Making deals with other businesses is one of the most important parts of running a new business. These days, many businesses do deals online. This saves both time and money, and allows businesses to work with a wider variety of partners due to the remote nature of the partnership. However, when doing this, one thing that business owners need to keep in mind is security. Cybercrime is very much on the rise, and things like ransomware attacks and corporate espionage are becoming increasingly prevalent. Even for smaller businesses, who may think they are below the notice of such hackers, there is a lot of risk involved.
On average, being the victim of a cybercrime requires a company to pony up 200k to cover the costs. This puts a lot of businesses out of business entirely, and can spell doom for a fledgling business that is just trying to get started. To avoid this fate, it is important to make sure that no details leak. This is particularly important during high-wire business deals such as mergers and acquisitions. During M&A’s, both parties are sharing a lot of information with one another, and any of this leaking can not only throw the deal for a loop, but it can also destroy the credibility of both companies for potential future deals. With that in mind, here is what you need to look at when making sure that the files that need to be shared during your business deals stay safe.
Leave out unnecessary people
When hammering out the specifics of a business deal, you need to make sure that everyone is involved actually needs to be involved. While there is inherently the need for certain support or administrative staff, this should be limited as much as possible. This staff should also not really have access to any highly sensitive documents, except in the most necessary of circumstances. Even if you trust these staff members completely, they might not have the technical know-how or cybersecurity awareness to understand how to handle digital documents with care. They may fall for phishing scams or other such simple hacks, and it won’t reflect well on your company is something leaks as a result. To avoid this situation entirely, keep negotiations to lawyers, the executive team, stakeholders, and other people who need to be present at the virtual negotiation table.
Use a secure document storage solution
Beyond including only essential people in deals, the best way to protect the existence of a business deal is to make sure that it is secure. It might seem like Gmail, Google Drive or Dropbox would be enough, but in reality, these are not secure document storage platforms. Instead, you should invest in a deal room, which is a software solution that can help to expedite the deal making process and store your documents relevant to the deal. Within a deal room, both parties can set user-based permission on documents, as well as password protection. A deal room also offers several layers of encryption, as well as multi-factor authentication for accessing the deal room, making it very difficult for hackers to steal documents and disrupt the business deal.
Using a secure storage solution like a deal room, as well as limiting the amount of people involved in a business deal, are some of the most surefire ways to protect your sensitive files from hackers and cybercriminals. While there is no absolute solution to securing a business deal, employing multiple methods is the best way to deter hackers and cybercriminals from accessing the documents involved in the deal.