‘What is a virtual data room?’ is a question many business owners find themselves asking and how this can benefit their companies. While there are lots of similarities between a client portal platform and a virtual data room - and you can compare them on our previous blog - there are differences between them and there are specific characteristics that make a virtual data room. Here, we’ll break down for you in more detail what a virtual data room is and its benefits and uses for your company.
What is a virtual data room
A virtual data room is a private online space for users to work collaboratively in a controlled environment. Based on the practise that confidential work would see employees physically locking themselves in a room and only those working on the project could enter, the idea has been taken and replicated online. Acting like an online safe for confidential data and projects, virtual data rooms are used for privately sharing information with clients, and more broadly stakeholders, whilst also controlling content access from within a bank-grade secure space. Many clients decide to use Clinked as a virtual data room due to our extensive security features and usability. With our secure file storage, ability to set accessibility permissions, and generate audit trails of content changes in an activity feed, our service is safe and robust.
Data rooms have a great use for specific tasks that need to be carried out in certain industries, such as legal and financial services, and are useful for more specific tasks that email or file storage services alone would struggle to compete with.
Key features of a virtual data room
What is a virtual data room’s essential features? These are the defining aspects of these secure online spaces:
Due to the nature of its clients' needs, virtual data rooms need to offer enhanced security for its users. As people increasingly work from home, this can be a potential weak point in a business’ security as cyber security risks of working from home are heightened.
Extra security is a defining feature of a virtual data room, and is one of the main reasons why customers opt for it. There are often multiple layers of robust security, such as the ability to define access to each individual member exactly as you need it, password protected files and watermarking to determine the source of any leaks if this ever occurs. These features ensure a step up in security when the stakes are high regarding confidential work that is sensitive - offering more than a basic file storage facility.
Accessible from anywhere
The clue is in the name - a virtual data room is hosted in the cloud virtually and is therefore able to be accessed from anywhere your clients may be. Incredibly useful for clients around the world and for those unable to access an in person office. This also extends to device access, with Clinked’s services also boasting mobile accessibility as well as a dedicated mobile app.
Provide restricted access to certain information
Further levels of access can be granted within a virtual data room to both viewing and interacting with files and tasks. Where varying levels of access are required for one client, this is a useful tool for keeping the necessary permissions in place without having to separate documents into separate storage centres.
Manage changes to files
A virtual data room enables you to keep track of changes made to documents within the room. It can be used for task management and to ensure standards are maintained.
Uses of a virtual data room
Virtual data rooms are often used in professions that require additional levels of security and authorization in their offered services. This is often due to the fact that these industries must follow very strict compliance laws and may also have clients that need to access their services from around the world.
Industries that can particularly benefit from a virtual data room due to the complicated nature of their tasks include:
- Asset management
- Legal services, including acquisitions and contractual tasks
- Financial services
Benefits of using a virtual data room
Cost effective way to keep things private
There are many ways to store and work with files and clients online, however safety and security may be at risk with cheaper options. Ensuring that your working environment is safe in a secure and encrypted product like a virtual data room is certainly less expensive than a data breach further down the line.
With a virtual data room, you can set the level of security to your individual members, which extends to creating guest access and granting temporary permissions to your secure room. This is particularly useful when external stakeholders need to contribute to a specific part of the project.
Central place for file sharing
While file sharing is not the only thing a virtual data room can do, it is one of its greatest strengths. Having a centrally accessible way to view and interact with files is essential for collaborative working and is essential for businesses as they become more reliant on cloud based services.
Accessible from wherever you are
With the rise of remote working and globalization, the need to access work online wherever clients and employees may be increases too. Adaptable to fit in with the new normal way of working, easy accessibility in one virtual place makes a virtual data room increasingly indispensable.
We hope that this article has been able to answer the question ‘what is a virtual data room?’ for you. Clinked offers a free 10-day trial and consultations for businesses considering a more secure and efficient way of working with clients, team members and business partners. You can get started on a free trial immediately or speak to a member of our team to talk through your business needs.
Olivia Weatherill is Clinked's Content Marketing Associate.