ULG's Language Services Blog

What is a Secure Translator Environment?


Progress made in the digital age has been remarkable.

In the 21st century, it seems the possibilities are endless when it comes to data sharing and the transfer of content; the Internet has broken down geographical barriers and introduced solutions most never thought possible.

We send and receive content from across the globe, carry the Internet in our pocket and remain constantly engaged in a never-ending cycle of information.

But, the freedom to live in the nascent world of information technology can at the same time be a burden. Transferring data via computers or the web means the possibility of information being stolen or corrupted if not hosted in a safe environment.

A secure environment to share and house translation projects is extremely important, especially when it comes to hosting sensitive data like patient information in the life sciences field or sealed court documents in the legal vertical.

But, what is a secure translator environment? And what role does it play in keeping data safe for Language Service Providers (LSPs) and their clients?

Keeping Data Safe

Simply put, if an LSP implements a secure translator environment, it has taken steps to lessen the chance that client data will be leaked or hacked. You’ll hear the phrase thrown around quite a bit in the language industry.

The components of a secure translator environment can vary, but there are usually a few procedures that stick out. Password-protected logins, non-disclosure agreements signed by translators and a secure File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, are some of the main protections used by an LSP to ensure security.

Additionally, language companies might seek some kind of security accreditation like ISO 27001 in order to successfully put a quality management system in place that emphasizes data protection.

Accessibility of Information

What’s most important about a secure translator environment is the way in which translators can access projects.

When a linguist works in a secure environment, they are not able to download the files they're working on to their own machine. Instead, a translator uses security credentials to access a project through the LSP’s server. This way there is never a question of documents being used or shared for anything other than the purpose of translation.

All of the translation occurs online and linguists are not able to alter or delete any segments of the source text. United Language Group has these capabilities through its proprietary, web-based Translation Management System (TMS), Octave. Translation projects are usually worked on through a company’s TMS, or workflow system.

Translation projects can deal with a number of sensitive documents. In the legal vertical, projects that are inadvertently shared can mean a botched case and/or legal action. The same goes for projects that contain medical patient information.

Ultimately, no matter what industry, information that should be kept confidential (names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.) is far less likely to be divulged in a system where linguists need security credentials to access work.

The more an LSP can do to increase security, the better off they’ll be in the global marketplace.