Nowadays, there are simply too many risks to the online security of our data and documents. We worry about identity theft, and some of us secure our personal data – but what about the files and documents we use at work? The body of business documents is subject to loss and leakage as much as personal data. Every organization holds sensitive information, the abuse of which might result in sometimes irrecoverable damages to the business.
While companies frequently restrict data to use on corporate servers and with business email accounts, prohibit the use of generic USB drives, tell their employees not to download confidential documents to public drives or steer them away from using services such as Dropbox to download information, they will usually not pay much attention to how information is exchanged with business partners, in this case translation companies.
It is important to note how the majority of translation companies generally operate around this exchange: a business will send – usually email – a document for translation. The selected translation company will then turn around and send the document – also by email – to a translator or multiple translators, depending on the size of the document and the desired turnaround time. While the documents are being translated, the individuals working with them are free to upload them online, use public servers to transfer them from one computer to another, and, if they are unreliable, they may also upload parts of them to “pre-translate” using free online translation tools.
No matter what happens, the business who ordered the translation has lost control of their information the second the document was emailed to the translation provider. This may be okay for documents that will be made public. But what to do when security is of concern? Here are three tips for keeping documents secure during the translation process:
1. Secure transfer of data between customer and translation provider. Translation services providers should have access to secure FTP sites they can offer to their customers as a secure method of transferring information. Information on the security protocols of such sites should be readily available to the customers to review and for their IT departments to scrutinize before the services are used.
2. Secure transfer of data between the translation services provider and translators. The same secure methods of transfer should be used between the translation company and their resources. It often comes to light in cases of security breach that while access to the translation company was secure, transfers between them and their translators were not.
3. Established processes backed by legal documents. The specific security processes a translation services provider follows might be different for each client but, in general, the translation company should already have established basic processes to follow with the flexibility to accommodate the customer’s wishes. A customer should also be able to review any processes and legal agreements between the translation company and their individual translators. Needless to say, the internal agreements, between the translation company and its resources, should closely follow the external ones between the company and the client.
Choosing the right translation provider is key. If the selected company is trustworthy and has invested time, resources and efforts into keeping their customer’s data secure, they will not only have supporting processes and documentation in place but they will also hire only thoroughly vetted translators. Such translators will also work in a secure environment where they cannot transfer or download their work files insecurely and where all of their actions are logged and controlled.

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