While going multilingual is the need of the hour, what confronts business owners the most is the security of their website or web application.
Websites, and especially their interactive pages, comprise vital customer information, coordinates, and confidential details. As these elements constitute a critical aspect of the company’s business data, they demand comprehensive security assurances, protocols, and mechanisms while going multilingual.
Security, especially while going multilingual, proves a multidimensional concern. It is multilayered and takes into account several aspects relating to technicalities that comprise the exchange of information, and issues about confidentiality agreements, and translator’s credibility (relating to security).
Of course, the objective is to keep the website’s data secure in any case. But, the road to data security goes through a number of security measures and protocols. In addition to data security, the multilingual solution should not make the translated website vulnerable from security point of view.
As one of the leading and secure website translation solutions, LinguaSol looks at the various practical aspects associated with multilingual website application security. It talks about the general security levels involved in turning web application multilingual and touches the confidentiality aspect.
Common Security Considerations of Website Translations
1. Connecting with an External Environment
The first security aspect, or consideration talks about the transfer of data from your website to an external server. It refers to a call being made to an external server facilitating the exchange of information outside your IT environment. Such calls constitute a significant security risk, as here, you cannot deny the possibility of data leak during the transfer process.
Some time people use Google widget to their website to make it multilingual. So back then, when users clicked on a particular page on the widget, the page used to go to Google’s server and returned in the form of a translated webpage to the user. Later, Google brought translate APIs, which involved giving Google the string, language source, and target language to get a translated string in return.
Now, you can use translation APIs if you neutralize the data. It refers to the condition that none of your customer-specific data must go to an external server, as calling a server, external to your internal IT environment, points at a significant security risk. Translation mechanisms that involve storing the translated data in the service provider’s server, or calling an external API form a matter of discussion.
2. Translation Mechanism of the Translation Solution
Now, the second consideration relates to the use of the translation system and the method it deploys to execute translations. Here, the concern is to examine whether the translation mechanism of your translation system breaches any of the existing security measures or arrangements, and affects the firewalls of the web application or the website involved.
The solution to this consideration or risk is to have a translation methodology deployed within the customer’s IT environment. However, unlike the past, wherein most of the companies used to have their own physical data centers, organizations now have their servers on cloud. So, the solution must reside and operate from behind the server firewall of the client company’s IT premises. The translations also must happen within it, without making an external call, or relaying data to any external API or server.
3. Storage of Customer Data in the Translation Application
The third concern, which is mostly considered as the second level security concern, is the storage of customer data in the translation application. When the translation solution translates text, it handles massive chunks of data. Although the translation solution is deployed in the client’s IT zone, clients are apprehensive about the storage of critical customer data in the translation solution’s database.
In such a situation, the translation solution must work purely as a translation platform that does not store information, other than the one mandated by the client.
4. Proving that the application does not Store any Confidential Customer Information
In connection to the third point, only claims and assurances don’t suffice. There are three tests in this regard. The first one involves proving that the translation solution does not store anything apart from the data the client has mandated. It is because such a practice constitutes a data breach, and one can ship out stored data through any means, or calling an external server, or through the internet.
The second test involves showing that application doesn’t connect with any device, platform, or external server other than the one belonging to the unique IP ID given by the translation solution.
The third test comprises proving that the solution works on an internal IP address, which is not connected to the internet. Hence, it does not accept any inbound connection, other than the one coming from a designated server. In the event of an incoming request coming from an unknown source, or server, or IP address, the solution will reject the request and keep the customer’s data secure.
5. Change Management Security
Another essential concern that a lot of corporates raise is change management security. In the initial stages, the solution is deployed on a test server, and later on a real-time production server.
But, when it comes to deploying it on a production server, who does it? Let us say, initially, the client’s internal IT team does it. However, while dealing with change management, the translation solution will come across a lot of strings that weren’t translated earlier.
For instance, if the new content added to the website comprises some new and unknown strings, the translator will not find those strings in the dictionary. So, for the time being, the solution writes those strings on a server’s local database, and over a while, those strings have to be handed over to the translation solution for translation.
But then, the solution does not have access to the production server of the client. So, how does the translation solution access these strings? Here, there’s a need for a mutually agreed workflow.
At times, if the clients are skeptical about letting the provider access the production server, they can have their production server push the dictionary on the local server of the provider. In other words, the client’s server accesses the provider’s machine and pushes the required data to execute changes.
The next concern is transferring files with the newly translated data. Of course, because the provider does not have any access to the production server, it cannot log in to it, and upload the files. But, the in-built application on the client’s server pulls the required files from a predesignated machines.
Such an arrangement serves two purposes. First – the provider and the translation solution do not access the client’s production server, and second, although they cannot access the server, they can facilitate the bi-direction flow of information in a secure manner.
6. Software Development Components
This isn’t as common a concern. But it is a significant one from the viewpoint of clients who are keen on knowing what kind of translation solution they are going to deal with. So, they show concern on knowing if the software comprises third-party proprietary components or any open-source ones.
Besides, they also want to know the sources of the components. So, if it is a proprietary component, which company is the developer, and if it is an open-source component, how efficient is it from the viewpoint of performance, business criticality, and concerns alike. Here, and in fact, always, the source must be verifiable, and credible to ensure security, and the desired performance levels.
Another critical element involved in this discussion is IPR and license. If you are using open source components with GPL, you must disclose the entire source code.
7. The Translators Involved in the Translation Process – Whether In-House or Outsourced
Again, not many companies discuss this but specifying it is necessary from the viewpoint of the translation solution’s overall security aspect and service. Some companies wish to know the source of translation, meaning, they want to know the translators involved in the translation process. So, their concern is whether the provider outsources the translations, or insources it.
If outsourced, how does the provider ensure the credibility of the translation team, how does it ensure that the translations don’t leak anywhere, and how does it ensure that the translations aren’t used anywhere else? Again, other concerns, regardless of whether the team of in-house or outsourced, include the availability of audit trails of the translations.
LinguaSol’s Linguify – The Secure Translation Solution
LinguaSol’s Linguify is the solution that executes the security solution discussed across each of the above points. It is a high-performance and highly secure solution that serves a range of companies across various business domains. LinguaSol’s decade-long experience in the translation technology solutions business proves an upper hand for its clients while translating websites and web applications.
If you’ve got any more security concerns and want to know more about how Linguify can work in the context of your translation requirement, connect with Linguify’s experts at +91 2022953848, or write an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.