4 Ways to Keep Legal Translation Content Secure

Cyberattacks are a growing threat across all industries. The legal sector is particularly vulnerable because firms deal with an extraordinary amount of privileged information and cybersecurity practices in the industry may not catch up quickly enough. For law firms that use third-party legal translation services as part of their practice, the threat could be far greater.

The single most significant risk to data security when employing third-party legal translation services is that bad actors get hold of sensitive client information. When they gain access to protected legal data, hackers can use that information to blackmail, steal money, or access additional sensitive information.

Such breaches threaten to jeopardize the outcome of legal proceedings ­­­­– especially if confidential information ends up in the hands of opposing counsel or the press. It can also undermine a client’s trust and permanently destroy a firm’s reputation.

This article will outline four ways lawyers and legal department staff can improve security in legal translation.

Cyberattacks on Law Firms are On the Rise

The 2020 Legal Technology Survey Report by the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Legal Technology Resource Center, found that cyberattacks against law firms have increased in recent years. The findings showed that in 2020, 29% of law firms experienced a security breach, up from 26% in 2019.

One recent well-known example of a cyberattack against a law firm is the “Panama Papers” scandal, which involved a massive leak of financial and legal records.

In 2016, more than 11.5 million confidential files were leaked from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The data breach caused widespread reputational damage to the firm and its clients – and Mossack Fonseca went out of business within two years of the attack.

For firms that rely on third-party service providers to translate legal documents, here are four ways to protect you and your clients from falling victim to nefarious cybercriminals.

1. Avoid Public Translation Tools

It may be tempting to use free, web-based translation software, such as Google Translate, to minimize the costs associated with legal document translation. But the risks posed by using public translation tools far outweigh any benefit.

Hundreds of millions of people use Google Translate, but users may not be aware how well protected their data is. Companies risk exposing private and confidential information online when they are not clear about data protection policies of free and public translation tools. That could cause embarrassment and legal troubles for the companies.

Google isn’t the only company that poses risk to those looking to save a few bucks on legal translation services. In September 2017, Norwegian news agency NRK reported that Translate.com, a leading automated translation software, exposed highly confidential data to unauthorized users.

Google Translate and Translate.com may still be handy for personal use, such as when traveling abroad or learning a new language. But the best way to reduce professional risk is to avoid using free or low-cost translation tools for business purposes.

2. Always Use Secure Transmission Methods

The Internet has made it easy for businesses and people to transfer data. For law firms, it is crucial to ensure that sensitive information and confidential data are transferred over a secure channel.

One way of ensuring secure data transmission is employing encryption technologies. Encryption converts data into an encoded format, and only authorized personnel can access it in its proper format. Tools that can be encrypted include company devices, emails and cloud servers.

But the ABA’s annual Legal Technology Survey found that fewer than half – around 44% of respondents utilized file encryption. Only 38% of respondents used email encryption, and just 22% employed whole or full disk encryption.

So, make sure that you use encryption to minimize the risk of severe data breaches.  

3. Avoid Unsecured Public Wi-Fi and Public Cloud Services

You may think it is harmless to send emails over the free Wi-Fi while sipping a latte at Starbucks. But doing that puts any confidential data in the email at risk.

Public Wi-Fi is especially vulnerable to attacks. Hackers can easily intercept data transferred over such networks or from unsecured cloud services. Data stored using a public cloud server is also more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

So, it is best to steer clear of public Wi-Fi whenever transferring data. If your firm has employees working remotely or from home, make sure that they have a VPN in place.

A 2021 report by the Ponemon Institute and SecureLink found that 51% of organizations have suffered data breaches caused by third parties.

When choosing a legal translation services provider, companies typically take into account several factors such as quality, turnaround time and pricing. However, the most crucial element to consider is the security measures that your legal translation agency has in place.

That means making sure that the agency has proper security measures and employs the best practices to keep your data secure. The agency should also possess industry-standard security accreditations, and utilize the most up-to-date encrypted translation technologies.

At EC Innovations, we adhere to strict procedures and guidelines on every project to protect your most sensitive data. We are ISO 27001 certified, GDPR compliant; we provide the latest information security training for every employee, and nondisclosure agreements to bind all project personnel.

We use multiple encryption technologies for all data transmission, and we have reliable mechanisms for backup disaster recovery and data recovery. Don’t put your privileged information at risk of a data security breach. Choose EC Innovations to keep your legal translation projects secure.

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