Category: Translation & Security Written by: Daqeeq Date: 02 Jun 2021
Vitality of data security in the translation industry
The recent breaches of user data collected by Facebook, LinkedIn, and more recently, Clubhouse have sounded the alarm worldwide.
Personal data are important, should be protected and their exposure might cause harm to the people involved.
However, when it comes to data security of translation, the harm might be devastating because too sensitive state documents, business plans, deals, legal documents, and many other highly confidential materials are on the line.
According to a Forbes Magazine’s report, the Identity Theft Research Center‘s 2017 report said that there were “900 reported breaches in the first seven months of the year, including nearly 17 million data records that were exposed to possible theft. The majority of these breaches took place in regular businesses and retailers, followed by banks and financial institutions and the healthcare industry”.
That is why customers always ask questions about the protection methods a translation agency, a potential service provider, has in place to safeguard their documents and other formats where sensitive materials are recorded.
Industry actors report that clients ask questions such as what measures the service provider takes to ensure the security of their confidential data, if the provider deals with subcontractors, how files are stored, if files might be taken to other storing software than the ones declared, and if web-based translation sites are used.
Clients have every right and justification to ask these questions. In 2019, according to csoonline.com, the Norwegian news network (NRK) uncovered a breach at Statoil, one of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies.
NRK reported that the $46 billion business used Translate.com, a free online tool, to translate “notices of dismissal, plans of workforce reductions and outsourcing, passwords, code information, and contracts.” Translate.com used volunteer translations and then stopped this operation, hinting that the breach originated there.
Rebecca Twose, an expert from languageinsight.com, agrees that for businesses seeking translation and proofreading services, the risk is even bigger than other industries, especially when the translation service provider, the third party, is using ineffective measures to safeguard the data.
Internationally, ISO 27001 deals with information security. It provides requirements for “establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving an information security management system.”
According to the organization, the adoption of an information security management system is a “strategic decision for an organization.” Strategic it is, particularly for translation companies, due to the sensitivity of their work and one single mistake would ruin the reputation of any firm.
In its report, Forbes recommends a preventive approach to data security as the main best practice, which means that security personnel should be keeping an eye on how breaches happen and try to pre-empt any theft attempt.
But theft is not the only threat, as there is the risk of data loss for failure to back up files and human errors.
Constant assessment and testing of the security tactics are also vital factors that should be taken into consideration by translation providers to make sure that things are not left for chance.