A secure data room is an online collaboration software platform that simplifies due diligence, reducing timeframes in M&A and other deal making while ensuring security. It lets both selling and buy-side teams to manage a transaction’s process from beginning to conclusion in a safe manner.

What distinguishes a secure dataroom from file-sharing sites such as Dropbox is the fact that it’s more designed for the business with the capability for users to be divided into groups and permissions to be assigned at granular levels. Analytics can also provide information on the use of your data (e.g. the frequency, manner and location your data is accessible). Many have additional features like the ability to block the downloading and copying of data (a huge no-no) or even display documents on a screen which cannot be captured. Many companies use industry-leading encryption technology to scramble sensitive information and multi-factor authentication in order to ensure that the user trying to log in is actually the one who is trying to gain access.

The majority of secure datarooms allow users to download PDF-formatted documents to view offline. However, if you allow users print these documents to physical printers or save them to file drivers for other reasons, they will lose the security that is provided to the original data within the virtual data room.

If you can extract these downloaded files from the data room or other systems and then browse them on your computer without connecting to the Internet this would defeat the purpose of having a secure data room for M&A due diligence, litigation, compliance and other sensitive documentation that needs to be locked to devices and not transmitted to servers. We recommend a DRM-based solution which locks files onto devices rather than servers. This makes it impossible to remove the files from devices and share them with others.