Feeds

UK data losses keep growing

Government and private sector still failing basic tests

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A Freedom of Information request by infrastructure specialist Software AG reveals that more companies and government departments than ever are reporting data losses to the Information Commissioner's Office.

There were 356 self-reported data losses this year - between November 2008 and September 2009. This compares to 190 incidents between October 2007 and November 2008.

The biggest cause of loss, 127 incidents, were due to stolen hardware, usually laptops. Another 71 were blamed on lost hardware, typically memory sticks and 78 due to data disclosed in error - misaddressed discs or memory sticks - both of which could be easily avoided by using basic encryption and secure online delivery. Some 24 data loss incidents were blamed on couriers or the postal service.

Unsurprisingly Software AG does not think this is an indication of the success of the ICO's voluntary scheme which asks CIOs to report data losses. Rather it suggests that companies and other organisations are still failing to put in place simple technologies and procedures to stop such losses.

The last figures released by the ICO itself, in October 2008, showed 277 incidents since Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs lost the child benefit database a year earlier. 80 of those incidents came from the private sector, and the rest from various government departments, local authorities and health authorities.

Tim Holyoake, lead technologist at Software AG, said the problem should be declining not getting worse. He said: "Organisations are failing to learn from previous examples. 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?"

Maybe the postal strike will get people using secure, electronic data transfer. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.