Thousands of businesses are bought and sold every year. As a matter of fact, small businesses are being bought today at record rates.
The process of buying, selling, and absorbing companies typically falls under the umbrella practice of “mergers and acquisitions”. Anybody that has actually been through a merger or acquisition is well aware of the amount of paperwork that goes into these processes and the importance of keeping information secure.
Just think, if one company was acquiring another, they’d need to attain important information surrounding the acquired company’s customers. This information might include credit card numbers, addresses, and more.
In order to keep all documents related to a company’s inner workings, value, and customers safe, consider leveraging these tried and true secure docs tips.
1. Encrypt Everything
No single shred of data related to your company should ever be transmitted digitally without first encrypting. All it takes is one person emailing Excel sheets with a customer’s information on it to cause a data breach and millions of dollars in damages.
There are many file-by-file encrypting tools out there that you can leverage which will encase data in password-protected shells prior to being sent.
If these files are intercepted in transit, hackers will have no way of reading their contents.
2. Keep Physical Copies
It may be that certain paperwork you transfer doesn’t have a physical copy. If a certain piece of data does have a physical copy though, you’ll want to keep it handy. It may even behoove you to make physical copies of certain digital documents where appropriate.
All physical copies of secure docs should be kept in fire-safe storage that is locked.
3. Send Through Private Mail Servers
Many email clients that the public uses including Gmail, Outlook, and others allow advertisers to gain access to your email data for the purposes of marketing to you. In most cases, this won’t lead to a data breach but allowing email providers to share tidbits of company information could violate consumer privacy rights.
Avoiding this occurrence requires you to use private email servers run by your company or by a reliable 3rd party service.
4. Double Check Mailing Addresses
Here’s an easy secure docs tip that can save you 50% of your mergers and acquisitions security headaches. Double-check to make sure you’re sending documents to the right address before hitting send.
One typo could undermine a whole deal so scan for typos like your financial livelihood depends on it.
5. Limit Logins to Datarooms
Many mergers and acquisitions workflows use dataroom providers to house documents in the cloud. This way, parties can simply log onto a single, secure drive to see documents, sign them and more.
To ensure that nobody accidentally gains access to your data that shouldn’t, set permissions for documents within the dataroom and only give people who absolutely need it access to the room.
Closing Out Our Secure Docs Tips for Mergers and Acquisitions
A lot of data changes hands during mergers and acquisitions. Practicing secure docs best practices will ensure that your business and customers stay safe as a deal is going through.
We wish you the best of luck in your business endeavors and invite you to read more of our content if you’d like to take a deeper dive into business, data-security or related topics!