Negotiating and inking deals with other businesses is one of the biggest parts of starting a new business. In order to do these deals, more and more businesses have turned to the internet to find business partners and negotiate the particulars of a business deals. There is a logic to this, as the internet allows companies to save both time in finding business partners, money in the partnership itself as well as transact with a wider pool of global businesses who they may have otherwise not had access to.
While this is great news for business relationship, it opens up companies to the complications of cybercrime. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber crime has become a huge concern, although it has been a rising issues for years. A cyber attack such as a ransomware attack or corporate espionage attempt can totally tank a business, and even small companies need to be worried about the particulars of cyber crime and data security.
If a business suffers a cyber attack, it is estimated that they will have to pay out an average of 200k, which can annihilate many small businesses. To avoid this situation altogether, it is essential that companies take steps to protect their sensitive files safe. Where companies are the most exposed and the most at risk is during important business deals such as mergers and acquisitions.
During the mergers and acquisitions process, both companies involved in the deal are compelled share a lot of information with each other. Any data leak during this process can not only destroy the deal, but can also destroy the credibility of both companies for potential future deals. With that in mind, here are some things to keep in mind if you want to make sure that the files that need to be shared during your deal making endeavors remain safe.
Unnecessary staff involved
As you work through the details of a deal, you need to ensure that everyone involved actually needs to be involved. While there is a natural need for specific administrative or support staff, this should be limited as much as possible. These employees should also not have broad access to highly sensitive documents, except in the most urgent of cases. 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 that can be delivered via email, and it won`t reflect well on your company is something sensitive 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 negotiation table.
Use a secure document storage solution
Beyond including only essential personnel in deals, the best way to protect the existence of a business deal is to make sure that it is safe with the use of a secure document storage solution. While it might seem like Gmail, Google Drive or Dropbox is sufficient, these are not actually secure document storage platforms. In fact, all of these platforms are prone to hacking and data leaks, and while they are great options for non-essential cloud storage, they are not workable for dealmaking and other tasks that require sensitivity.
Instead, you should consider investing in a data room. A data room can help you to securely transact with other companies and create business deals that are both negotiated properly and securely. This can be done through the use of user-based authorizations for documents, password protection, multiple levels of encryption, as well as multi-factor authentication. This makes it challenging for hackers to access the files within the data room and will ensure that the deal goes through as intended