31 . 03 . 2020

GOOD PRACTICE What documents can you load to data room?

31 . 03 . 2020

Virtual Data Room is a great alternative to applications like Dropbox and Google Drive, especially when it comes to security and confidentiality of sensitive data exchange. It is also a way to organize any files and project data in a company. Let’s take a closer look at what types of documents we can load into the VDR system.

Popular file sharing tools do not guarantee that we will upload all files that are important to us to the server. Google, for example, as we wrote in the article “Are your email attachments safe?”, has a limit on the size of the uploaded file, which can be a maximum of 25 mb (50 mb after conversion to one of the Google formats), which can be an obstacle in the case of work on technological projects. Dropbox does not have these restrictions, however, it does not guarantee the security of shared data, because it allows all types of files, including executable scripts, as well as types of files that can be easily equipped with code for automatic execution. In an enterprise environment it can therefore be a potentially unsafe tool. Companies that care about security and comfort at work can use the FORDATA Data Room, which allows users to load files up to 200 mb in size, and ensures complete data security online with a filter for suspicious file types.

Strict protection of Excel and PDF files.

Excel and PDF files are one of the most commonly used information carriers in every company. A spreadsheet is a must have in the financial department, but not only. There, financial statements are saved and a sales strategy is developed – in a nutshell, Excel rules the world. Therefore, in the FORDATA system, files with the newer extension .xlsx have special considerations. You can share them with colleagues or clients in read-only mode, which prevents accidental interference and overwriting of the viewed data, while protecting the file from further unauthorized sharing. The second such file type are PDFs, the equally popular “confidants” of company data, so for the same reasons described above, before making any sensitive document available in VDR, it is worth first to reformat it to PDF or XLSX. Security for other file formats is also under preparation. It is worth mentioning the correct method of blackening the content of PDF files, especially if we allow the option of saving them to disk.

The most important features of the FORDATA VDR system when sharing files in .xlsx and .pdf format:

  • files in PDF format are opened via FORDATA Viewer – this is the safest option, a true stronghold for this type of files, so shared documents should be reformatted to .pdf.
  • other text and image files can be saved locally to the disk – the administrator has no such control over these files, but in reports he is able to check who and when downloaded the file.
  • We additionally protect .pdf files and .xlsx files (older .xls format is not supported, files with the .xls extension are automatically saved in the editable version, regardless of the permissions granted). However, the newer “Excels” can be protected against modification and preview of formulas. VDR system administrators can turn off protection for .xlsx files on request, regardless of the permissions granted. This applies to cases in which the customer intends to allow users to work on these files. They do not need to change the format or the permission to save.

Loading and handling other types of files in VDR

Unless we are dealing with dangerous files, which are mentioned earlier, we can load virtually any type of file into the data room. It will not be a problem to create a central document repository in our company. Such a database will offer both a very transparent folder structure, a detailed reporting system, as well as a diversified level of permissions, thanks to which the repository can reflect the company’s structure. For example, department directors will be able to grant file permissions to individual employees and view reports, and users will never see files and folders for which they have not been given permission. It is a useful tool especially in companies operating in the life science and technology industry, as well as law firms.

Wherever safe information exchange inside and outside the enterprise and comfort of work is essential, the Data Room will be perfect as an alternative tool to non-dedicated solutions, such as Dropbox or email. With its help you can load almost all types of files, and much larger compared to Google services. We write more about the FORDATA VDR system as a repository of company documents in the article “What is electronic data repository?”.

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