Document security: a translation company’s responsbility and reputation

Document security: a translation company’s responsbility and reputation

When entrusted with translating confidential documents into target languages, translation companies usually give their commitments to reassure clients. These commitments may come in the form of an email, a written document (e.g. the NDA) or spoken words, but they all go towards ensuring that client’s confidential documents are strictly protected.

What is document security?

Document security is the protection of the contents of documents, including their names and attribute parameters from unauthorized parties.

These days, documents are mostly circulated in electronic form such as websites, Word files and PDF files. Document owners have many ways to protect content in documents such as setting passwords, encrypting information or choosing independent storage solutions. However, by one way or another, hackers may still manage to find and crack security factors in documents.

Protection of information contained in documents is extremely important because such documents may may contain trade secrets, product secrets or inventions. Theft or disclosure of important documents can have severe consequences such as economic damage, loss of secrets, unfair competition, and may lead to bankruptcy.

Document security: a translation company’s responsbility and reputation

What is the role of translation companies in the protection of clients’ document and information assets?

According to the law or the commitments of a translation company, the role of translation companies in document security is as follows:

  • Protecting documents from being lost, damaged or altered from their original form
  • Adopting appropriate techniques to ensure that digital documents will not be stolen
  • Not disclosing documents to third parties without the client’s consent (unless requested by a competent authority)
  • Promptly informing clients of suspected or actual leakage of confidential documents.

A translation company’s responsibilities in case confidential documents are leaked.

When issues related to the confidentiality of clients’ documents arise, translation companies will need to fulfill their commitments, as follows:

  • Actively coordinating with the client to examine the causes and assess the damage
  • Taking necessary measures to the prevent the widespread circulation of leaked documents
  • Paying compensation for damages related to preventing the circulation of the documents
  • Paying compensation for actual damages caused by the leakage of documents

What are the causes of leakage of clients’ documents?

Although translation companies have many efforts in place to secure clients’ documents, there are actually many reasons causing leakage of information and documents.

Examples of causes of leakage of clients’ information:

  • Using freelance translators without an optimal process for control and encryption in translation of documents
  • Leakage due to the internal system being hacked
  • Internal staff inadvertently sending or uploading documents to insecure sites

What are the effective ways to secure clients’ documents in providing translation services?

In providing actual services, translation companies usually split clients’ documents into smaller parts to allow coordination with freelance translators or translation partners. This also gives rise to significant risks of loss of documents. Data confidentiality practices can vary from company to company, with different levels of effectiveness. Here are several methods currently being adopted at AM Vietnam.

  1. Conforming to the requirements of “ISO 27001 – Information Security Management Systems”.
  2. Entrusting only full-time translators with more than 3 years of working at AM Vietnam with confidential projects
  3. Access to complete, unencrypted documents is granted only to managerial staff
  4. Encryption of documents and information is conducted as soon as a document is received
  5. Building secure a storage system according to information technology policy requirements
  6. Regular training for employees on security compliance and updates
  7. Adopting advanced translation systems to reduce the risks of documents being displayed in full

Document security: a translation company’s responsbility and reputation

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