Stolen laptops biggest danger as extent of UK data losses revealed

UK CIOs reported 356 data loss incidents last year, a Freedom of Information request by Software AG has revealed.

UK CIOs reported 356 data loss incidents last year, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by a software supplier has revealed.

The FOI request to the information commissioner's office by Software AG revealed that within the 356 reported incidents 71 memory sticks and CDs were lost, 127 devices including laptops were stolen and there were 24 incidents of data lost in transit via courier services.

On 78 occasions data was disclosed in error. This included packages being wrongly addressed and arriving at the wrong place.

The 356 incidents between November 2008 and September 2009 compared with 190 incidents between October 2007 and November 2008, said Software AG.

"The chronic problem of data loss should be in decline, and not increasing, as these figures seem to indicate. Organisations are failing to learn from previous examples. They continue to gamble with sensitive data via risky transfers, rather than implementing a robust infrastructure to ensure information is moved securely," said Tim Holyoake, lead technologist at Software AG.

"Few data losses have occurred where organisations have invested in secure, electronic data transfer technologies. This begs the question, why aren't CIOs insisting on greater use of these solutions?"

He added that electronic secure data transfer technologies with audit capabilities could be a useful enabler for organisations seeking a reliable system for data sharing. The research comes on the two-year anniversary of the loss of 25 million child benefit records by HM Revenue & Customs.

Read the full response to the FOI request >>

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