Security & Compliance
Secure Confidential Transcription Services
How do we keep your files safe and secure?
We offer transcription services you can trust, and that means providing robust security assurances. Whatever your transcription needs and the type of audio or video content you need transcribing, you can rest assured that we take the security of your data seriously.
We offer a robust catalogue of security features, have ISO certification and are compliant with Data Protection Laws, bringing our diverse clientele complete peace of mind.
Our security credentials at a glance
We are fully ISO accredited and have ISO 27001 and 9001 certificates. This forms an important part of our security infrastructure and ensures that our extremely high standards remain consistent.
Your content is only visible to the people specifically managing or working on your transcription.
Our online portal uses HTTPS protocol for a secure and encrypted connection.
All uploaded files are stored in an encrypted AWS bucket and are never downloaded or stored outside our system at any point.
All our servers and databases are firewalled to permit the minimum amount of traffic necessary to run the service.
Our servers can only be accessed by Verbit staff and our development teams. Even then it requires authentication and can only be accessed from a restricted number of IP addresses.
We use Amazon Web Services (AWS) for all our hosting.
All personal data stored is protected by the European Data Protection Act.
All audio files are automatically deleted 3 months after the project close date. Formatted transcriptions are deleted after 12 months.
Why security is important
(for you and for us)
We pride ourselves on being able to deliver a fast and accurate service. But that means nothing if our customers can't trust us with their data. We value our relationships with our customers and strive to keep their data secure.
Our catalogue of security redundancies allows us to ensure compliance with stringent UK Data Protection laws, even as they evolve in this fast-moving digital landscape.
The importance of the personal touch
Not only is the human touch essential in ensuring accuracy, the unfortunate truth is that automated services can introduce serious security vulnerabilities.
Developers of Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) apps are able to access the data in your recordings. While typically done for benign reasons like quality control, it can bring individuals into contact with your sensitive, confidential or personal data.
What's more, ASR companies may outsource their testing to third-party companies, which can be based in territories where Data Protection laws are less stringent. It can be challenging to know who has your data, where it is stored, who has access to it or if it has been copied.
Our audio transcription services are used by a range of professionals for many different purposes. These include those working in the legal and medical professions. As such, we often handle sensitive and confidential data. Our robust security provisions assure our clients that their data is in safe hands.
A range of clients in commercial and creative media use our video transcription and captioning services. Content surrounding new product development is not yet subject to general release and is highly confidential. We provide the strictest confidentiality and high levels of security regarding the audio and video materials they send us.
Security is at the heart of everything we do at Verbit.
Peace of mind delivered by our security redundancies
Your security is our priority. We take great care to ensure that the data you upload to us is completely safe.
Compliant with all UK Data Protection Laws
We are a UK-based team of 800 strictly vetted transcribers. We use an encrypted online system and are fully compliant with UK Data Protection legislation and 100% GDPR compliant. Your data is only as secure as the people who have access to it, and our stringent recruiting process ensures that our compliance starts with people we know we can trust.
Our upload portal is fully secure
Uploading an audio or video file to us via our portal is completely secure. We use state-of-the-art SSL encryption to ensure your data is invisible to third parties. What's more, the data you upload is not locally downloaded but stored in-browser to reduce the vulnerabilities associated with centralized data storage.
ISO Certification… What does it mean?
Our ISO 27001 and 9001 certificates mean that our information security management infrastructure has undergone a rigorous formal assessment by an independent third party.
Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
Even with this robust suite of security measures, we appreciate that some of our customers might need a little extra reassurance.
If you'd like to discuss the option of putting a Non-Disclosure Agreement or NDA in place, please get in touch.
Are transcription services secure?
Transcription services are used for a wide variety of use cases. The content being transcribed often contains sensitive, personal or confidential information.
However, the emphasis is usually on accuracy, time and budget when selecting a supplier, not security. Keeping data safe will have been a priority during a project but can be overlooked at the transcription stage.
We want to ensure that you have all the information you need to find a quality transcription service that also delivers on security. You can't just assume that a service is secure, you need to carry out the relevant checks.
Levels of security vary between transcription services. But there are some clear criteria you can look for to ensure you find a secure service that's right for you.
How is your transcript being produced?
The tools used to produce your transcript impact the level of security offered by a transcription service.
The different approaches adopted by companies influence the level of risk to your data. For example, some providers allow their freelance transcribers to download the content to their own computers to carry out the transcription using a word processor. As you can imagine, this introduces a high level of risk into the process. The security of your data becomes reliant on individuals and the protection they have put in place. It is almost impossible to ensure secure networks are being used, that the latest updates are installed and that all security protocols are being adhered to.
Instead, look for a service with a secure software platform. The transcriber can play the audio or video and complete the transcript, all within a secure environment. The transcriber will not have the ability to download the files and store them locally. A secure platform not only reduces the opportunity for any unfortunate malicious behavior, but also helps to minimize any human error.
Who has access to your data when using transcription services?
When using human-based transcription services, people will inevitably be looking at your data. When selecting a service, there are some key elements that you should consider to ensure your data is as safe as possible.
- Find out how your data will be managed by the provider. Some companies will only give access to the individuals who will be transcribing and quality-checking your content.
- Other companies may make the content accessible to much larger numbers (potentially 10,000s across the globe), even if those people don't end up working on the transcription. This is not good practice when it comes to information security and is contrary to the principles of GDPR and adds another level of risk.
- Ensure transcribers are required to use a secure portal to access and work on your files. If transcribers can download content as a local file to their machines, you're reliant on the security measures they have in place to keep your information safe.
Consideration of who has access to your content also applies to Automatic Speech Recognition Services (ASR). Although machines are carrying out the transcription, people will likely have access to the information too. This could be for product development reasons, quality control or customer success and support. Any security concerns apply to both human transcription services and ASR.
Whether using a human transcription service or ASR, look for other signs of security including relevant ISO certifications, HTTPS websites and encryption usage.
What certifications should my transcription service have?
There are International certifications focused on information security management and quality management systems, which combined, are a sign that a transcription service takes security seriously.
ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 demonstrate that a company has invested in its processes and been through a rigorous assessment to achieve the certification. ISO 27001 relates to operating a robust information security management system. ISO 9001 sets out the criteria for a quality management system with a strong customer focus. ISO provides peace of mind that the service adheres to high standards and has been approved by an impartial third-party expert.
Should a transcription service have an HTTPS website?
A service without an HTTPS website is a red flag. A company that hasn't gone through the process to gain an SSL certificate is likely not security conscious and won't have sufficient procedures in place to keep your data safe.
An HTTPS site displays the padlock you see on legitimate websites and provides a basic level of encryption between the website and your browser. However, whenever sharing information, you should view this as a minimum requirement and look for additional levels of protection.
What types of encryption should a transcription service use?
Alongside the basic level of an HTTPS website, there are additional layers of protection that should be in place.
Alongside the basic level of an HTTPS website, additional layers of protection should be in place.
Ideally, you want the portals where you upload your content to be encrypted and for the service to store information in encrypted formats too. If you can't find information about security protocols on a company's website, drop them a line. Reputable companies will have the information to hand and will be happy to share the details.
It's probably a bit of a red flag if a supplier can't, or doesn't want to, provide you with any security information!
Are UK transcription services more secure?
UK transcription services are a good choice if you are concerned about the security of your information.
- The UK has been subject to GDPR which means businesses have policies, processes and procedures in place to protect data and privacy. Even though the UK has left the EU, there is now a UK version of the GDPR in domestic law.
- Any rights conferred on data subjects by data protection legislation must be reliably enforced in a court of law. Otherwise, unfortunately, the legislation is worthless. The UK has a robust judicial system which pursues privacy and security violations should they occur.
Are cheaper transcription services less secure?
Although cost is not a direct sign of security, a cheaper price could be an indication that a service has less rigorous processes and systems in place.
If a service seems particularly cheap, it is worth understanding how that price is achieved.
- Are you comparing like with like? Many advertised prices are based on perfect audio quality, with 'additions' quickly adding up for poor audio, multiple speakers, accents or specialist topics.
- Are they using up-to-date security protocols? Things to look for include an HTTPS site and encrypted portals and storage.
- Do they have any security certifications in place? Certifications, such as ISO, are usually time and resource-intensive and may not be prioritized by companies competing on price.
Is ASR more secure than human transcription services?
You may feel that removing the 'human' element from the transcription process will automatically give you a more secure service. However, regardless of the type of service, people inevitably will have some level of access to your content. Therefore, the checklist for a secure service applies to both human transcription services and ASR.
For ASR, people are likely to have access to your information for several legitimate reasons. This can include carrying out quality control on the platform and the subsequently returned transcripts. Customer success teams are likely to have access to and view the content to provide support and resolve any potential issues.
Content may also be used to help develop and test new features and for additional tasks such as algorithm training. Using 'real-life' content can be helpful in these circumstances to ensure new features and functionality work well for the provider's use cases. Using existing content tends to be quicker, easier and cheaper than generating fresh content. More people could have access to and listen to your content than you expect. Check the fine print in the T&Cs to understand how your content is used.
Disclaimer - This content aims to provide you with some basic information regarding security when using transcription services. It is not legal, security or technical advice and should not be relied on as such. Please seek professional advice where required.
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