secure sensitive transcription services

Secure, onsite facilities for sensitive transcription data

Sarah Lowe Leave a Comment

With highly sensitive transcription data, basic security measures are not enough

Most transcription providers offer basic security measures like staff vetting and data handling processes, but some highly sensitive material requires enhanced protection. As recent news stories have shown, security can sometimes be less than optimal when it comes to transcription data. Even at large, high-profile organisations, lazy practices such as sharing password and log-in details can creep in, employee vetting can slip, and good cybersecurity support can become less of a priority as budgets are strained. And yet, especially for official record transcripts for things like regulatory inquiries, police investigations and fraud probes, the consequences of cyberattacks or leaks could be severe, impacting the outcome of important proceedings at the very highest levels.

Appen’s gold standard best practice

The best transcription providers uphold recognised data handling standards, maintain certifications and offer a secure on-site option for sensitive material. Appen’s secure on-site centre was established in 2012 and offers enhanced security in three ways: physical, personnel and virtual. Based in two dedicated offices at the company’s Exeter HQ, the facility has become an integral part of Appen’s offer and is invaluable to clients. Physical measures ensure protection from data breaches, which is especially critical for sensitive transcription data. These include 24/7 alarmed monitoring and installed CCTV, and entry restricted to those with the right security clearance. The main entry doors are protected by intruder alarms, while specific transcription zones are push-button or swipe card access only. Mobile phones are not permitted, and all ports and printing options are disabled. When it comes to the people working at the secure site, they are different. All Appen employees, rather than freelancers, all transcribers, quality checkers, managers, and administrative staff are Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked as a minimum, with many vetted to enhanced levels. All on-site employees also have a section of the Official Secrets Act in their contracts. Finally, Appen’s on-site facility offers an enhanced level of virtual security. In addition to Appen’s already highly secure IT systems and processes, all work at the on-site centre is completed offline. For example, audio is streamed from secure servers and never downloaded to individual PCs and there are clear policies in place for handling sensitive material, including strict protocols for passwords and log in details.

When gold standard practices are essential to transcription

It’s a gold standard service, so when might you need it? For anything requiring an enhanced level of security – for example, audit, fraud or compliance investigations, financial or regulatory probes or sensitive police cases – a secure on-site transcription facility is essential. Clients using Appen’s centre include police forces, government departments, local authorities, the CPS, and FTSE 100 companies. When it comes to enhanced security, it’s important to make sure the basic boxes are checked. In this case, the on-site facility compliments Appen’s already very high-security standards and verbatim transcriptions. Appen has been certified to the international standard ISO 27001 since 2012, which means it routinely identifies IT risks, assesses the implications and puts measures in place to reduce these risks. The company is also accredited to the CyberEssentials scheme, overseen by the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ. Whichever level of service you go with for your sensitive transcripts, make sure your chosen provider will keep your data safe. If you need enhanced security, seek out an on-site facility like Appen’s, for total peace of mind. For more information on Appen’s secure, on-site transcription facility contact:

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