Not many would think that cyber security and translation are related. They don’t appear to have anything in common. The people behind them don’t seem to share any similar or interconnecting field of expertise. These two disciplines, however, meet at some point. Language translation plays an important role in ensuring security on the Internet, for web-connected devices.
Cyber attack – now the number one threat to businesses
Cyber attack is a growing and serious concern among businesses and organizations. In fact, according to the Horizon Scan Report 2018 of the Business Continuity Institute, it is already the number one threat to businesses, topping utility supply interruption, data breach, terrorism, fire, and disruptions in supply chain and transport networks.
Cyber security threats have become more rampant in the last few years. Worse, the way they attack has taken more advanced forms and means that it’s no longer enough to simply rely on standard cyber security software. You can no longer be adequately secure by simply using an antivirus software in your computer. To ensure security online, it’s important to be vigilant. Everyone who uses computers and interconnected devices need to be aware of what should be done in dealing with cyber attacks.
Enabling comprehendible user interfaces
One of the most important functions of language translation is in the field of user interface. As mentioned, it’s important for all users of computers and the Internet to be knowledgeable in dealing with cyber security concerns. Computer users cannot properly respond to or prevent instances of cyber attacks if they can’t understand the user interfaces they are dealing with.
What is a user interface? Basically, a user interface is the interactive screen a computer user interacts with. It is the visual facility that enables computers and humans to communicate. It is what allows computer users to determine which points to click with the mouse pointer or what keys to press on the keyboard to get the desired response. It is virtually everything that is visible on a computer display. In Windows computers, for example, the Start button is one of the most recognizable user interface features along with the X (close), maximize, and minimize buttons for windows.
Language translation helps make sure that computer users know what to click on the screen or which keys to hit when a prompt or dialog box appears. More importantly, language translation makes it possible for computer users to be aware what a certain action entails.
For example, if a website tries to install a malicious software into a computer, it’s important for a computer user to know what clicking on buttons on screen would mean. Not everyone understands English and not all interfaces follow the same format or placement of buttons. Language translation is necessary to make sure that users know what is supposed to happen as they encounter dialog boxes or software interfaces. Going back to the example, if a website tries to install a software (upon clicking a link, button, or a concealed trigger), it should be clear where the OK and cancel buttons are in a dialog box or prompt. Otherwise, a user may unwittingly permit the installation of a malicious software or the downloading of a virus-infected file.
While many already know that pressing the Enter key corresponds to clicking the OK button and pressing the ESC is just like clicking on Cancel, malicious software are designed to confuse potential victims. It’s important that users are fully aware of what their key presses or mouse clicks mean by seeing accurate translations of user interface labels on screen.
These points similarly apply to apps for mobile devices or apps with interfaces that are intended for touch displays. Imagine what would happen if apps don’t have labels that are understandable to users. It will be difficult to properly interact with apps that don’t have comprehendible interface labels. Users can’t always rely on the standard of having the X button on the upper right corner of apps to close them or the button on the right side of a prompt, dialog box, or app window. This arrangement may not always be the same for apps. Malware developers can always switch things around to force users to do something they don’t intend to do.
Language translation is important to ascertain that computer or mobile device users know what they are doing especially as they deal with apps or prompts they are unfamiliar with.
Ensuring the accurate translation of critical texts
As Google and other machine translation services significantly improve, many are now relying on computers for language translation. Smartphone users conveniently pull out their device to have something translated. There are even apps that are now capable of translating texts or signs through the camera and Google Translate.
The problem, however, is that machine language translation is still far from being fully accurate. When it comes to having important texts translated, it’s still preferable to use human translators. Unfortunately, the casual dependence on machine translation is already being exploited by those who want to propagate cyber attacks. Emails or attachments, for example, are used to spread viruses and other malware.
Attackers may send emails containing texts in a foreign language with links or attachments that recipients may just proceed to clicking or downloading without minding the texts. They may do instant machine translation on them but since machine translation does not always guarantee accuracy, these links and attachments can become serious vulnerabilities simply because of the language barrier.
Similarly, warnings on certain websites or web pages may just be ignored because the readers of those warnings don’t understand the language used. Web browsers as well as antivirus software nowadays come with the ability to present warnings for sites that are considered unsafe. These warnings are futile if they come in a language that is not understandable to the person reading. If these warnings are translated but in an inaccurate or not-so-comprehensible way, they will similarly be inutile.
Language translation helps ensure that useful warnings or precautionary information are clearly conveyed to everyone who could be affected by cyber attacks. Of course it’s not something ordinary Internet or computer users would be employing; but something government authorities or advocacy organizations may want to use to minimize the impact of cyber attacks.
Enabling communication among cyber security experts
On the other hand, language translation is also vital in information sharing among cyber security professionals. Cyber security professionals may share the same knowledge when it comes to programming languages, but it’s a different story conveying information about cyber security threats to other professionals who speak different languages.
There are numerous cyber security experts in different parts of the world. Obviously, not all of these security experts are good at speaking English. Some may not be able to correctly use the language at all. If these cyber security experts detect or observe threats, they cannot accurately convey the information to others in the cyber security field if they can’t speak English or some other more commonly used language. A language translator will be needed to precisely present the details of the newly discovered cyber threats.
Protecting clients’ data
This is with regards to language translation service providers’ responsibility of securing their customers’ data. There are a number of instances when businesses and organizations expose their critical information to translators. Business processes, contact information, and business plans or strategies, for example, may inevitably be shown to translators in the process of doing localization or transcription-translation services.
It is indubitably the responsibility of language service providers to make sure that no third party gets to access the delicate information entrusted to them by their clients. They have to ascertain that their system is free of vulnerabilities that would leak client data to outsiders. Likewise, it’s imperative that the human translators they employ can be trusted to make sure that they will not divulge any of the client information they go through as they perform translations.
Role of translators and interpreters in cyber security
Translators and interpreters have an important role to play in cyber security in the same way they play a significant part in the war against terror. They contribute something in making user interfaces clearly understandable to users who use different languages. They help ensure the accuracy and efficacy of critical texts used to warn computer and internet users about potential cyber security threats or issues. Translators facilitate the accurate and prompt dissemination of newly discovered cyber security threats. Moreover, language translators are also expected to help ensure the security of the data of the businesses or organizations they perform translation or localization services for.
Businesses and organizations that have translation needs for cyber security or other purposes can count on Day Translations, Inc for high quality translation services. Our human translators are native speakers of the language they specialize in and have the experience and expertise in dealing with technical documents to make sure that they provide nothing but accurate, precise, and appropriate translations. We understand how important accuracy, timeliness, and proper context are for translations that’s why we make sure that we only hire qualified and experienced translators who can deliver 100% error-free translations. We also emphasize the protection of our clients’ information so be assured that everything will translate will forever be confidential and inaccessible to third parties.
To contact Day Translations, you can dial 1-800-969-6853 or email us through our Contact us page. We operate on a 24/7 basis throughout the year.
Image Copyright: putilich / 123RF Stock Photo