Glasgow City Council has been slammed for losing more than 700 laptops and PCs in a probe into the body’s security malpractice.
The council has lost 256 unencrypted laptops and nearly 450 PCs. It also has a further 541 unencrypted laptops, according to an audit report.
The news follows the theft of two laptops in May, one of which contained bank details of 16,541 businesses and individuals. In 2009, Glasgow City Council also suffered a major data loss when it lost sensitive data containing information on local sex offenders, victims and case officers.
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“These losses indicate that theft has occurred on a significant scale over a number of years from a 'secure area' and it would also appear to show that these thefts have been well organised and systematic,” said the report.
A council spokesman said: "What this report shows is that for a number of years, the council family has been poor at keeping accurate records of its IT equipment. We're now dealing with that situation and with the unencrypted IT equipment."
The report recommended that the Head of Audit & Inspection be asked to provide the Finance and Audit Scrutiny Committee with a quarterly report updating the figures quoted in the audit.
Chris McIntosh, CEO of data security company ViaSat UK, said Glasgow should act as responsible custodian of the sensitive information it is charged with and take appropriate measures to encrypt its devices.