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Data Security in the Legal Translation Field

What you need to know about security in the legal field

Data security is extremely important in the legal translation field, and there are myriad reasons why. Information in legal documents is confidential and often highly sensitive. In many cases, a leak of this information can be disastrous and have far-reaching negative consequences.

Data breaches can result in protracted and expensive lawsuits, which can be a true financial burden on a company. A failure to protect data from security breaches can also result in permanent damage to the reputation of the company and the complete loss of client trust.

Further, data breaches could even sway the way a verdict is handed out.

Major data security risks in legal translation

The biggest risk to data security in legal translation is that sensitive information could fall into the wrong hands. If hackers get hold of sensitive data, they can use it as blackmail material, or they can use it to hack into systems to steal money or other information. If opposing counsels get access to confidential material through a security breach, it could potentially change the outcome of a case. The same is true if members of the press get access to certain private information before or during legal proceedings.

The most important types of data to protect

All data is important to protect, and there can be serious consequences if anything is breached. However, some data is more important than others to protect. For example, personal information, case specifics and financials are among the most important types of data to protect.

Increasing data security in legal translation

Legal translation companies need to protect documents that contain any type of sensitive information. No document’s security can be neglected. Therefore, it’s imperative that language service providers have a comprehensive strategy to protect their clients’ content.

There are several things that legal translation companies should do to increase their data security:

  • eliminate insecure methods of transmission;
  • grant and restrict access where needed;
  • educate staff on cybersecurity awareness;
  • classify data into different groups; and
  • anonymize data.

The more of these things that a legal translation company can do, the more secure its data will be. In particular, educating employees on cybersecurity is something that is often overlooked, yet crucial. Personnel who have access to confidential files are often a key point of vulnerability. This is because they are targets for phishing attacks in which hackers trick them into revealing information or clicking on links that contain malware.

Requirements for optimizing data security

In order to optimize data security, certain professionals, tools and technologies are required. First, legal translation companies need to have highly skilled technology professionals on staff. These can include cybersecurity experts, information technology experts, coders and more.

It is also very helpful for legal translation companies to have business leaders who are capable of putting strong security measures in place and ensuring that all employees comply with them.

As far as tools and technologies are concerned, legal translation companies need to have:

  • secure methods of transmission;
  • secure storage;
  • advanced email encryption; and
  • effective monitoring.

A lack of any one of these things can expose a legal translation company—and their clients—to a large amount of risk.

Compliance and legal translation

Legal translation companies are required to comply with a number of different laws and regulations related to data privacy and security. Perhaps the most significant of these laws is called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The GDPR is known as the toughest data privacy and security legislation in the world. It was passed and put in place by the European Union on May 25, 2018. This law sets clear data privacy requirements for corporations and includes steep penalties for companies who fail to comply. These penalties can be in the tens of millions of euros.

Because legal translation firms tend to have many international clients, it is important for them to comply with all local data privacy and security laws in addition to the GDPR. Following stringent business practices and adhering to retention laws are also critically important.

A note on project size and data security

Many people assume that the larger a legal translation project is, the more difficult it will be to secure its data. However, if a company has effective data security measures in place, then the size of the project should not impact security levels in any way. Technically speaking, it is equally difficult or easy for hackers to steal data from a one-page document or from a one-thousand-page document. It is only the level of security that impacts how well data is protected.

Protecting your data before, during and after translation

There are several things that you can do before, during and after legal translation to protect your data. For example, ensure that you are in compliance with GDPR and other privacy laws and that you are adhering to local retention laws and best practices around gathering and storing sensitive data. 

In addition, make sure that your language service provider upholds the best data management practices available. Essentially, to better protect your data, educate yourself on all of the recommendations, rules and guidelines regarding data storage and implement them across all operations.

Why trust RWS Alpha with your data

Over the years, RWS Alpha has developed an outstanding reputation for data security and privacy. We constantly train our staff on the latest security measures so that the entire production team is knowledgeable and skilled in data security.

We also continuously invest in cutting-edge technologies to optimize data security and privacy to ensure we always have the best possible data security measures in place. Additional technologies that we use to dramatically increase data security include:

  • multi-factor authentication;
  • VPNs;
  • secure transmission methods; and
  • intrusion prevention systems.

Finally, the last reason why people trust us with their data for legal translation is because we maintain and enforce a variety of data security policies and take our clients’ data security and confidentiality very seriously.

RWS Alpha maintains the highest possible levels of data security in the legal translation field. If you would like to learn more about RWS Alpha’s data security protocols, or if you would like to ask a general question about data security, feel free to get in touch today.