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MoD loses £600,000 of laptops in two years

It has been reported that £600,000 worth of CD’s, DVD’s, USB memory sticks, laptops and mobile phones were misplaced or lost by the government department since 2008. On top of that, only a fifth of these lost items were encrypted – resulting in heavy criticism by leading security experts.

The losses occurred even after widespread criticism following major security lapses in 2008, when a Royal Navy laptop was stolen, along with over 600,000 should-be confidential records. This latest discovery has meant since May 2008, 340 laptops have been lost or stolen – just fewer than 13 per month (although 25 were later recovered).
Since the report by Sir Edmond Burton in June 2008, the MoD’s security measures have seen little significant improvements, and there have now been calls to put even tighter security measures in place. Sean Sullivan works for F-Secure, a software security firm said: ‘At a time when national security is paramount, it’s vital that far more is done to encrypt sensitive data and staff are held to account. This loss represents a devastating disregard for the taxpayer’s security and pocket.’
In response to this latest discovery, the MoD stated: ”Investigations are undertaken into every loss or theft, and appropriate disciplinary action taken.”


It is of paramount importance that companies take the level of care, effort and responsibility deserved into protecting personal information held within their electronic equipment, and lead by example. Absolute Data can help companies to do this by training your staff into implementing robust data management processes into their everyday working, in a simple yet effective way.