3 Best Practices to Translate Sensitive Material

By Janet Webberley

Janet Webberely
“Most organizations would rather focus on core business than spend time and money becoming experts in the intricacies of secure translation.” — Janet Webberley, head of Digital, Creative and Language Services for Xerox Communication and Marketing Services

(From the editor: This article is an excerpt from a post that originally appeared in the Business Computing World blog.)

Most organizations do not have teams of in-house translators, and so the work often is outsourced to agencies and freelancers. But the process of obtaining a high quality translation often requires content to pass through multiple systems and numerous hands.

This raises a range of security issues. External translators working in multiple environments, for example, could result in data inadvertently passing through an unsecure network. The tools used to translate, such as shared Translation Memory, could disclose confidential information. Public Machine Translation tools may also compromise privacy via the Internet.

To ensure the best possible outcome when translating sensitive documents, consider the following best practices:

    1. Locate the Translation Memory tool in a secure, controlled environment to mitigate the risk of information being recycled inappropriately. A translator who is able to work with this tool reduces cost and turnaround time.
    2. Use a secured personal computer link when using Machine Translation tools. When employees need to get the gist of a document quickly, it is difficult to prevent the use of public Machine Translation systems. It’s expensive to create and validate an internal engine across many language pairs, so it may be more practical to use a secured PC link to an approved provider.
    3. Store files in a secure server to actively protect confidential information. Translators should only have access to files within a secure virtual environment. Consider the impact on security and access that results from storing files within firewalls, behind multi-factor authentication and automatically removing documents after project completion. For example, translators would only be able to access files within the secure server; they would not be able to print, use USBs or other removable media to copy data and would be restricted from sending content to a local machine via clipboard, file transfer, drive mapping or any other means.

Learn how Xerox can centralize and manage your translation requirements, so you can focus on reaching more markets.

It can be complicated. Most organizations would rather focus on core business than spend time and money becoming experts in the intricacies of secure translation. A simpler and safer approach is to use established language service providers who offer professional translators working in a controlled environment. These providers use the best technology while providing the systems and processes to enforce the very best in secure translation.

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