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5 Ways Your Translation Processes Pose a Security Risk

For IT managers performing security risk assessments, translation processes might not be top of mind. However, translating business documents and internal communications pose more cybersecurity risks than you may think.

In order to close data security gaps in translation processes, evaluate your company’s use of the following language translation activities. You might be surprised to find that there are multiple ways employees might be unknowingly exposing your company’s sensitive data.

These 5 Translation Activities Pose a Risk to Data Security

1. Machine translation without a “no return” clause

“Data return” to machine translation engines is likely the most widespread security threat within your company’s translation process. 

When your employees use Google Translate or other free online translation tools, they’re likely giving those companies the right to repurpose, share or index your inputted data.

What To Do

Seek out a secure CAT (computer assisted translation) tool that allows your employees to use machine translation framework to generate first-draft translations without making your data accessible to these providers. The same goes for the storage of uploaded files.

2. Sending files for translation via email attachment

One way to reduce risk in language translation processes is to encourage all collaboration to take place in one centralized hub. 

People who collaborate on translation projects often make the mistake of emailing file attachments to each other for edits and translation requests. The same goes for instant messaging through external applications. 

What To Do 

Find a secure translation platform with a strong project management component. This will enable teams to collaborate effectively with all the tools they need while centralizing their translation data AND increasing productivity.

3. Disregarding user permission controls

When companies use online translation software without user permission controls, you risk those files falling into the hands of unauthorized people or inboxes. 

What To Do

If your company is already using translation software that helps your teams centralize their projects, be sure that user permission controls are in place. If the software doesn’t offer those controls, it’s time to consider an alternative solution. 

4. Not using translation memory group permissions

Not using translation memory group permissions might be exposing your data (or client data) to unauthorized users within your account.

About Translation Memory

“Translation memory” technology is typically available in popular professional CAT tools. It’s what allows users to enhance their productivity during the translation process by by storing and reusing previous translations.

“Translation memories” are machine translation segments that have been post-edited by your company for quality improvements and then saved in a bilingual central repository for future recall. 

“Translation memory groups” help you keep stored translations separated by department (or client, if your company is an agency). Some translation applications allow you to restrict a user’s accessibility to specific translation memory groups.

This is particularly useful for keeping specific project or departmental data private to designated users. It helps these teams keep machine-learned translations separate. 

What To Do

Mitigate risk in translation processes by making sure translation memory group permission controls are in place. If your company’s software doesn’t supply those controls, seek out an alternative solution.

5. Using online translation software without:

  • 256-bit SSL certification

  • SHA-2 and 4096-Bit Encryption
  • Encrypted file storage
  • Transport layer security
  • Two-step authentication
  • Automatic logoff
  • Automatic password expiration
  • Device verification
  • Failed password autolock
  • Third-party security audit & assessment records
  • Compliance with specific mandates
  • Compliant translation data centers
  • PCI-compliant payment processing
  • Last login info
  • An up-to-date browser

What To Do

Find a secure translation application with all of the above security measures.

How to Mitigate Risk Using One Translation Application 

Want to mitigate all the translation security risks outlined above with just one solution?  

Try Pairaphrase. It’s a web-based translation management system for enterprises who value safer, smarter and faster translation.

translation processes security risk

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