Why Data Rooms Are Not Adequate for Secure Document Sharing

Data rooms have been around for quite some time and some companies providing the service sell it as one of the most secure methods of document sharing.

It is important to remember that these companies are just trying to make a buck by selling the data room to various clients and whether such data rooms are in fact effective for document sharing is a whole other matter altogether.

So, before deciding to get a data room subscription, you should first examine the claim thoroughly. Worry not for we have already done that for you.

Security Issues Associated with Using Data Room Security

Login Credentials

A data room requires you and anyone you share documents with to have login credentials, including a username and password. There are various problems with this approach.

For example, people already have too many passwords to remember and they may thus use a relatively simple password. Such passwords are easy to crack by experienced hackers or password removal programs (if the login interface is exposed) and can prove to be a vulnerability.


If they do create a more complex password, they may write it down for easy remembrance. Someone else might then find the password and share the information. That is the same as leaking all the information you think is in a “secure” data room.

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In addition to accidentally leaking the login credentials, there is one other scenario to contemplate. The authorized user can decide to give out his or her credentials and there is nothing to stop him or her from doing this.

Use of Browsers

For users to access a document in a data room, they might have to use an everyday browser on the internet.

Hackers have been known to exploit some of the technology in browsers, such as with JavaScript, to compromise security and so users should not be allowed to use regular browsers. However, some data rooms still allow it.

If a hacker can use this to record information on a user’s browser, your security system is really not doing its job.

Screen Grabbing

Some data room services can stop screen grabbing by preventing the use of some keyboard shortcuts. This is all fine till a third-party screen grabbing app comes into play.

What is there to stop such an app from carrying out its functions? The truth is that nothing can be done against such apps in the case of a data room.

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Alternatively, if you use proprietary viewers, you stand a chance of stopping screen grabbing apps because you have more control over operating system functions.

Locking a Document to a Particular Location

Locking a file to particular locations is pretty nifty, but technology and apps do exist which can fool a browser into thinking the user is in a different location.

This is yet another loophole that is quite easy to exploit as someone who uses a proxy can access data rooms in areas from which they should not be able to do so.

With a proprietary viewer, it is much harder to fool such an app regarding the location as it is also installed on your device. This means that you can lock a file to a specific device making sure no other device will be able to access the files.

You can even do what data rooms claim to be able to do and lock the file to a location and an IP address. In this way, if someone takes the device to another country, the user will not be able to access the files there.

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Uploading Process

Documents do not just find their way into a data room. Someone has to upload them in an unsecured state before the data room encrypts them for use.

This means that there is an unprotected version of your document that someone can find if they go digging into the data room servers. So, if someone hacks the data room database, they could have unfettered access to all your unsecured files.

Offline Use

The fact that you can only access documents when you are online may present a problem if you find yourself in areas without internet access. You will then essentially be locked out. So, it might be better to try another service, such as DRM, which caters even to offline use.


We suggest that you may need to look for something else for your document security and document sharing needs. There are a lot of ways for someone to get around such flimsy security measures which are employed in a data room. That being said, the final decision is still yours to make.

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