix as needed.

Access Control

dokumente_picjumbo-300x300Previously, the entire purpose of storing sensitive documents in a secure and constantly monitored room was to ensure they were seen only by those involved in the proceedings. Anyone not involved was simply denied entry. In the modern digital era, this is all achieved via passwords and continual online security monitoring. Those falling into the need-to-know category get a password while anyone outside the box doesn’t. You also have the freedom to limit user access to only certain files. Log-ins and activity are kept close track of, so should any passwords fall into the wrong hands, or unauthorized access occur, corrective measures can be taken immediately.

Going Forward

After creating a safe data room, those granted access have the capacity to make inquiries within the system and quickly search for specific documents. As opposed to the ways of the past, viewing information doesn’t require planning, scheduling, and gathering everyone on-site. Anyone with permission is able to access the VDR from anywhere in the world using any internet-connected device. Documents can be edited and printed as necessary as long as the person attempting to do so is duly authorized.

Physical data rooms leave quite a bit to be desired. They’re inefficient and time-consuming. Sometimes, they’re also costly, as gaining access to the material housed within could entail travel expenses. Figure in the cost of additional storage space, as well as security systems and personnel, and the price continues to mount. Securing sensitive material in the virtual realm requires little more than internet access and conference calls or video conferencing should matters need to be discussed in a group setting. You essentially gain the same ease-of-use as a generic file sharing program while having top-notch safety measures in place comparable to impenetrable vaults and armed security guards.

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