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There simple answer to the above issue is to remove all portable equipment from government service.
Why would data need to be transported this way?
Is the individual taking it home to do some home overtime then?
If work need to be done then it is carried out on government premises on secure off line equipment.
As for documentation, some was found on north London recently was it not?
With the amount of money sloshing around the NHS spent on non medical matters,surely it would not cost too much to install on site shredding and baling.
"Why would data need to be transported this way?"
Because it's the 21st century, and the world runs on computers. Sensitive data have always been transported; in the past it went in lorries or cars in the form of paper, and was probably more secure that way for one simple reason.
The people who stole the laptop in question was almost certainly not remotely interested in the data on it - he/she was after the machine itself. Laptops are desirable bits of kit, and should never be left in an unattended vehicle. That was the first stupidity of this incident, not the fact that the data were on the machine.
The second stupidity was the fact that the data were not encrypted, and that was the biggest stupidity of all. I find it hard to comprehend how any government department handling information as sensitive as this could possibly contemplate sending it off the department's server in an unencrypted state.
Heads should roll.
The MoD have `lost` many computers with varying levels of sensitive information on them. It surely is time to either consider MoD staff incompetent to have control of such equipment or bring the full force of penalties down on them for their actions. After all, if they are unable to look after a computer in the UK how may we trust them with support of our service men and women in combat zones.
I agree with all your comments - for the record- my father more than 70 years ago as part of his duties as Bank of England employee escorted lorry loads of sensitive material including used banknotes to the incinerator.
But the latest revelations point to the fact that people are not learning from past events.
Therefore more draconian measures would seem appropriate.
As much I dislike them I have access to and use a laptop the property of an organization I am member of.
When I have it[It is for use of all those that have a requirement]
It stays with me.
Evin if my car is on my drive having collected it from its custodian, and I have lunch before going off to that afternoons assignment - It comes in doors with me.
Its common sense-
And there you have the point, whoever said that it was a requirement for government employees to have commonsense, there are never any penalties imposed for breaches of rules, if there are any rules to breach these days. The person involved will probably get a promotion.
"Its common sense"
Precisely, and that's the real problem here. Lots of people now routinely take work home on laptops. One of my daughters is probably typical of many - her company has set her up with a small home office, and she alternates between that and her offices in London and Bristol - her work goes with her on her laptop. It's sensitive, she's in the commercial finance business, and she knows it's important to have good file encryption - her company insists on it.
If she can see the sense of it, and there are hundreds of thousands of others who can, why are the highly sensitive personal information files of 600,000 people being treated in such a careless fashion by a Ministry of defence employee - the very people who should be showing everyone else the way when it comes to data security?
That anyone in any position of trust should be so certifiably stupid beggars belief, and that the MOD should tell us that they are treating the bungle with the "utmost seriousness" is an insult to our intelligence. It would take me about ten minutes to devise a policy which would ensure this kind of thing didn't happen - why was it apparently beyond the wit of the people entrusted with the defence of our nation?
When the Prime Minister gets off the plane from Beijing his first question should be 'Has the incompetent officer been sacked yet?' His second should be 'has the incompetent person who failed to place adequate safeguards in place been sacked yet?'
This kind of thing has been happening far too often for it to be brushed aside with a few platitudes at PM Question time - real people should now be losing their jobs because of their gross neglect of duty. This isn't a political thing, it's an administrative thing, and government ministers have a duty to drop on it from a great height, before something really wicked this way comes.
The person who left the laptop in the car should be court martialed as I suspect that he/she has broken regulations.
I am puzzled why the person should have so much data on the laptop.
"That anyone in any position of trust should be so certifiably stupid beggars belief, and that the MOD should tell us that they are treating the bungle with the "utmost seriousness" is an insult to our intelligence."
My post would have said as much but without the eloquence.
How is it possible to leave a laptop with such sensitive unencrypted information in a car overnight is beyond imagination. This isn't politics, it competence....a lack thereof.
"How is it possible to leave a laptop with such sensitive unencrypted information in a car overnight is beyond imagination."
It was probably an officer, without a senior rank to guide him. Everyone knows they shouldn't be allowed out on their own.
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