British Goverment Loses A Computer A Week, But What About The Data?

from the data-is-all-that-really-matters dept

New stats from the British government show its various departments lost an average of one computer per week over the past year. The good news is that the government says only one of those losses put any personal data at risk — although it’s hard to verify the claims of some departments that the data on their devices was encrypted or otherwise made safe. It’s hard to get too upset about the missing devices, since it seems inevitable that any any organization with a large number of employees carrying laptops and other devices around will lose some or have them stolen. The issue isn’t the devices, or at least it shouldn’t be; the issue is data. It may be an easy way to score political points by pointing out how often physical devices are lost, but the value of a $2000 laptop or $500 smartphone pales in comparison to the value of the data, or the data it can access. Care must be taken to ensure that security policies and procedures don’t place importance on securing physical devices at the expense of securing data. For a start, it would be nice to make people accountable for data they have, but that’s probably a stretch.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “British Goverment Loses A Computer A Week, But What About The Data?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
1 Comment
zcat (profile) says:

I'll settle for 'encrypted'

I suspect in the vast majority of these cases the thief is an opportunist looking for a ‘free laptop’, and probably has no idea of the potential value of the data contained on it. Most thieves have trouble finding their way around a windows login password, so encrypting the hard drive should be more than enough.

It should be a matter of policy that every laptop and USB stick the government issues is set up by default with an encrypted filesystem, no matter what data they expect it to eventually carry. And reading the article, it sounds like that is already the policy.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...