Data security – what can we learn from the Talk Talk hack?

Big news in the UK over the weekend was that of phone and broadband provider Talk Talk – suffering a massive data security breach in which their systems were hacked – leaking a large amount of customer data into unsavoury hands.

In reaction to the news, the Institute of Directors (IoD) said that only “serious breaches” made the headlines, but attacks on British businesses “happen constantly”. This considered data security should be one of, if not the most important priorities for businesses in today’s market. However this has not prevented big companies like Talk Talk and Ashley Madison suffering from very public hacking scandals.

Like many, the language services industry is working hard to protect itself and its customers from cyber-crime. For businesses needing their documents to be translated, some information is of a highly sensitive nature. Here at Capita Translation and Interpreting (Capita TI) we are seeing an increased focus in tenders and request for proposals (RFPs) on the security measures in place to protect such data.

So what can you do to lock the stable door on your business’s sensitive information when requesting translations?

Unlike commercial data hacks it is not a matter of changing your passwords and being vigilant when receiving phishing emails or calls – you need to be doing a number of checks with your language service provider to see what lengths they have gone to, to protect your information.

27001 – Information security management

This ISO accreditation is designed to help businesses keep both their own information, and that entrusted to them by third parties safe. The accreditation covers people, processes and IT systems by applying risk management processes. This is an accreditation that Capita TI is proud to have in its arsenal. We already have a number of customers to which information security is of paramount importance. This accreditation is testament that our systems not only meet our own expectations but also those of external auditors.

Staff training

It is important that people are aware of the tactics scammers use to prey on the naive in order to maximise the damage made possible with the small amount of information they have gained access to. Phishing emails, telephone calls and even face-to-face encounters can seem genuine, but are techniques used by scammers to extract information. All Capita staff (not just those at Capita TI) are trained annually on matters of fraud, data protection and anti-bribery. Keeping these matters at the forefront of employee’s minds helps them to spot suspicion activity early, in both their professional and personal lives.

Systems and processes

You might not have thought about it before, but the number of touch points in the delivery of a translation project can be large in number. Your sales contact, the project manager, the linguist (or linguists), the proof-reader, the file engineer; this list is far from exhaustive. Without the correct systems in place, a language service provider could be emailing your files from pillar to post, with very little control over the networks and connection used to send the file at each stage of its journey. If you fully understand the implications this could have, chances are you’re currently pulling a face not dissimilar to this:

shocked emoji face

And if you don’t understand the implications, then I suggest you look into this matter sooner rather than later. But all is not lost. Capita TI has invested a considerable amount of time and money into secure translation management systems which mean that documents are only accessed from one secure location, with full control over who and when people have access to each document, without ever leaving the secure and controlled environment into which it was uploaded by the customer. More information can be found about our secure translation systems here.


So if the recent news has prompted you to look into your business’ security, hopefully these few points have given you food for thought. If you are interested in reading more you can access our whitepaper: Why risk it? 5 Issues surrounding secure localisation management.

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